Symphony conductors learn their trade at Pierre Monteux School in Hancock

Posted July 07, 2014, at 11:03 a.m.

When we hear about symphonic music, concerts and conductors, we all think of large cities with crowded streets. Few of us would expect to find these things in the tiny town of Hancock, Maine.

In fact, the town has been home to the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestra Musicians since 1943. It has grown from classes taught with the aid of a single piano to a full orchestra of about 60 musicians and conductors participating in the course each summer. French conductor Pierre Monteux and his wife, Doris Monteux, founded the school after they settled in her home town of Hancock.

In the Monteux school’s 71-year history, Michael Jinbo is the third music director, having taken over from his mentor, Charles Bruck, who was himself one of Pierre Monteux’s students in France.

The school draws students from all over the U.S. and abroad, and many of them return to the six-week-long course for several years. The school does not only hold classes; musicians and conductors also perform symphony concerts every Sunday while the school is in session.

For more information about the school and for concert schedules, visit