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Monday, July 21            
Noon                  Arrival/Check-in: Vanderbilt in France Center: 15 rue Cardinale, 13100 Aix-en-Provence
14h                     Welcome and Introductory Meeting        
15h-17h             SESSION 1: Fergus McWilliam, "A Musician's Perspective on Conducting."        
                            A discussion of the role of the conductor. Viewing the conductor through the
                            musicians’ lens and comparing the messages sent with those that are received.
17h30-19h30   SESSION 2: Fergus McWilliam, “Air Orchestra.”         
                            Group exercise in gesture and motion.  How to effectively portray musical intent
                            non-verbally from the musicians’ perspective.        
20h                     Dinner Reception   
Tuesday, July 22       
9h30-12h          SESSION 3: Fergus McWilliam, “Squaring the Circle.”         
                            Reconciling "collaborative thinking" with individual artistic expression. Serving the
                            musicians as well as the composer. Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall as
                            source material for conversation.        
12h-13h30         Lunch Break        
13h30-15h30    COLLOQUIUM: Thomas Verrier, moderator, “Preparation and Score Study”        
                            Group discussion about the preparation process with particular focus on the
                            Conductors Lab repertoire. Specific analysis of issues in anticipation of the         
                            Lab experience.            
16h-17h30        PRACTICE ROUND (GROUP A): Vanderbilt Music Académie ensemble (3 conductors)
18h-19h30        PRACTICE ROUND (GROUP B): Vanderbilt Music Académie ensemble (3 conductors)
20h-21h30        PRACTICE ROUND (GROUP C): Vanderbilt Music Académie ensemble (3 conductors)
                             Opportunity for each participant to conduct the repertoire with the student ensemble in
                              preparation for lab experiences with the Berlin Philharmonic ensemble (30 minutes each).
Evening              Free; Dinner on your own       

Wednesday, July 23         
9h30-12h           SESSION 4: Fergus McWilliam, “Air Orchestra.”      
12h-14h              Lunch Break                
14h30-16h         LAB EXPERIENCE #1: GROUP A         
                             Each participant conducts (30 min.); comments and critiques offered by the musicians.
16h-16h30         Break                        
16h30-18h        LAB EXPERIENCE #1: GROUP B         
                             Each participant conducts (30 min.); comments and critiques offered by the musicians.
18h-18h30        Break        
18h30-20h        LAB EXPERIENCE #1: GROUP C
                            Each participant conducts (30 min.); comments and critiques offered by the musicians.
20h                     Group Reception and Q&A Session with Musicians (hors d'oeuvres served)
                            A time for one-on-one conversation between conductors and members of the
                            ensemble. Opportunity for conductors to ask specific questions and solicit
                            opinions, and a chance for each musician to share his/her perspectives in a more  
                            intimate and meaningful fashion.

Thursday, July 24     
Morning             Time for reflection and review of video; Breakfast and Lunch on your own
13h-14h30        LAB EXPERIENCE #2: GROUP A
                            Each participant conducts (30 min.); comments and critiques offered by the musicians.
14h30-15h        Break        
15h-16h30        LAB EXPERIENCE #2: GROUP B
                            Each participant conducts (30 min.); comments and critiques offered by the musicians.
16h30-17h        Break
17h-18h30        LAB EXPERIENCE #2: GROUP C
                            Each participant conducts (30 min.); comments and critiques offered by the musicians.
19h                     Group Reception and Q&A Session with Musician Mentors (hors d'oeuvres served)

Friday, July 25
9h-11h               COLLOQUIUM: Thomas Verrier, moderator, “The Conductors Lab Experience”
                            Group discussion.  Processing the musicians’ feedback; participants share
                            constructive comments and recommendations.
11h-12h30         SESSION #5: Musicians and Conductors Together, “Contextualizing the Experience.”
                             Topics to include: Creating conducive environments in rehearsal and
                             performance; Strategies for working with ensembles of differing instrumentation,
                             quality, and playing culture; Helping players understand what their individual
                             contributions should be to the whole.
13h-22h              Excursion to the seaside village of Cassis. Farewell dinner by the sea.
The Conductors Lab®
“One of the most exciting,
challenging, and innovative new
concepts in the world of orchestral
and conductor training.”  
                           – Fergus McWilliam

“…an environment where we could
learn from musicians. Not just ANY
musicians, world famous musicians
whose passion for music equaled their
passion for helping us learn and
                   – Lauren Denney Wright

“The most unique, imaginative, and
musically rewarding conducting
workshop in existence today.”  
                                  – Cody Birdwell
DATE To-Be-Announced
The Conductors Lab® is a joint project between the Blair School of Music – Vanderbilt
University and musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.  Hosted by the Vanderbilt
Center in Aix-en-Provence, France, the Conductors Lab
® provides a cooperative learning
environment for experienced conductors.  Participants conduct an ensemble of Berlin
Philharmonic members and receive comments and critique in real-time directly from the
musicians themselves.
The Conductors Lab® has NO master conducting teacher. Instead,
all feedback is contextualized in follow-up sessions between the musicians and participants.

