Donatella Flick Conducting Competition: Applications now open

Donatella Flick Conducting Competition Celebrates 30th Anniversary 

Applications Open Today for 16th Biennial Competition in Spring 2021 

Winner Receives £15,000 and becomes London Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor

Applications open today for the 16th Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition, which takes place from 27 February – 1 March 2021 in London. The biennial Competition, founded in 1990 by Donatella Flick, marks its 30th anniversary next year.

On 1 March 2021, three finalists will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra in concert at London’s Barbican Hall. An illustrious judging panel, invited to take part by Donatella Flick, will decide the winner, who receives a £15,000 cash prize and becomes Assistant Conductor at the London Symphony Orchestra for one year. The final round is broadcast live on Medici.TV and features Berlioz's concert overture La carnaval romain, Brahms’ Saint Anthony Variations, and Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2.

Europe's most talented young conductors aged 30 and under are invited to enter the Competition. A shortlist of the 20 best applicants will compete over three intense rounds in front of the conductors Ivor Bolton, Sian Edwards, Kirill Karabits and Vassily Sinaisky, the composer and conductor Sir James MacMillan and Rachel Gough, LSO Principal Bassoon. The violinist Lennox Mackenzie, who retired as LSO sub-Leader in 2018, returns to the Competition to chair the panel. Sir James MacMillan’s music will feature in the Competition’s preliminary rounds, bringing a unique composer’s perspective to the Competition’s jury for the first time.

Rounds One and Two take place at LSO St Luke’s on London’s Old Street on 27 and 28 February 2021. Shortlisted candidates conduct the Trinity Laban Symphony Orchestra in a broad range of repertoire, including works for full orchestra by Haydn, Beethoven and Wagner, works featuring soloists with orchestra, and Sir James MacMillan’s 1989 orchestral work Tryst. Of the 20 young conductors who enter round one, ten will go through to round two and three will enter the final round.

Donatella Flick, the Competition's Founder, said,

When I founded the Competition, my idea was to provide a platform for young conductors, bridging the gap between conservatoire training and a professional career. Thirty years later and nearly 350 candidates have taken part. I have worked hard to create an environment that supports them all, and not only the winners. Our close partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra is part of this environment, and it provides unique value to the prize through the Assistant Conductor’s role. I’d like to thank the LSO for our close collaboration over many years, and also to thank the great musicians and conductors who sit on our judging panels giving their time and a willingness to share their wisdom with all. I wish all current applicants the very best of luck and look forward to seeing the shortlisted 20 in London for the Competition.”

As Assistant Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, the winner will have the opportunity to learn on the job with one of the world’s finest orchestras and its top-rank family of conductors: François-Xavier Roth, who won the Competition in 2000, Gianandrea Noseda, Michael Tilson Thomas and Sir Simon Rattle, the Orchestra’s Music Director. The Assistant Conductor will assist in rehearsals and concerts, help to prepare musical scores, and may have the opportunity to conduct the LSO in concert, or on tour as well as working on education and community projects with LSO musicians.

Entry to the 16th Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition is by online submission at where the Competition’s rules can also be found. Applications are open to citizens of the European Union, the UK, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland who are aged 30 or under on 1 March 2021. The deadline for submissions is 18.00 BST on Friday 26 June 2020.

> Find out more and apply here

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