Meet our DFCC 2018 candidates: Alexander Colding Smith

Alexander Colding Smith (29) is from Denmark and studied conducting in Cincinnati and Sydney. He took part in last year's Solti Conducting Competition in Budapest and in the inaugural Gstaad Conducting Academy in 2014. As a Fellow of the Australian Conducting Academy, he has worked with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

A Coding Smith headshot

Where are you at the moment and what are you currently working on?

I am in Melbourne, Australia, working on preparations for the competition this November!

When did you first become interested in conducting?

I have wanted to conduct for as long as I can remember. I used to go to my older sister’s school open days when I was three or four, where my parents remember me being mesmerized whilst sitting cross-legged sitting in front of the orchestra.

Who are your musical role models?

My first youth orchestra conductor, Bruce Worland, led by example and shared the passion and discipline of making ensemble music.

How did you find out about the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition?

It is known to be one of the major competitions for young conductors.

How have you been preparing for the competition?

Reading the scores and taking long walks every day.

What are your thoughts on the repertoire?

I am enjoying all of the repertoire. At the end of the day, it’s my job to give each piece my best.

What is the piece that made you fall in love with music?

I will never forget performing Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony under Sir Mark Elder with the Australian Youth Orchestra at the BBC Proms.

Do you have an all-time favourite piece of music?

I’m a huge fan of the J-Fusion band Casiopea. Probably my all-time favourite is Space Road, particularly the performance from Budokan, Tokyo on April 23, 1983.

How do you relax?

Spending time outdoors, reading history, and assembling IKEA furniture.

If there is anything you could change about classical music, what would it be?

I want organizations to trust and respect their audiences.

What advice would you give other budding conductors?

Learn as many languages as possible and listen to good musicians (not just classical).

What would the prize mean to you? How would it help your career?

It would allow me to serve the LSO and give me support as I continue to learn and grow as a conductor.

Is there anything else we should know about you?

I enjoy reading the blogs On an Overgrown Path and 5:4, and drinking tea.

Meet the other candidates

Find out more about the Competition in 2018