The UK’s Opera North Orchestra Announces Female Conductor Trainee 

Joséphine Korda will participate in the ensemble’s nine-week intensive designed to address gender representation in classical music


Based in Leeds, England, the Orchestra of Opera North’s Female Conductor Traineeship is an annual program addressing the gender imbalance in classical music — particularly, on the podium — and provides emerging conductors professional experience and support. 

As Opera North’s 2022/23 Female Conductor Trainee, Joséphine Korda will participate in the orchestra’s masterclasses, participate in the company’s outreach initiatives, and observe its season preparations and orchestral programming. 

Completing Opera North’s nine-week intensive alongside her master’s studies at the UK’s Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Korda has attended rehearsals and coaching sessions for Opera North’s winter season productions and had lessons with Opera North’s music director Garry Walker and guest conductor Andrew Gourlay.

Previously, Korda has studied at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris with Dominique Rouits, Julien Masmondet, Regis Campo, and taken advanced contemporary repertoire conducting at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana with Arturo Tamayo. 

She also served as a guest conductor at Marin Alsop’s Women’s Conducting Masterclass and participated in competitions, including the International Besançon Competition for Young Conductors, Orchestra’s Conductor Competition, and Lake Como Conducting Competition. Korda is the founder of Paris Sinfonia and the Occasional Orchestra, formed during her degree studies at Oxford University.

Her other engagements have included the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Victor Hugo Franche-Comté, Ensemble Variances, Ensemble des Apaches, and the Dartington Festival Orchestra. In 2020, she became assistant conductor of France’s Opera de Massy and was musical director for Fréderique Lombart’s Féminin-Masculin — a production on the role of gender and sexuality within opera.

“It is going to be invaluable to be a part of the development of [Opera North’s season productions]; to see how they come together in a professional environment and through the collaboration of an extremely experienced team,” Korda said of her role. “The bespoke nature of this traineeship will allow me to develop enormously as an operatic conductor, and to gain knowledge from the mentorship and guidance of Opera North’s in-house and guest conductors. I’d like to thank Opera North sincerely for this wonderful opportunity.”

“Once again we had a high level of interest in the Traineeship, and we’re delighted to welcome Joséphine to the Opera North family,” Gary Walker added. “She will enjoy the benefits of observing three operatic productions over the coming weeks, masterclasses with myself, Antony Hermus and other members of our staff, and will gain from a wide range of experience across the Company’s hugely varied work.”

Among British orchestras, the award-winning Orchestra of Opera North is the only group with a year-round dual role in the opera house and concert hall. It performs regularly with international guest conductors and soloists.

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