The biennial RBC Conductor Showcase provides talented Canadian conductors the training ground to hone their skill in front of a professional orchestra. 

Over two days, four individuals have been presented with not only the practical—and very rare!—opportunity to take the podium in front of the musicians of the WSO but also receive mentorship and guidance from music director Daniel Raiskin, associate conductor Julian Pellicano, assistant conductor Naomi Woo and the WSO artistic team.

“This is the first time I’ve been in front of professional musicians,” says participant Armand Birk. who describes the experience as “jarring—in the best, most positive way.” 

Originally from Victoria, BC, Birk worked regularly with student and pre-professional players while completing studies at the University of Alberta in classical voice. The opportunity to lead a professional group of musicians, however, presents him with more time to work through artistic and musical choices. 

“It’s just a different galaxy that you’re in,” says Birk. “Instantly you’re playing in a beautiful sound, beautiful colours and timbres and it’s really stunning. You can instantly start thinking about musicality and musical choices, without having to mess around with things that students… are still learning.” 

Running over two days, September 23 and 24, a free finale concert at 2 pm Friday features emerging cellist Matthew Stobbe performing Edward Elgar‘s Concerto in E minor for Violoncello & Orchestra and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 in D major, all conducted by the 2021 RBC Emerging Canadian Conductor Showcase participants. 

To reserve your seats and find out more, visit: