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Paris Conducting Workshop

Beethoven & Stravinsky  

CNSMDP Audition Preparation


Maestro Adrian McDonnell

February 17-19th 2020

AJMADAC is proud to present the 4th Paris Conducting Workshop and the 2nd edition of the CNSMDP preparation workshop.

Last year, four Paris Conducting Workshop participants have made it to the final stage of the audition and two have been accepted to the CNSMDP conducting program. AJMADAC has prepared a fine workshop that will thoroughly prepare candidates to enter the CNSMDP.

The program for the CNSMDP audition is Beethoven's Les Ruines d'Athènes, Ouverture, Op 113, éditions Luck's Music and extracts from Stravinsky's Histoire du Soldat éditions Chester : Marche du Soldat au debut ; Marche Royale ; Petit Concert ; Ragtime ; Danse du Diable ; Grand Choral 

Along with the conducting aspect of the event, the Paris Conducting Workshop will offer aural skill preparation for the CNSMDP audition lead by Virginie Dao, head of the Ear Training department at le Conservatoire (RR) de Paris.

Maestro Pierre-Michel Durand will lead a score study session for Stravinsky. 

Maestro Adrian McDonnell will lead the entirety of the conducting sessions.

Click here for more details and to apply

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Virginie Dao 

Virginie Dao has been a professor at the CRR de Paris since 1998 and coordinator of the instrumental ear training department.


Holder of a DE and a CA in musical training, she also obtains a Masters in musicology whose thesis deals with intonation and hearing in ear training course.


She was interested very early at the idea of educational transmission and turned to teaching ear training in conservatories, her experience as an interpreter allowing her to relate the learning of musical concepts to the realities of interpretation.

It is important to Virginie to develop an education philosophy in line with the musical and aesthetic realities in perpetual motion; so she imagines evaluation formats offering an effective practice and soliciting a wide range of skills.


Regularly invited to juries for exams and competitions, she also acts as a trainer with students and teachers in different structures in France and abroad.


Her works on intonation and ear training are published by Éditions Lemoine.

Pierre-Michel Durand

At the age of 21, Pierre-Michel Durand won the 1st Prize of the Prague International Conducting Competition, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra Prize and the Talich Prize.

He is invited by the Orchestre de Paris, the Monte-Carlo Phil Orchestra, the Lamoureux Orchestra, the Lorraine Phil Orchestra, the Orchestre de Picardie, the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Caracas, and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra with which he recorded Stravinsky’s Petrushka.

Associate conductor of Jean-Claude Casadesus at the National Orchestra of Lille for several seasons, he conducts on tour Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Gounod’s Faust at the Lille Opera. In 2004, he founded l’Orchestre Prométhée with which he performed in numerous festivals.

Pierre-Michel Durand worked with great soloists: P. Amoyal, M. Beroff, G. Capuçon, M. Coppey, A. Dumay, B. Engerer, H. Grimaud, G. Hoffman, L. Korcia, M. Maisky , P. Meyer, X. Phillips, N. Radulovic, M. Rudy... He also accompanied K. Deshayes, N. Dessay, J. DiDonato, B. Hendricks, F. Lott, P. Petibon, S. Piau, B. Uria Monzon, R. Alagna, G. Bacquier, I. D'Arcangelo, F. Ferrari, L. Tezier, R. Villazon...

He has directed many operas of Adam, Bizet, Donizetti, Gounod, Mozart, Offenbach, Puccini, Rossini, Verdi (including La Traviata with Sonya Yoncheva).

He performs regularly in the Parisian halls: Salle Pleyel (R. Strauss’ Don Quichotte, The Rite of Spring, symphonies No. 3 and No. 6 Mahler ...), Radio France (Petrouchka, symphony No. 5 Shostakovich .. ), Théâtre du Châtelet for ballets Prelude in the afternoon of a Faun, Cinderella, Petrushka as well as Don Quixote with the Wiener Staatsballett.