Thomas Verrier, Founding Director
Fergus McWilliam, Artistic Coordinator
Maité Monchal, Administrator

2014 TUITION AND FEES:  €2000
Includes cost of instruction, five-nights housing (Monday-Saturday) in apartments with
private bedrooms, and evening catered receptions.  Each participant will receive digital
video of his/her Lab experience.

Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream (transcribed for 10 instruments)
Britten: Sinfonietta, Op.1


Michael Hasel, Flute
Andreas Wittmann, Oboe
Walter Seyfarth, Clarinet
Fergus McWilliam, Horn
Marion Reinhard, Bassoon
Kotowa Machida, Violin
Dorian Xhoxhi, Violin
Matthew Hunter, Viola
Ignacy Miecnikowski, Viola
Stefan Koncz, Cello
Olaf Maninger, Cello
Martin Heinze, Double Bass

Applications for participation: Candidates submit a curriculum vitea and a 30 minute DVD of live
performance.  Electronic submissions via email are also acceptable.  
Send materials to:

The Conductors Lab®, Blair School of Music, 2400 Blakemore Ave, Nashville, TN 37212
Fergus McWilliam, Artisitic
Coordinator and Musician Mentor
Born in Inverness, Schottland, Fergus McWilliam studied in
Canada with John Simonelli, Fred Rizner and Eugene
Rittich; in Amsterdam with Adriaan van Woudenberg; and in
Stockholm with Wilhelm Lanzky-Otto.   He was only 15 when
he made his solo debut with the Toronto Symphony
Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa. From 1970-79 he belonged to several Canadian
orchestras and chamber ensembles. In 1979 he became a member of the Detroit
Symphony Orchestra. In 1982 he went to Munich and the Bavarian Radio Symphony
Orchestra, and three years later to the Berliner Philharmoniker.  In 1988 with
colleagues, he founded the Philharmonic Wind Quintet.  He also belongs to the
Berlin Philharmonic Winds and teaches at several well-respected international music
Thomas Verrier, Founding Director
Thomas Verrier is Conductor of the Vanderbilt University
Wind Ensembles and Artistic Director of the Vanderbilt
Music Acadèmie in Aix-en-Provence, France.  He is also
Director of the Sistema Nacional de Educación Musical
Instituto de Desarrollo Musical in San Jose, Costa Rica.  
Dr. Verrier has performed throughout the Americas,
, Asia, and Europe. He has conducted the Band of the Peoples’ Liberation Army
(China), the Municipal Band of Albacete (Spain), the Manuel Maria Gutierrez
Orchestra (Costa Rica), and is Artistic Advisor of the Hong Kong Wind Ensemble.  He
studied acting techniques with John Strasberg in New York and his interest in artistic
collaboration led to the founding of the Collaboration through Arts and Music
Project.  Dr. Verrier is the Founding Director of the Conductors Lab®.
Michael Hasel, Flute
Born in Hofheim, near Frankfurt, Michael Hasel was student of Herbert Grimm and Willi Schmidt and later studied with Aurèle Nicolet at
the Freiburg Musikhochschule.  In 1982, he became principal piccolo in the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. Two years later, he
became a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker.   He is also principal flute of the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and a founding member
of the Philharmonic Wind Quintet.  From 1994 to 1998 he held a professorship for wind ensemble and chamber music at the University
of Music and Performing Arts in Mannheim and teaches at the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Orchestra Academy.  As a conductor he has
worked with the Ensemble Modern, the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, the Scharoun Ensemble, the Junge Deutsche
Philharmonie, the Gustav Mahler Orchestra and the Orchestra Simón Bolívar.

Andreas Wittmann, Oboe
Born in München, Andreas Wittmann began his professional training in 1978 with Manfred Clement at the Munich Musikhochschule,
continuing in 1981 with Hansjörg Schellenberger at Berlin’s Hochschule der Künste, where he took his final examination in 1985.  A
scholarship to the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Academy followed in 1985 and then his engagement by the orchestra in 1986.  In 1988
with four of his colleagues he founded the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet.  He also performs regularly as principal oboist in the
Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and appears as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher in Germany and abroad.  He is now an instructor
himself in the Orchestra Academy.

Walter Seyfarth, Clarinet
Born in Düsseldorf, Walter Seyfarth studied clarinet at the Freiburg Musikhochschule with Peter Rieckhoff, then with Karl Leister in the
Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Following his first engagement, in the Saar Radio Symphony Orchestra, in 1985 he
became a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker.  Three years later he and his colleagues founded the Philharmonic Wind Quintet.
Walter Seyfarth is active as a teacher in the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Orchestra Academy, with international youth orchestras, and in
master classes.

