The Institute, created by NSO music director Leonard Slatkin, is designed to help conductors prepare to lead full-time orchestras by giving them both administrative and musical training. Previous participants have gone on to positions with the Atlanta Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and other groups.
The Institute's first session, later this month, is devoted to artistic planning and such extra-musical skills as public relations and development; faculty include Kennedy Center president Michael Kaiser; NSO executive director Rita Shapiro; and Ara Guzelimian, senior director and artistic advisor at Carnegie Hall. During the second session, in April, participants work with Slatkin and other orchestra staff on musical preparation. Finally, they conduct the NSO in rehearsals and in a performance in May.
The four conductors are Anna Binneweg, a doctoral student at Northwestern University and music director of Chicago's OperaModa; Anthony Cofield, former cover conductor for the New York Philharmonic; Mark Mandarano, principal guest conductor of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra; and Viswa Subbaraman, assistant conductor of the Orchestre National de France.