sat 18/08/2018

Four Brits among 20 shortlisted for conducting competition | reviews, news & interviews

Four Brits among 20 shortlisted for conducting competition

Four Brits among 20 shortlisted for conducting competition

Donatella Flick/London Symphony Orchestra competition climaxes at Barbican

Twenty young conductors have been shortlisted to compete in the Donatella Flick/London Symphony Orchestra Conducting Competition in late September. The top prize is a cash award of £15,000 and an attachment to the LSO as Assistant Conductor.

The 20 comprise four from the UK - Joolz Gale, Ben Gernon, Jonathan Lo and Gemma New - Irishmen Daniel Stewart and Robert Tuohy, three from Spain, two each from Italy, France, Greece and Germany, a Hungarian, an Austrian and a Portuguese.

They were chosen from 187 applicants from EU countries via videos they submitted. They will be whittled down to 10, and then to three for the final in a three-day event 28-30 September. The final will be performed with the LSO before the public on 30 September at the Barbican Hall, at which the three will conduct Weber's Der Freischütz overture, Debussy's La mer and Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet suite.

On the way to the final the 20 will be asked to conduct the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra in Mozart and Schubert symphonies, Stravinsky Danses concertantes, the Elgar violin concerto and two new commissions in two rounds held in closed session on 28 and 29 September, to test their all-round command in symphonic, operatic and concerto repertoire from a variety of periods. On day 1 10 will go through, on day 2 three will be put into the final.

Judges for the final are conductors Sir Antonio Pappano and Sir Colin Davis, violinist Nikolaj Znaider, pianist Imogen Cooper, mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, LSO principal clarinet Andrew Marriner and administrators Lennox Mackenzie (LSO Chairman) and Maura Bucarelli of Santa Cecilia.

Past winners include Clemens Schuldt, David Afkham, Michael Dworzynski, Christophe Mangeou and François-Xavier Roth.
The competition has been held every two years since 1990, founded by Mrs Flick to bridge the gap between conservatoire training and professional life. The LSO came on board in 1996 and now administer the competition.

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