Assistant Conductor 2020- Rita Fernandes 

KCLSO offer the opportunity of an Assistant Conductor position to a KCL music student for a season, providing extremely valuable orchestral conducting experience with one-to-one coaching from our Musical Director. Previous Assistant Conductors have gone on to undertake postgraduate conducting studies at institutions including the Royal Academy of Music and Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory.

We are delighted to announce that our newest Assistant Conductor for 2020 is Rita Fernandes!

Rita is an Australian and Swiss musician who as recently graduated from a Bachelor of Music at King’s College London with First Class Honours. Originally a violinist, she has now widened her musical horizons to include conducting, event managing and writing about music. As a member of the Australian Youth Orchestra, she played under notable musicians such as Simone Young, Manfred Honeck, Ray Chen and Hélène Grimaud. As part of orchestra’s 2016 world tour, she performed in Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, the Beijing and Shanghai art centres and the Sydney Opera House. In 2014, she moved to Switzerland to pursue violin at the Lausanne Conservatoire where she studied under François Sochard and Denitsa Kazakova and completed her certificate in 2016. Keen to explore music more holistically, Rita then moved to London in 2017 to study a Bachelor of Music at King's College London. She received a First Class Honours for her dissertation about Alban Berg’s Lulu and research into the Second Viennese School: a topic she continues to write articles about.


During her time at university, Rita grew a passion for conducting and Music Direction. As Music Director and Co-President of the Modern Music Society she conducted Britten’s Les Illuminations, Strauss’ Metamorphosen for 23 Strings, Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No.1, Webern’s 5 Pieces for Orchestra as well as works by King’s professors and students such as Ed Nesbit’s Concerto, where she collaborated closely with the composer. In this role, she also frequently conducted from her violin, a skill which she enjoys and hopes to further. She was also Music Director for King’s Opera’s 2019 production of The Threepenny Opera, during which she grew a passion for opera direction and will hence continue as Music Director for the society’s 2021 production of Don Giovanni. Rita also recently gained the title of Assistant Conductor of the King’s College London Symphony Orchestra, where she was concertmaster from 2018 to 2020. In the role of Assistant Conductor, she has conducted Rossini’s Overture to l’Italiana in Algieri and Sibelius’ Finlandia as well as covering for the main Music Director. She will continue this role, as well as that of orchestral manager, for the orchestra’s 2020-21 season.  


Rita continues to freelance as a violinist and event manager across London and aims to further develop her skills in Music Direction and conducting. Her interests lie particularly in contemporary classical music, opera direction and interdisciplinary approaches to music. She hopes to create her own projects exploring these interests and more generally conducting and managing orchestras. 


Dominic Blanchard- Assistant Conductor 2019

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Stefan Cunningham - Assistant Conductor 2018


Igor Maia – Assistant Conductor 2017.


Jeremy Walker – Assistant Conductor 2016.


Matthew O’Keefe – Assistant Conductor 2015


Johann Von Stuckenbruck – Assistant Conductor 2013

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