Vacancy - Music Director

We are seeking a new Music Director / Principal Conductor, to take up the post from September 2025.

The RTWSO is an extremely well-established, thriving pro-am orchestra at the heart of the South East’s cultural community. We present an annual season of six concerts from October through to April at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells (audience capacity 922), frequently performing ambitious programmes with internationally renowned soloists. A detailed record of previous programmes, soloists and conductors can be seen on our Previous Seasons web page. 

Founded in 1922, we are proud to have recently celebrated our Centenary season. A detailed history of the RTWSO can be found here.

The orchestra is made up of c.45 local non-professional  members who rehearse weekly, and a further c.35 professional orchestral players drawn from London and the South East who join us on concert day.

Rehearsals are held on Friday evenings from 7 – 10pm in Langton Green, Tunbridge Wells. Additionally there is a morning rehearsal from 10.30 – 1.30 on the day of each concert. The six concerts usually take place on the first Sunday of October, November, December, February, March and April, at 3pm in the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells.

Confirmed concert dates for the 2025-26 season are as follows:

05 October 2025
02 November 2025
30 November 2025
01 February 2026
01 March 2026
12 April 2026

The RTWSO is a registered charity (no. 295781) and is financially supported by the Friends of the RTWSO which is also a registered charity in itself.

Our Honorary President is Nicola Benedetti.

The closing date for applications is 18 December 2023.

A sample of our Centenary CD is available on YouTube or you can request a full version of the recording.

Key aspects of the role

  • Conducting four of the six concerts per season. Concert days involve a Sunday morning rehearsal (10.30am – 1.30pm) and an afternoon performance (3pm). The current season format is four concerts directed by the Music Director/Principal Conductor and two directed by guest conductors.
  • Conducting as many of the orchestra’s Friday evening rehearsals as is reasonably practical, including where necessary the rehearsals for concerts which will ultimately be conducted by a guest conductor. Typically there are four or five Friday evening rehearsals leading up to each concert.
  • Experience of conducting both professional and amateur players is essential, due to the nature of our pro-am setup.
  • Working with the RTWSO Programming sub-committee to plan a cohesive season of concerts which is challenging and appealing to our players, while being entertaining, educating and stimulating for our audience.
  • Assisting with the identification of suitable soloists and guest conductors within an identified budget.
  • Working with the Board of Trustees to fulfil our charitable aims, including advising on plans for developing the RTWSO Education Outreach Project.
  • Attending trustee and subcommittee meetings when required, either physically in person or via Zoom, as agreed on an ad hoc basis.
  • In cooperation with the RTWSO Players Subcommittee, advising on the contracting of professional players and the admission of new ‘Friday night’ members.
  • Giving reasonable assistance in the promotion of the orchestra and its concert programme, and advising on artistic and strategic issues.


Fair, competitive fees are paid for rehearsals and concerts, and an annual retainer is paid for the position of Music Director. Details of these fees are available upon application.


To apply, please send a CV with covering letter and contact details of two professional referees, to


The closing date for applications is 18 December 2023.

Shortlisted candidates will be notified by 22 January 2024.

Preliminary verbal interviews will take place in early 2024.

Workshops for shortlisted candidates will take place in Tunbridge Wells in May 2024 (Sunday 12 and Sunday 19).

The final three candidates will each be invited to conduct one concert and its preceding rehearsals in the 2024-25 season.

The successful candidate will be notified in April 2025 and will take up the position from September 2025.

Download a pdf version of the application details