Dates announced for the Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition 2016

The Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition today announces details of the 2016 Competition, which will take place from 15–17 November 2016 at the Barbican and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

From the applications received, 20 young conductors will be selected to enter round one, and 10 of those selected for round two, all conducting the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra in front of an illustrious panel of judges. Three finalists will be chosen for round three, when they will be judged by the panel at a public concert, conducting the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican. Applications open on 1 December 2015.

Entry is now open


The winner receives £15,000 for career development from Donatella Flick and spends a year as the Assistant Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. In that year the conductor assists the Principal and Guest Conductors as well as soloists in the preparation of concerts, score analysis and assisting with the Orchestra’s education programme, LSO Discovery. The winning conductor also accompanies the LSO on tour and may receive the chance to conduct the Orchestra in concert.

The jury for the 2016 competition in rounds one and two comprises conductors Carlo Rizzi (who served on the jury for the very first competition), Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Yuri Temirkanov, as well as LSO Principal Bassoon Rachel Gough, with LSO Chairman and Sub-Leader, Lennox Mackenzie, as Chairman of the Jury. Sir Antonio Pappano, Music Director of the Royal Opera House will join the jury for the final round.

The biennial Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition, founded by Donatella Flick in 1990, aims to help a young conductor establish an international conducting career. The Competition’s principal aim is to bridge the gap between conservatoire training and professional life for emerging young conductors. The winner of the 2014 Competition was Elim Chan, its first female winner, who received her award from the Prince of Wales on 8 December 2014 on the Barbican stage.

Application details

Applications open via the LSO website: 1 December 2015

Competition rules:

1. All participants must be under the age of 35 on the first date of the Competition i.e. 15 November 2016

2. All participants must be citizens of the 28 countries having full membership of the European Union.

3. After the application deadline the selection panel will shortlist 20 candidates, who will be informed of the results. The selected participants will be invited to take part in the competition in London.

4. Rounds one and two will take place at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra.

5. Participants are asked to prepare all repertoire. For Rounds one and two they will be told their repertoire immediately before taking the stage. The three finalists’ repertoire and running order is drawn by lot at the end of Round two.

Applications close on 21 April 2016

For further press information please contact:

Kenny Morrison - Hatcham Communications
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Tel: +44 (0) 20 7207 9481 / +44 (0) 7834 061295

Notes to editors

Donatella Flick
Donatella Flick is a philanthropist who is world renowned for her support of the arts. In 1990 she founded the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition after realising that there were very few opportunities for young conductors to gain conducting experience from great orchestras and with established conductors.

Donatella Flick’s support of the arts has been acknowledged on numerous occasions. The Competition was recognised in 2000 by the jury of the Pro-European Foundation for Culture when Donatella Flick received the European Project Award for Music. The Competition was acknowledged again in 2007, when Donatella Flick was awarded the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award. This award is given to patrons of the arts in recognition of the time and attention they give to artists and their work.

Through a vast amount of time and effort, Donatella Flick ensures that her Competition is one of the foremost conducting competitions in the world. Donatella aims for her Competition to provide not just the winner but also everyone who takes part with the assistance and opportunities needed to launch a successful career.

Previous winners of the Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition

Elim Chan is an emerging conductor who earned international acclaim as the first female winner of the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 2014. Chan studied under Kenneth Kiesler at Smith College and the University of Michigan. She is currently assistant conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. Chan‘s upcoming engagements include concerts with L’Orchestre National de Lille and the Hong Kong Philharmonic as well as conducting alongside Bernard Haitink at the Lucerne Festival 2016.

Alexandre Bloch is a French conductor who gained international attention as the winner of the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 2012. Bloch studied Orchestral Direction at the Paris Conservatoire and is the founder and chief conductor of the Orchestre Antipodes. He has caught the attention of many famous conductors over his career, including Michael Tilson Thomas, Mariss Jansons and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Bloch was recently announced as Principal Guest Conductor of the Düsseldorf Symphoniker.

