Twenty conductors aged under 30 have been selected from across Europe to take part in the 15th Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition, which will take place in London from 20–22 November. Two days of preliminary rounds will culminate in a grand final when three finalists will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra in a public concert at the Barbican in front of a live audience in the hall and watching online at home, and an illustrious panel of judges.
The winner will receive a £15,000 prize from Donatella Flick for career development and becomes the London Symphony Orchestra’s Assistant Conductor for at least one year, giving them the opportunity to learn on the job with one of the world’s finest orchestras, and gain invaluable insight from its family of conductors, including François-Xavier Roth, Gianandrea Noseda, Michael Tilson Thomas and Sir Simon Rattle.
Donatella Flick, Founder of the Competition said, “I am so delighted to see all of the candidates are in their 20s, when they are still young enough to benefit most from taking part in the competition. Opening the competition up as we have done for the first time this year, with Medici TV live-streaming the final, is something that I feel is very important, as it allows us to share the musicians’ experience more fully. It may prove more nerve-wracking for the wonderfully talented finalists, but it is also something that is becoming more and more commonplace, so it is important that it is reflected here. I look forward to meeting them all in November.”
Vadim Repin will be the Competition’s first ever soloist-judge when the finalists conduct the LSO and Repin in one movement each of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No 2, as well as Wagner’s Meistersinger Overture and Kodály’s Dances of Galánta. The three finalists’ repertoire and running order is drawn by lot at the end of round two.
The judging panel comprises conductors Sian Edwards, Tadaaki Otaka and Yan Pascal Tortelier, violinist Vadim Repin, LSO Principal Cor Anglais Christine Pendrill and violinist Lennox Mackenzie, the LSO’s Sub-Leader, who will chair the panel. Sir Antonio Pappano, Music Director of the Royal Opera House and François-Xavier Roth, winner of the Competition in 2000 and now the LSO’s Principal Guest Conductor, will join the jury for the final round.
The final will be live-streamed by Medici TV for the first time, and presented by James Jolly, Editor-in-Chief of Gramophone magazine, live from the Barbican.
The shortlist was selected from dozens of applications received from across Europe. The two preliminary rounds will see each contestant conduct the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra in front of the judging panel and will be open to the public for the first time. The winner will be announced live at the Barbican after deliberation by the judging panel on 22 November.
The names of the 20 shortlisted candidates can be found on the Competition’s page on the LSO website: https://lso.co.uk/the-2018-competition.html