Marion Reinhard, Bassoon
Born in Nuremberg, Marion Reinhard was a pupil of Walter Urbach and Karsten Nagel at the Meistersinger Conservatory in her native
Nuremberg and during that time was already playing the contra bassoon in the Nuremberg Philharmonic Orchestra.  In 1995 she came
to Berlin as a scholar of the Orchestra Academy and was taught by Stefan Schweigert and Daniele Damiano.  After further studies with
Georg Klütsch at the Weimar Hochschule, in 1999 she became the contrabassoonist of the Berliner Philharmoniker.  In 2009 she
succeeded Henning Trog in the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, after she had been playing the bassoon in the Orsolino Quintet for
over 13 years.

Kotowa Machida, Violin
Born in Tokyo, when Kotowa Machida was three, her mother asked her if she’d rather learn piano or violin.  She chose the violin, but her
great love for this instrument did not come until she was 15.  After her music studies in Tokyo, she went to Frankfurt on a DAAD
scholarship and became a pupil of Edith Peinemann.  She attended numerous master classes, including that of Rainer Kussmaul.  
Before joining the Berliner Philharmoniker, she was Konzertmeister of the Württemberg Philharmonic in Reutlingen for four years.  Her
chamber-musical activities include membership in Ensemble Berlin, the Venus Ensemble, the Berlin Baroque Soloists and in the Berlin
Klangforum with Wenzel Fuchs.

Dorian Xhoxhi, Violin
In 2000 Dorian Xhoxhi left his native Albania – first for Munich to study with Ernő Sebestyén at the Musikhochschule, which was
followed by studies at Berlin’s Hanns Eisler Musikhochschule with Stephan Picard and Antje Weithaas, the two teachers whom Xhoxhi
credits with decisively influencing his artistic development. Recipient of numerous prizes and grants, he began his career as an
orchestral musician as a member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. An internship with the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester of Berlin
in 2006 led to his first permanent engagement as a second violin in that orchestra. Following a detour to Leipzig, where from 2008 to
2010 he was leader of the second violins in the Gewandhausorchester, he came to the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Matthew Hunter, Viola
Born in Bellaire, Ohio, Matthew Hunter was pursuing the career of violinist when, at age 26, he “discovered” the viola.  Shortly after that
he won the Gee International Viola Competition. His formative teachers were Julian Olevsky, Roman Totenberg, Michael Tree and
Jaime Laredo.  In 1985 he became Masao Kawasaki’s assistant at Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. He holds a degree in
Philosophy from Dartmouth College as well as a Master of Music and Artist’s Diploma.  From 1991-95 he was associate principal viola of
Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra.  He is a versatile musician, who also plays the guitar and makes arrangements.  He is a
member of the Berlin Philharmonic Stradivari Soloists and on the teaching staff of Berlin’s Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik.

Ignacy Miecznikowski, Viola
Studied violin with Peter Csaba and viola at the Lyon Conservatoire. There in 1998 he was accepted into the soloists class of
Tasso Adamopoulos and two years later earned his solo diploma. He began accumulating orchestral experience from 1996 in
various French ensembles. In 1998 he became principal viola of the Orchestre de l’Opéra National of Lyon, holding the position
until he moved to the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Stefan Koncz, Cello
Born in Vienna, Stephan Koncz comes from an Austro-Hungarian family of musicians.  When he was eight began his studies at the
Musikhochschule of his native Vienna and in 2000 he became a pupil of Róbert Nagy at the Vienna Conservatory, and from 2002 he
also studied composition and conducting at the University of Vienna. In 2006 Koncz became a scholar of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s
Orchestra Academy. The winner of several national and international competitions, he has also appeared as a soloist and chamber
player in venues including the Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus as well as the Berlin Philharmonie. Having previously been a
member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra for two years, Stephan Koncz joined the cello section of the Berliner Philharmoniker at
the beginning of the 2010/2011 season.

Olaf Maninger, Cello
Studied initially with János Starker and then continued his training with Boris Pergamenschikow. He joined the Berliner
Philharmoniker in 1994, and was appointed principal cellist with the orchestra in 1996. In the years 1997 to 2002, Olaf Maninger
was managing director of the Berliner Philharmoniker GbR. Since the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation was set up in 2002, he
has been a member of the board. In this capacity, he played a significant role in the development of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s
Digital Concert Hall. He has been general manager of Berlin Phil Media GmbH since 2008. Olaf Maninger is also one of the 12
Cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Martin Heinze, Double Bass
Born in Wuppertal, Martin Heinze’s first love was jazz. In 1984 he began his music studies at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen.  After
taking a masterclass from Klaus Stoll, he decided to continue his studies in Berlin.  At the age of 22 he was engaged as a double bass
in the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and in 1993 he moved to the Berliner Philharmoniker.  As a chamber player and soloist he
is active in a variety of ways, for example in the ensemble KlangArt.  While playing in the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, he met
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, who inspired him to explore historical performance practice.  In addition, he is committed to the younger
generation as an instructor for the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra.++