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CSO Georg Solti International Conducting Competition

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Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, January 2, 2019.

All applicants must complete the online form, upload required materials and pay a non-refundable application fee of $30 USD. The required application materials are:

  • A one-page cover letter stating why you are seeking a CSO Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprenticeship with Riccardo Muti
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Headshot
  • A photocopy of the photo page of your passport
  • Two contrasting videos that accurately depict you conducting.

Applicants must be no more than 35 years of age as of March 17, 2019, and have demonstrated experience conducting professional orchestras and in-depth knowledge of operatic and vocal repertoire. Additionally, they must ably coach and accompany singers from the piano and mentor young professional musicians. Board members, employees and volunteers of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and the relatives of those persons are not eligible to apply.


Up to four finalists will be selected to compete in the final rounds at Symphony Center in Chicago on Sunday, March 17, 2019, 4-9 p.m. The final rounds, adjudicated by Riccardo Muti and musicians of the CSO, consist of coaching singers from Lyric Opera’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center from the piano and conducting the CSO’s prestigious training program for young professionals, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Repertoire will be selected by the jury from the following:


“Per pietà, ben mio, perdona” (Così fan tutte)
“Ebben? Ne andrò lontana” (La Wally)
“Donde lieta usci” (La Bohème)

“Una furtiva lagrima” (L'elisir d'amore)
“Questa o quella” (Rigoletto)
“De’ miei bollenti spiriti” (La traviata)

“Parigi, o cara” (La traviata)


Beethoven Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92, Mvts. 1 & 2
Bruckner Symphony No. 7 in E Major, Mvt. 1
Stravinsky Suite from The Firebird (1919 revision): Infernal Dance, Berceuse and Finale
Tchaikovsky Manfred Symphony, Op. 58, Mvt. 1
Verdi Overture to I vespri siciliani
Wagner Siegfried Idyll


The winner of the March 2019 competition will be appointed as the CSO Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprentice for a two-year term beginning in September 2019 and continuing through June 2021. The apprenticeship includes at least 10 weeks of study and mentorship each season in Chicago with Riccardo Muti and engagements with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

A $30,000 annual stipend supports the apprentice’s work.

For questions about the competition or apprenticeship please email the Negaunee Music Institute or call 312-294-3410.