Press Release: Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition 2012
ALEXANDRE BLOCH WINS THE 2012
DONATELLA FLICK LSO CONDUCTING COMPETITION
The winner of the 2012 Donatella Flick-LSO Conducting Competition is Alexandre Bloch from France. HRH The Duke of Kent, Donatella Flick and the distinguished international jury awarded him the prize following a public concert on Sunday 30 September at the Barbican. Bloch conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Weber's Overture: Der Freischütz, the 'Dialogue du vent et de la mer' from Debussy's La mer and three scenes from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet.
Bloch receives the prize of £15,000 to support a period of specialist study and concert engagements and as a key part of his prize, will work as Assistant Conductor with the London Symphony Orchestra for one year following the Competition. During this period he will work with the LSO and Valery Gergiev, Principal Conductor, Sir Colin Davis, President, and Guest Conductors with whom the LSO will be performing, in preparation of concerts. He will also participate in LSO Discovery, the Orchestra's award-winning education programme.
Born in 1985, Alexandre Bloch studied Cello, Composition and Conducting at Orléans and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, where he is currently completing a Masters Degree in Conducting in Zsolt Nagy's class.
He has conducted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Festival String Lucerne Orchestra, the Orchestre de Bretagne, the Orchestre d'Auvergne, the Janáček Philharmony (Ostrava), the Orchestre des Lauréats du Conservatoire de Paris and the Royal College of Music Orchestra. He founded the Orchestre Antipodes in 2011.
In March 2012, he became Junior Fellow in Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, working with the Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Manchester Camerata. For a production in October 2012, he will work with Mariss Jansons and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as Assistant Conductor. He is an elected Laureate of the SYLFF Tokyo Foundation (Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund).
Ben Gernon from Great Britain and Stamatia Karampini from Greece were the other two finalists who conducted the LSO on 4 November at the Barbican.
The distinguished international jury consisted of Lennox Mackenzie, LSO Chairman & Chairman of the Jury, Andrew Marriner, LSO Principal Clarinet, Sir Antonio Pappano, Music Director of the Royal Opera House, Nikolaj Znaider violinist & conductor, Imogen Cooper pianist, Mauro Bucarelli Artistic Administrator Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and LSO Principal Cor Anglais, Christine Pendrill.
Inaugurated in 1990 under the patronage of the HRH The Prince of Wales, the biennial Donatella Flick Conducting Competition aims to advance the careers of young conductors and help the winner to establish an international conducting career. The Competition is open to candidates under the age of 35 who are citizens of the European Union.
In the 2012 Competition twenty conductors were short-listed from over 180 applicants by an independent selection panel. During the first two days of the Competition the short-listed candidates conducted the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra before the jury selected three finalists.
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Notes to editors:
Previous winners of the Competition have developed very successful international careers:
2010 winner Clemens Schuldt, in 2011/12 conducts the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the WDR Rundfunkorchester Cologne, the Hamburger Symphoniker, the Orquesta Sinfonica y Coro de RTVE Madrid, the Osaka Symphony, the Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra Vietnam, the Slovak Sinfonietta and the Beethoven Academy Orchestra at the Beethoven Easter Festival Warsaw. Further afield Clemens Schuldt appears with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester. Recent performances included the MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, the Bremer Philharmoniker and the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra.
David Afkham, the 2008 winner, assistant conductor of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, isthe first recipient of the Bernard Haitink Fund for Young Talent (2008) of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and works regularly with his mentor Bernard Haitink with the Chicago Symphony and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras. He has been appointed a Fellow of the Dudamel Fellowship Programme at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and works with Gustavo Dudamel and the Orchestra.
Michael Dworzynski, the 2006 winner, is Director of the Beethoven Academy based in Krakow Poland, regularly conducts the London Symphony Orchestra in Family and LSO Discovery concerts and has also established regular relationships with the BBC Scottish Symphony, BBC Symphony and London Philharmonic.
Christophe Mangou, the 2002 winner, has a flourishing career internationally and has upcoming engagements with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National d'Ile-de-France, as well as the Orchestre du Capitole de Toulous.
François Xavier Roth, the 2000 winner, is the designate Principal Conductor of the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg and holds the position of Associate Guest Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He also regularly conducts the London Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain and l'Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.