Press release: Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition 2018

The 15th Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition will take place in November 2018 and will be live-streamed for the first time.

As applications opened today for the 15th Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition, it has been announced that the final round of the Competition, when three finalists conduct the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican competing for a £15,000 prize, will be streamed live for the first time on Vadim Repin will perform as concerto soloist in the final round, as well as serving on the jury and all three rounds will be open to the public for the first time, giving fascinating insight into the art of conducting. The Competition also announced changes to its application criteria, opening it up to four new countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, and reducing the age limit for applicants from 35 to 30.

Donatella Flick awards £15,000 for career development to the winner of the Competition who be-comes the LSO’s Assistant Conductor for at least one year, which will give them the opportunity to learn on the job with one of the world’s finest orchestras, and gain invaluable insight from its illustrious family of conductors, including François-Xavier Roth, Gianandrea Noseda, Michael Tilson Thomas and Sir Simon Rattle.

A panel comprising leading conductors and musicians will judge the Competition. For rounds one and two they are conductors Sian Edwards, Tadaaki Otaka and Yan Pascal Tortelier, violinist Vadim Repin, LSO Principal Cor Anglais Christine Pendrill, and Lennox Mackenzie, violinist and the LSO’s Sub-Leader, who will chair the panel. For the final round, Vadim Repin will for the first time judge the finalists from the stage, performing Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No 2 before rejoining the jury for deliberation. Music Director of the Royal Opera House Sir Antonio Pappano and François-Xavier Roth, the LSO’s Principal Guest Conductor and the winner of the 2000 Donatella Flick Conducting Competition, will join the jury for the final round.

Applications are open to anyone aged 30 or under who is a citizen of an EU member state, including the UK, or Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. From the applications received, a shortlist of 20 young conductors enters round one (20 Nov 2018), and 10 in round two (21 Nov 2018), all conducting the Guildhall School’s Symphony Orchestra, before three finalists compete for the top prize, conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in the Barbican on 22 November.

Donatella Flick, the Competition’s founder, said:
“We have thought very carefully about how best my competition can benefit young conductors, and this is why we have decided to change the criteria for applications, broadening reach, while also ensur-ing that it is conductors at the very start of their careers who benefit. I am delighted to partner with for the first live stream of the Competition, and also to allow the public into the preliminary rounds. I believe that the more we can open up music-making to the world, the more people will be as enthralled and inspired by it as I am, so I’m really pleased that so many more people will have the opportunity to see the finalists in action next year. Finally I want to thank the extraordinary conductors and musicians who are on the judging panel, as I know each of them will inspire everyone who takes part. I wish everyone who enters the very best of luck!”

Hervé Boissière, the Founder and Managing Director of Medici TV, said:
“Discovering young talent has always been in the DNA of, either through filming the very first concerts of rising stars or supporting new faces in the various international competitions we have broadcast in the past. Becoming the broadcast partner of the prestigious Donatella Flick Conducting Competition is a very great honour and an exciting challenge for us: to showcase worldwide live for the first time the best batons of the next generation.”

Donatella Flick founded the biennial Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition in 1990 and has worked every year since then to ensure that it benefits everyone who takes part. Through it, she 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 con-ductors. The winner of the 2016 Competition was Niklas Benjamin Hoffmann.

For full details of the 15th Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition, including the application process, please click here.


Notes to editors

For further press information please contact:
Kenny Morrison - Hatcham Communications
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: +44 20 7207 9481 / +44 7834 061295

Application details
1 December 2017 - applications open via the LSO website.
Applications close on 20 April 2018 at 6pm GMT

Competition rules
1. All participants must be aged 30 or under on the first date of the Competition (i.e. 20 November 2018)
2. All participants must be citizens of the 28 countries having full membership of the Eu-ropean Union plus Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland (The UK is still a full member of the EU).
3. After the application deadline (20 April 2018) the selection panel will shortlist 20 candidates, who will be informed of the results in July 2018. The selected participants will be invited to take part in the competition in London.
4. Rounds 1 and 2 will take place at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with the Guildhall School Symphony Orchestra; the final round will take place at the Barbican with the London Symphony Orchestra.
5. 20 conductors will be selected to enter Round 1, with 10 of those selected at the end of the day for Round 2. The three finalists chosen for the Final Round will be announced at the end of Round 2.
6. Participants are asked to prepare all repertoire. For Rounds 1 and 2 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 2.

