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Vacancy for Musical Director & Conductor

Please note that the deadline for applications has now passed and we are reviewing applications. Applicants will be informed of the next stage by the end of January

Aylesbury Symphony Orchestra seek a new Musical Director to take over from Ben Palmer in September 2018. Unfortunately for us, Ben is relinquishing his post due to his growing commitments as Chief Conductor of the Deutsche Philharmonie Merck and other groups such as the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Singers.

The successful candidate will have the experience, passion and commitment to inspire the orchestra, engage with our audience and assist the committee with selecting repertoire and soloists. We seek applications from highly qualified candidates with professional experience to continue to raise the bar of the orchestra’s performance quality and explore a varied repertoire.


  • Choosing repertoire that will challenge and push the standard of the orchestra so that our performance quality continues to improve
  • Visually and verbally communicate well with the orchestra
  • Having the ability to inspire, challenge, encourage and improve the quality of musicianship, both collectively and individually
  • Interact and excite the audience with well-planned programmes and performances
  • Planning programmes for each concert season in conjunction with the committee
  • Guest Artist selection in conjunction with the committee
  • Manage rehearsal time well
  • Plan rehearsal timetable in advance of each concert
  • Attend the Annual General Meeting each June during rehearsal and submit Musical Director’s Report
  • Work closely with the Committee
  • If unable to attend a rehearsal, inform the Committee Chair in good time and organise a deputy
  • Help plan sectionals as and when required


Qualified applicants shall submit the following materials to [email protected]. Please submit in PDF form ONLY the following:

  • Covering Letter of Interest
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Sample Programme for ASO’s 2018/19 season for November, February, April, June concerts. Two concerts should feature a soloist and the June concert should be either a film music concert, or a programme suitable for children and families.
  • Links to any Audio and Video Recordings
  • Links to any professional website you may have
  • Sample programmes from the past 2 years of concerts in which you served as a principal conductor or musical director
  • Complete repertoire list including orchestral, opera, ballet, chamber, concerto, choral
  • Contact details for two professional referees​

Closing date of applications: 19th January 2018

The applications committee will review all applications and draw up a shortlist, after which you may be contacted. We plan to produce a final shortlist of four applicants by 31st January 2018, at which time you will be informed in writing of the outcome.

We will be holding auditions over 2 weeks during our Wednesday rehearsals – 21st and 28th February where we will invite each applicant to conduct the orchestra for half a rehearsal each, either 7.30pm to 8.30pm or 8.40pm to 9.30pm. The audition process will involve a short interview with selected members of the committee where we will ask you a series of questions and generally find out more about you. This is an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. We also have two further opportunities to conduct us later in the season - 18th April and 2nd May 2018 – where we would like the chosen applicant to conduct the rehearsal, if possible – although this is not a pre-requisite.

Once the auditions are complete the committee will decide on the successful applicant and we will inform each applicant in writing by Friday 16th March.

The successful applicant will produce the repertoire selection for our 2018/19 season, although the orchestra will need to finalise and publicise our November 2018 concert during the coming season.

The official starting date of the new Musical Director will be Wednesday 5th September 2018. Our November concert will be a trial concert with our new Musical Director to ensure a successful collaboration has been formed.