For the first time in its history, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has a formal student conductor-in-residence training program and, the program has forged a partnership between the orchestra and Mannes College's New School of Music.
Mannes is sending two students, Taeyoung Lee and Nimrod Pfeffer, to the BPO to work closely with principal conductor/music director JoAnn Falletta. Mannes, located in New York City, has a close working relationship with Falletta.
Under the terms of the program, Lee and Pfeffer will travel to Buffalo and work with the BPO as it prepares for weekend concerts.
"They work as assistants to the conductor, sort of like a Broadway understudy," said Dan Hart, BPO executive director.
Mannes is considered one of the top music colleges and programs in the country. Being selected for the student conductor-in-residence program is a major coup for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
Richard Kessler, Mannes College dean, said having Lee and Pfeffer work closely with the BPO will be major plus in their education.
"Our graduate-level student conductors will gain the unique skills, knowledge and artistic understanding that can only be learned in the field," Kessler said.
Mannes pays for the associated costs with the student's Buffalo stay. Both will be in Buffalo at various times during the school year, depending on the orchestra's schedule and their own class work.
Hart said the program helps give the students a hands-on experience that is a critical part of the education.
"You need experience to advance, but the opportunities are few and far between," Hart said.