Program Information

The Monteux School Program


The Monteux School and Music Festival provides training and practical experience to enable conductors to handle any conducting situation, to help instrumentalists meet the demands of orchestral playing, and offers an unrivaled opportunity to learn a large and varied repertoire over the course of its six-week program. The school’s reputation attracts musicians from across the country and around the world. The Monteux School has trained thousands of conductors and instrumentalists.

All musicians are full-time, active participants. Players rotate within their sections but do not rotate out of the orchestra, as in some other summer programs. All conductors receive weekly rehearsal time on the podium and perform in concert at the discretion of the music director. All conductors are also required to play in the orchestra. This unique aspect of the school gives conductors the opportunity to learn from both sides of the podium, fostering a positive, non-competitive environment in which conductors and instrumentalists work and learn together.

Pierre Monteux School - conductingThe school accepts approximately eighteen conductors and forty+ instrumentalists to make up a full symphony orchestra. The orchestra includes full woodwinds (triple or quadruple), brass, percussion, harp and keyboards, and a string section approximately half the size of a large symphony orchestra.

The school’s rigorous weekly schedule, equivalent to that of a full-time orchestra, prepares musicians for a professional career. Each week’s schedule includes seven symphony masterclass rehearsals and both symphonic and chamber music concerts conducted and performed by participating musicians.

Each summer’s curriculum covers a broad repertoire of some 60 works encompassing the full scope and variety of the symphonic literature, including pops.

The 2019 curriculum includes Beethoven: Symphonies No. 5 and 6; Brahms: Symphony No. 4 and Variations on a Theme by Haydn; Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 1; Mahler: Symphony No. 6; Gershwin: Piano Concerto; Amy Beach: Gaelic Symphony; Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances; Stravinsky: Rite of Spring, and dozens more masterworks for full orchestra. View the full curriculum.

Repertoire is assigned to conductors on a weekly basis. Conductors should bring scores for the entire curriculum. Approximately half of the curriculum will be performed in concert, the remainder studied and read in rehearsals.