Professional pathways: Learning opportunities for artists and arts professionals

Music Director Alexander Shelley mentors a young female conductor during the NACO Mentorship Program.
Music Director Alexander Shelley with Kelly Lin, a conducting participant in the NACO Mentorship Program. © Curtis Perry

This year, 46 talented young artists from around the world came together for the annual NAC Orchestra Mentorship Program – a unique, three-week professional development program for emerging orchestral musicians, conductors, and librarians. NACO musicians served as principal faculty, providing one-on-one mentorship in addition to side-by-side ensemble work for programs that are part of NACO’s regular concert season.  

The NACO Mentorship Program aims to bridge the gap between formal studies and professional orchestral careers. Past participants of the NACO Mentorship Program have secured positions with orchestras and chamber groups across Canada including principal positions with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, the National Ballet of Canada, and even with the NAC Orchestra.  

One participant from this year's NAC Orchestra Mentorship Program shared: “This was the best program I have ever done, in terms of professionalism, repertoire, and everything else. I felt motivated to do my best, apply what I was learning, and I got so much out of it.”  

It is loyal donors like you who help provide young orchestral musicians with enriching opportunities to learn from seasoned artists. 

Learn more about other transformational professional development programs at the NAC. 

Join more than 6,500 champions of performance, creation and learning by supporting Canadian artists, educators and students through the NAC Foundation.

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