Application deadline 30 September 2015

From 6 to 13 May 2016 the Bamberg Symphony – Bavarian State Philharmonic will be holding The Mahler Competition for the 5th time. Formerly the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition, it has now taken the name under which it has become known as one of the most important competitions of its kind worldwide. Young conductors are invited to apply by 30 September 2015. Application forms and supporting information can be found on

Conductors no older than 35 years of age on 1 January 2016 may enter. The Competition takes place in several rounds. The winner of the First or highest Prize will be presented to the public at a concert of the Bamberg Symphony in Bamberg’s Concert Hall on 13 May 2016.

The Competition’s obligatory repertoire includes works by Gustav Mahler, Joseph Haydn, Henri Dutilleux, Anton Webern, Jörg Widmann as well as a new work by Georg Friedrich Haas, commissioned by the Bamberg Symphony.

The Mahler Competition started in 2004 with Gustavo Dudamel’s decisive win, and ever since it has been ‘the place to go’ for young conductors from all over the world. Nowhere else demands so much from competitors, or creates conditions for such concentrated music-making. And once again, a jury of leading conductors, composers, performers and managers guarantees an exceptional level of professionalism. The members of the Jury are Jonathan Nott, President of the Jury and Principal Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, Marina Mahler, the composer’s granddaughter and Honorary Member, Marcus Rudolf Axt, Chief Executive of the Bamberg Symphony, the conductors Jiří Bělohlávek, John Carewe, Sir Neville Marriner and David Zinman, the conductor and singer Barbara Hannigan, the conductor and composer Jörg Widmann, the President and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Deborah Borda, the artist consultant Martin Campbell-White, the Provost and Dean of The Juilliard School Ara Guzelimian. Joining them will be a member of the Bamberg Symphony.

The Mahler Competition, held by the Bamberg Symphony every three years since 2004, has become a permanent part of the Orchestra’s work in the field of music training. With its programme of high artistic quality it has set new standards and counts among the world’s most important events of its kind. As a platform for highly talented artists, it offers all participants, regardless of the outcome, crucial career boosts and opportunities. The winner in 2013, Lahav Shani was launched on a career that has led him so far to orchestras such as the Israel Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the City of Birmingham Orchestra, the Wiener Symphoniker and the Gürzenich Orchestra.

The Mahler Competition 2016 is supported by generous donations from the ‘Friends of the Bamberg Symphony’ and the company Brose Fahrzeugteile GmbH & Co. KG in Hallstadt. We also thank the ‘Oberfrankenstiftung’ for their involvement and for their support of the prize winners.


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