After 20 seasons as the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s music director, Miguel Harth-Bedoya has turned much of his time end effort to education. When he isn’t directing orchestra studies at the University of Nebraska, the FWSO music director laureate heads the Conducting Institute, the Fort Worth-based program that is primarily known for immersive summer classes that help young and aspiring conductors hone their skills. This year’s summer session begins Tuesday, June 1, at Orchestra Hall, the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra’s home in the South Side.
“After the year we have all been through, we are thrilled to be able to hold the 2021 institute in Fort Worth, safely and in person,” Harth-Bedoya said. “In 2020, we were proud to be able to pivot quickly and successfully to an online format, but the conductor’s instrument is the orchestra. All of the coursework and study is essential, but time in front of live musicians is where the magic happens.”
Twenty-three conducting students from South American and 12 states will participate in the intensive three- to four-week program. Coursework will include score reading and analysis, ear training, and instrumentation, among other topics. Participants will have the chance to conduct a Lab Orchestra composed of professional musicians. More than half of institute participants receive financial support from the Conducting Institute and Laura Bruton Scholarship Fund. Additional program support comes from the Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne and Sid W. Richardson Foundation.
“Spending intensive time with students and guiding their growth and development is extremely rewarding,” Harth-Bedoya said. “I also enjoy working with music educators and with youth and community orchestra conductors to stimulate their personal artistic growth and enable them to better inspire, prepare, and lead their own students and members.”