Meet the conductors

Wednesday, October 18, 2023
We’re very much looking forward to meeting four conductors for our November project, a rehearsal day on Brahms Symphony No. 4 in London on Sunday 5th November. The four conductors are all students on the Royal College of Music’s postgraduate conducting programme and have been nominated by Toby Purser, Heading of Conducting at the RCM. Each will work with the orchestra on one movement of the symphony, under the supervision of our Artistic Director, Levon Parikian. The day finishes with our usual Open Rehearsal/informal play-through. In the meantime, here’s a little info about our conductors for the day, to whet the appetite:
Alexander Mackinder
Born and raised in London, Alex is studying for an MMus in Orchestral Conducting at the Royal College of Music, having previously received an MA (Distinction) in Classics at Durham University. Currently studying under Toby Purser, Peter Stark and Howard Williams, he has participated in masterclasses led by Martyn Brabbins, Vasily Petrenko, Colin Metters and Rüdiger Bohn. Recent engagements include assisting Ryan Bancroft and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in works by Schumann and Mahler. Later this year, Alex will take up a position as the new Assistant Conductor of the Elgar Sinfonia of London, while forthcoming performances at RCM will include the world premiere of Anian Wiedner’s Violin Concerto and a showcase of Japanese classical music. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Sirius Orchestra, an orchestra that seeks to bring together students from all of London’s major music conservatoires and provide extra-curricular music-making opportunities to assist their transition into the professional sphere. Alex has a great interest in film music and was delighted to collaborate with several postgraduate composers in the RCM Film Music Showcase earlier this year. Other musical interests include a long-standing passion for musical theatre and barbershop harmony.
Michal Oren
Michal is an award-winning conductor and a clarinettist. Her work combines classical music with visual arts exhibits and presents a new approach in the 21st century's cultural creation. Michal is currently studying for her Master of Performance in orchestral conducting at the Royal College of Music with a full scholarship. She was awarded distinction for her two Bachelors of Music in orchestral conducting and clarinet performance from the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music. Michal won first prizes in the 4th International Academy of Orchestra Conducting in Estoril, Portugal, and the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music conducting competition, Israel. She is a Victor and Lilian Hochhauser Scholar, Residence Music Scholar of the Robert Anderson Trust, and since 2015, scholar of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. Michal is also the founder and musical curator of the  “Museum Orchestra” of the Petach-Tikva Museum of Art. In her free time, Michal especially enjoys exploring the food scene of London and is also trying to commit to sporting activity, to keep the balance between the two.
Sam Scheer
Sam is the founder and Music Director of The Campanella Orchestra, comprising players from London's conservatoires. With Campanella, Sam has performed major symphonic works, including Shostakovich’s ninth symphony and Rachmaninoff’s second Symphony, and concertos with some of the country’s most exciting young soloists.  Sam received a scholarship to study conducting at the Royal College of Music, commencing in September 2023, following undergraduate studies at RCM as a viola player, under the tutelage of Jonathan Barritt. As an orchestral violist, Sam has performed with many leading conductors, including Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Mark Elder and Mark Wigglesworth, with the latter having performed at the BBC Proms. In 2016 and 2017, Sam conducted concerts on tour in Sweden and Germany with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra. 
Leif Tse
Canadian/Hong Kong conductor Leif Tse is the founder of Freude Orchestra and was recently music director of Streatham St Bart’s Chamber Orchestra and South London String Orchestra. He has conducted the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra and the Hungarian National Symphony Orchestra Szeged. Currently pursuing a Master of Performance in Conducting at the Royal College of Music as a Christopher Hogwood Scholar, Leif studies with Toby Purser, Peter Stark and Howard Williams. He graduated from Guildhall School of Music and Drama with a First Class Honours where he trained as a baritone under the tutelage of John Evans. Apart from conducting and singing, Leif is interested in visual arts, fashion, languages and is a passionate home cook who loves making fresh pasta and ramen!
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