The collaboration includes a new position—director of orchestral conducting studies—shared by both organizations, and an annual spring festival focusing on a living composer. The first such event, in spring 2006, will honor Elliott Carter.
Noel Zahler, director of the School of Music, said, "The new position is unprecedented in the world of schools training the next generation of musicians. We have found a way to share our resources in a new and meaningful way, benefiting both organizations."
A track within the School of Music's orchestral-studies doctoral program, aimed at preparing the students for a life in a professional orchestra, will include hands-on training of performance students by SPCO musicians. The orchestra's musicians will help develop and teach courses in the program.
"Our partnership with the SPCO will put the University of Minnesota's School of Music at the forefront of music education by allowing our students to gain firsthand experience of the professional music world through working with one of the world's leading chamber orchestras," Zahler said.
The SPCO has not had a music director for the last two years. The position was replaced with a committee of "artistic partners." Whoever holds the new director of orchestral conducting studies position will be a staff conductor for the SPCO.
Bruce Coppock, SPCO president and managing director, said, "Having a conductor on staff provides the SPCO with the flexibility to explore the eclectic array of works unique to the chamber orchestra repertoire."
A fundraising drive to fund the new position will begin soon.