Application requirements
1. You must scan and upload an image of your passport's information page for verifica-tion purposes.
2. Please prepare a video of yourself conducting. The video must be no shorter than 15 minutes and should contain at least three contrasted pieces which include the beginning and end of works. Candidates should be visible from an orchestral musician's point of view. NB if your video does not meet these requirements the panel will be unable to view your submission.
3. The video should be uploaded to YouTube. Please ensure that your video is set as Pub-lic or Unlisted - we will not be able to watch it if it is set to Private. 
4. You will need to submit a short biography (max. 5000 characters), which should in-clude your recent place(s) of study and/or the name of your teacher(s) as well as a concise list of recent and forthcoming engagements. 
5. Entry costs £60, payable using either a Paypal account or credit card. You will be taken to the payment page once you have submitted your application form. Please note that we will not be able to process your application until payment has been received.

Tickets can be purchased for the Final on 22 November (on sale from January 2018), which this year will also give access to the preliminary rounds on 20 & 21 November.

Participants are asked to prepare all repertoire. For Rounds 1 and 2 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 2.

Round 1 - 20 November 2018, Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, Guildhall School of Music & Drama
MOZART Symphony No 36 'Linz'
TCHAIKOVSKY Serenade for Strings
STRAVINSKY Danses concertantes

Round 2 - 21 November 2018, Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, Guildhall School of Music & Drama
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No 4 'Italian'

Final Round - 22 November 2018, London Symphony Orchestra, Barbican Hall
WAGNER Overture: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
PROKOFIEV Violin Concerto No 2 (soloist: Vadim Repin)
KODÁLY Dances of Galanta


Rounds 1 and 2
Lennox Mackenzie LSO Sub-Leader, Chairman of the Jury
Sian Edwards Conductor
Tadaaki Otaka Conductor
Christine Pendrill LSO Principal Cor Anglais
Vadim Repin Violinist
Yan Pascal Tortelier Conductor

Final Round
Lennox Mackenzie LSO Sub-Leader, Chairman of the Jury
Sian Edwards Conductor
Tadaaki Otaka Conductor
Sir Antonio Pappano Conductor
Christine Pendrill LSO Principal Cor Anglais
Vadim Repin Violinist
François-Xavier Roth Conductor and former Competition winner (2000)
Yan Pascal Tortelier Conductor

The winner is awarded £15,000 by Donatella Flick and will have the opportunity to become Assistant Conductor with the London Symphony Orchestra for up to one year.

During this time with the LSO the successful conductor will work with the LSO’s Principal and guest conductors on the preparation of concerts, often on the assessment of new scores, take part in the LSO’s education and outreach programme, LSO Discovery, accompany the orchestra on tour and, should the opportunity arise, conduct the LSO in concert.

About 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 opportu-nities for young conductors to gain conducting experience from great orchestras and with established conductors. Ever since then she has enhanced and improved the Competition, making sure it is of the best possible benefit to the conductors of tomorrow.

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.

About the London Symphony Orchestra
The LSO was established in 1904 and has a unique ethos. As a musical collective, it is built on artistic ownership and partnership. With an inimitable signature sound, the LSO’s mission is to bring the greatest music to the greatest number of people. The LSO has been the only Resident Orchestra at the Barbican Centre in the City of London since it opened in 1982, giving 70 symphonic concerts there every year. Through LSO Discovery, it is a pioneer of music education, offering musical experiences to 60,000 people every year. With the formation of its own record label LSO Live in 1999 the LSO pioneered a revolution in recording live orchestral music. The LSO strives to embrace new digital technologies – having successfully moved into digital film, Blu-Ray Audio, downloads, streaming and virtual reality – and it continues to innovate with platforms such as LSO Play, a web-based video player that allows people to observe the Orchestra from different angles. The LSO is also a highly suc-cessful creative enterprise, with 80% of all funding self-generated.