Orchestral Vacancies

Conducting Fellowship – Assistant Conductor (12 Months)

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is offering a unique opportunity for an emerging conductor to build both practical and theoretical skills, knowledge and experience within an artistically vibrant and excellence-driven orchestral setting.

In addition, it provides an opportunity to gain knowledge of and exposure to the entire span of business operations within the broader Company and an understanding of the intersecting leadership, artistic, operational and commercial considerations.

This is a structured and holistic professional development opportunity which blends both formal and informal learning  opportunities across a twelve-month period in order to prepare a suitably skilled and experienced individual for the next step in his/her conducting and artistic leadership career.

Program Structure

The fellowship is structured to facilitate learning and skill development across the following subject areas:

  • Conducting pedagogy
  • Orchestral knowledge and leadership
  • Artistic planning
  • Commercial operations


This is a practical, experientially driven fellowship, which will involve:

  • Shadowing selected Conductors for MSO rehearsals, performances and/or recordings
  • Assisting Chief Conductor, Sir Andrew Davis, Associate Conductor Benjamin Northey and guest conductors, where required and where possible (including acting as understudy/providing cover as required)
  • Participation in mentoring sessions with selected conductors to receive feedback and skill development advice.
  • Conduct off-stage musicians when required
  • Conduct selected education, family and regional performances, as well as well as ensembles for Secret Symphony, NGV events and sponsor/donor events
  • Working with Section Principals to gain an understanding of the leadership, artistic and operational aspects of their roles within the Orchestra
  • Undertaking a placement with the Orchestra Librarian to observe the preparation of music for musicians, as well as pre-concert talk preparation and delivery
  • Undertaking a placement with the Artistic Planning Department to gain an understanding of the artistic planning process, including repertoire selection, season planning and artist engagement/liaison
  • Working alongside Operations to gain an understanding of orchestral, performance and tour management processes and logistics
  • Working with Education and Community Engagement to gain experience in the design and delivery of programs for children, families and the broader community
  • Working with each MSO administration area to gain awareness of core business operations and the way in which each contributes to the overall success of a professional symphony orchestra

Person Specification

This fellowship is designed for an individual with the following skills, experience and attributes:

  • A tertiary qualification in Music combined with sophisticated knowledge of orchestral music
  • Demonstrable musicianship skills of an excellent standard,
  • Conducting experience encompassing both contemporary and traditional repertoire
  • Experience in leading vocal and/or instrumental ensembles
  • Polished and professional presentation and communication skills
  • A collaborative and personable style in working and interacting with others
  • The ability to act as both a thought and practice leader
  • Highly organised, with an ability to balance multiple priorities
  • Maturity, flexibility and emotional discipline and resilience

Applications / Further Information

To apply please post a DVD and printed copy of your CV to the address below. The application process will involve a first round viewing of DVD footage, followed by a second round interview, audition and detailed reference checks.

For further information regarding this fellowship opportunities, including the application process, please contact:

Katharine Plows
Artistic Coordinator
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
120- 130 Southbank Boulevard
03 9626 1863

Applications are open to candidates with existing full Australian work rights.

Applications close Monday 30 January 2017 at 5pm.

2017 Auditions

The following permanent, full time positions will be auditioned by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 2017. Should you not be able to attend these dates in person, the MSO accepts recorded auditions. Please see below for further information on each position. Positions not listed below are not yet open for application and further information will be posted when available

Section Viola
Section Principal Horn
Section Trumpet
Principal Timpani

Section Viola

Tuesday 31 January & Wednesday 1 February 2017

Candidates must be available for both days, in entirety.

  • Stamitz or Hoffmeister Viola Concerto, first movement
  • Bartok or Walton Viola Concerto, first movement
  • Cadenzas should be prepared for concertos where applicable
  • PLUS orchestral excerpts, available Monday 19 December 2016

Closing date: Friday 30 December 2016
Please note: the MSO auditions coordinator will not be available from 23 December 2016 – 2 January 2017 inclusive, it is suggested that all enquiries are received by 21 December 2016 to allow for timely response.

This position is a full time position and is only open to Citizens of Australia or New Zealand, and Australian Permanent Residents.

Section Principal Horn

Expressions of Interest

Exceptional musicians are invited to submit an expression of interest for the position of Section Principal Horn.
Interested parties must submit a resume with relevant contact details and experience and supporting recordings including:

  • First movement of Strauss horn concerto no.1 or no.2; or Mozart horn concerto no.2 or no.4, with piano or orchestral accompaniment, and;
  • Orchestral excerpts as specified (provided by MSO)

Concerto and excerpts may be supplied as live concert recordings with orchestra or studio recordings. Recordings must be recorded in the last five years.

Following an initial shortlisting process, a small number of musicians will be invited to Melbourne for a pre-trial including 3-4 weeks orchestral performance and presentation of the required audition repertoire (as above) live for the audition panel. Following the conclusion of all pre-trials, a full trial will be offered to the preferred candidate. Full details of this process will be provided upon application.

Interested musicians are encouraged to submit applications as soon as possible. The panel will begin assessing applications in February 2017 and applications will close 18 March 2017.

This position is a full time position and is open to candidates of all nationalities.

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra offers an attractive salary package for the successful candidates. Applicants wishing to send a recording should advise this upon application and as soon as possible.

Section Trumpet

Monday 14 & Tuesday 15 August 2017

This position is not yet open for application. Further information will be posted once available.

Principal Timpani

Audition dates to be confirmed

This position is not yet open for application. Further information will be posted once available.

Application Details

To apply, please send a CV (including mailing address, phone number and email address) to:
Auditions Coordinator
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
GPO BOX 9994
Tel: 03 9626 1126
Fax: 03 9626 1122