After a thrilling final, the Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition 2018 came to a close on 22 November and Felix Mildenberger was crowned its winner and LSO Assistant Conductor for the next two years.
The 28-year-old German conductor Felix Mildenberger, currently Assistant Conductor at Orchestre National de France, has won the 15th Donatella Flick Conducting Competition. Prior to the final, 20 shortlisted candidates competed across two days of intense heats at Milton Court Concert Hall with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra.
Felix isn't new to conducting competitions: he recently won second prize at the 12th Cadaqués International Conducting Competition and was awarded the Robert Spano Conductor Prize 2016 of the Aspen Music Festival.
We spoke to Felix before the beginning of the competition – read our interview with him here.
Apart from an award of £15,000, the main prize of the Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition is the opportunity to work as LSO Assistant Conductor for a period of up to two years. Felix will shortly be taking up this position which will enable him to assist LSO conductors including Music Director Sir Simon Rattle and Principal Guest Conductors François-Xavier Roth and Gianandrea Noseda, giving him a unique opportunity to hone his craft whilst learning on the job.
Felix was one of three finalists who conducted the LSO at the Competition’s final at Barbican Centre in front of HRH The Duke of Kent, Donatella Flick and and the Barbican audience. The runners up were Harry Ogg, aged 27 from the UK and Alexander Colding Smith, 29 from Denmark. The final round of the competition was judged by a panel comprising conductors Sian Edwards, Tadaaki Otaka, François-Xavier Roth and Yan Pascal Tortelier, the violinist Vadim Repin, Gareth Davies (LSO Principal Flute), Christine Pendrill, (LSO Principal Cor Anglais), and Lennox Mackenzie, former LSO Sub-Leader.
The concert opened with three performances of the Prelude to Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, each conducted by a different finalist, followed by the three movements of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No 2 with soloist Vadim Repin, also serving on the judging panel, and Kodály’s Dances of Galánta. The finalists conducted a movement each of the Prokofiev, and a section each of the Kodály, their repertoire and running order drawn by lot at the end of Round Two.
For the first time this year the Competition’s final was live-streamed on medici.tv. It is available to watch on demand until 23 February 2019.