Clemens Schuldt is one of the most exciting conductors emerging from Germany. He studied in Düsseldorf and Weimar under Rüdiger Bohn and Nicolas Pasquet. Schuldt won the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 2010 and has since conducted a number of world-renowned orchestras including L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and the Netherlands Philharmonic. In September 2015 Schuldt will make his conducting debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra for the 2015/16 season.

David Afkham is rapidly establishing a reputation as one of the most sought after conductors to emerge from Germany in recent years. Before winning the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 2008, Afkham studied at Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt under Nicolás Pasquet. He has since conducted the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in a production of ‘La Traviata’ as well as the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. In 2015 he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Spanish National Orchestra.

Michał Dworzyński is one of Poland’s leading conductors. Before winning the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 2006, Dworzyński studied in Warsaw with Antoni Wit and in Berlin with Christian Ehwald. He has conducted many world famous orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic. Dworzyński conducted the UK premier of Maciejewski’s Requiem Mass at Westminster Cathedral. He is currently Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Krakow Philharmonic.

Fabien Gabel is one of France’s most talented emerging conductors. Before winning the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 2004, Gabel studied at the Paris Conservatoire and then at the Musik Hochschule of Karlsruhe. He has since worked with Oslo Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra as well as many other world renowned orchestras. Gabel currently holds the position of Principal Conductor of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra.

Christophe Mangou is now one of France’s most talented conductors. Mangou studied at the Paris Conservatoire where he received the conducting prize (first mention) from Janos Fürst. Since winning the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 2002, Mangou has held recent conducting engagements with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London as well as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He currently holds a conducting position at L’Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse.

François-Xavier Roth is one of the most charismatic and enterprising conductors of his generation. He trained at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris under Alain Marion and János Fürst. After winning the DFCC in 2000, Roth founded the Les Siècles, a period instrument orchestra, which he conducted at the proms in 2013. He is currently the Principal Conductor of the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Pablo Gonzalez is one of Spain’s leading conductors. He studied at Conservatorio Superior de Música in Spain before continuing his studies at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. González won the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 2000 and the Cadaqués Orchestra International Conducting Competition in 2006. He is currently the Principal Conductor of the Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra as well as having many other international conducting commitments.

Paul Mann is one of Britain’s leading conductors. After training as a pianist and conductor, he won the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 1998. Mann has since conducted a number of world famous orchestras including the Odense Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the New York National Ballet. Mann received international acclaim for conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Jon Lord’s Concerto for Group and Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in 1999.

Tommaso Placidi is an established conductor who has received international acclaim. Placidi studied conducting with Otmar Suitner at the Vienna Music Academy and then continued his studies at Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena before winning the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 1996. Placidi has an avid interest in contemporary music and has conducted the world première of The Creatures Indoors by Stephen Montague with the London Symphony Orchestra and Cori Spezzati by Michel Fourgon with the Liège Philharmonic.

Emmanuel Plasson has established himself as a leading ambassador for French music. Plasson studied conducting at the Pierre Monteux School in Maine and continued his training at the Yale School of Music. Plasson won the Donatella Flick Conducting competition in 1994 and has since conducted most of the world’s best opera orchestras including the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden and the MET Opera Orchestra in New York.

Timothy Lole is a British conductor who specialises in Opera. Before winning the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 1992, Lole studied Music at Trinity College, Cambridge and then continued his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. He worked for a number of years as a staff conductor of the Scottish Opera where he conducted a BBC production of The Turn of the Screw. Lole is now part of the operatic singing duo, the Opera Dudes.

Andrew Constantine has gained a reputation in Europe and the USA as a conductor of great skill, charisma, energy and versatility. Constantine began his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music and continued them at the University of Leicester. Since winning the first Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 1991, Constantine has founded the Bardi Orchestra in Leicester, which earned him the prestigious British NESTA Fellowship. Constantine is currently the Music Director of both the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and the Reading Symphony Orchestra.

Photo: 2014 winner Elim Chan (far right) with Donatella Flick, HRH The Prince of Wales and Vladimir Spivakov © Clive Totman