Pierre-Michel Durand performs each season at the Philharmonie de Paris. He recently directed Les Mozarts de l'Opera at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and the Figaro Gala at the Opéra Comique. Pierre-Michel Durand is Director of the Orchestra Training Department at CRR de Paris and conducting professor at the Pôle Supérieur Paris-Boulogne.

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Adrian McDonnell


Appointed as the first assistant conductor of the Greensboro Opera Company and the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra at the age of 22, Adrian McDonnell spent 26 seasons as musical director of the new Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris.

He has also served as music director of the Inter- Conservatory Orchestra of the city of Paris, as well as the Eastern Symphony Orchestra in the United States.

With a vast and general repertoire, he has commissioned and directed numerous creations and covers in the field of contemporary music, including works with L. Foss, M. Flügelman, M. Merlet, A. Essyad, K. Maratka, J-M. Damase, T. Blondeau, N. Bonet, S. Delplace, H-J. Schubnel, J. Moran, O. Penard, Y. Prin, H. Rasquier, K. Toeplitz, B. de Crépy, L. A. Smith, A. Weber, R. Boutry, R. Dubugnon among others.

In addition to his activities as permanent or guest conductor, he teaches conducting at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régionale de Paris and at the Schola Cantorum in Paris.

He is the author of "Virtuosité d’Orchestre", a treatise of all the techniques of the orchestra game - rhythm, accuracy, nuance, timbre, sonority, phrasing, articulations - for the young - professionals. 

Details and Application Process



The Workshop revolves around auditioning strategies, rehearsal techniques and organisational skills, and aural skill test strategies and approaches. The Participants may also express in advance the need to work on specific skills; or simply getting advice on/or practicing specific passages of the repertoire. The CNSMDP audition candidates have priority access to this workshop if they present their invitation to the audition in the application email.


The orchestra is composed of 28 professional musicians for Beethoven, and 7 for Stravinsky.


The orchestra session per piece constitutes a 20-25 minute session for a total of 40-50 minutes podium time. 

Preliminary Schedule

(Subject to Modification)

Day 1 :

- 10.00 - 10.30 : Introductory session

- 10.30 - 13.30 : Beethoven Orchestra Session w/ Adrian McDonnell

- 13.30 - 14.00 : Debrief w/ Adrian McDonnell

- 14.00 - 15.00 : Lunch Break

- 15.00 - 18.00 : Stravinsky Score Study Session w/ Pierre Michel Durand

Day 2 :

- 10.00 - 13.00 : Beethoven Orchestra Session w/ Adrian McDonnell

- 13.00 - 13.30 : Debrief w/ Adrian McDonnell

- 13.30 - 14.30 : Lunch Break

- 14.30 - 17.30 : Stravinsky Ensemble Session w/ Adrian McDonnell

- 17.30 - 18.00 : Debrief w/ Adrian McDonnell


Day 3 :

- 10.00 - 11.45 : Aural Skills Preparation w/ Virginie Dao

- 11.45 - 12.45 : Q & A with CNSMDP Conducting Alumni and Current Students

- 12.45 - 14.00 : Lunch Break

- 14.00 - 17.00 : Stravinsky Ensemble Session w/ Adrian McDonnell

- 17.00 - 18.00 : Briefing + Conclusion

Maximum 12 participants

Masterclass Fee

The entirety of the fee is payable with the application

- 975 € Active Participants

- 355 € Auditors



In order to apply please send the following information to before February 5th:

- CV

- Copy of Valid ID

- Video of yourself conducting (optional)

- Active Participant or Auditor

- Photo

- CNSMDP audition invitation letter (if applicable)

Once your application sent via email, you will be receive all bank information within 24 hours.

Your reserved spot in the masterclass will be guaranteed upon reception of the workshop fee.

Once your spot confirmed on the program, you will then receive a questionnaire to fill out as well as all details of the masterclass (ie. exact addresses, schedule, instructions.)  


Disclaimer: This is an independent event and is in no way directly linked to the CNSMDP or its staff. 

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