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International Conducting Studies Conference 2019

Presented by The University of Sydney and the Oxford Conducting Institute
Join the world’s leading music scholars and practitioners to discuss the latest research in the field of conducting.

Event details

Date: 2-4 August 2019
Venue: Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Keynote speakers

David Robertson
Chief Conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Neal Peres da Costa
Head of Historical Performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Karen Grylls
Head of Conducting at the University of Auckland, New Zealand

More speakers to be announced in the coming months.

Key information

The practice of instrumental and vocal conducting encompasses vastly more than the physical manifestation of it suggests. Over the course of history it has been shaped and defined by individuals and organisations, and yet precisely pinning down what a conductor can, should and does do, continues to be elusive. Scholars and practitioners continue to explore the numerous facets of conducting through historical, philosophical, social and psychological lenses, and the 2019 conference brings together these diverse perspectives to generate interdisciplinary dialogue and raise awareness around issues in the field of conducting today.

Papers are encouraged from any discipline, including, but not limited to:

  • musicology
  • ethnomusicology
  • music education
  • philosophy
  • psychology
  • anthropology
  • sociology 

All topics are welcome and researchers and practitioners are invited to submit proposals for individual papers (20min+ 10min for questions).  

Suggested subjects:

  • Critical approaches to pedagogy and mentorship
  • Leadership, power and authority
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Critical views on repertoire and programming
  • Enterprise, responsibility and accountability
  • The rehearsal and performance process
  • Students, amateurs and professionals
  • Historical views
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Aesthetics of conducting
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Views from the podium
  • Movement and gesture

In addition, three themed sessions will be hosted and proposals on these topics are encouraged:

  • Historical performance and the conductor, chaired by Neal Peres da Costa
  • International perspectives on wind ensemble conducting, chaired by John Lynch
  • Repertoire knowledge exchange: Elgar Cello Concerto, chaired by John Traill


Please submit the following information as an email attachment to Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey at

  • Name, institution (if applicable), email address and A/V requirements
  • Individual papers: 200-word abstract and a 100-word biography

Deadline: Monday, 3 December 2018, midnight AEST
Late proposals will not be accepted.
Notification of acceptance will be sent by late December 2018.

  • John Traill, University of Oxford
  • Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey, University of Oxford
  • Neil McEwan, University of Sydney
  • Aleta King, Avondale Conservatorium
  • Tzelaw Chan, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore
  • Stephen Mould, University of Sydney

Sydney Conservatorium of Music