This year's event will see three young conductors battle it out to win the position of LSO Assistant Conductor in the final round of the Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition 2021. Find out more about the 20 shortlisted conductors here.
The Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition was founded thirty years ago in 1990 by Donatella Flick. Applications opened in December 2019 to conductors under the age of 30 from the European Union, the United Kingdom, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The winner of the competition is offered, in addition to an award of £15,000, the opportunity to become Assistant Conductor of the LSO for up to one year.
The Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition 2021 Final can be streamed live via medici.tv on Sunday 23 May 2021, 6.30pm BST.
Meet the Conductors
Félix Benati (France), 24
Félix Benati began his musical studies in piano but graduated in orchestral and choral conducting and musical analysis. He currently studies conducting at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, taught by Alain Altinoglu and has worked with renowned conductors and orchestras including Ensemble InterContemporain, Mikko Franck, Bertrand de Billy, Orchestre de Picardie, Pascal Rophé and Miskolci Szimfonikus Zenekar. He also studied composition with Benoît Menut, and has maintained an enthusiasm for contemporary repertoire discoveries ever since. In 2017 he co-founded the vocal ensemble Les Temps Dérobéssince which he continues to conduct. He has been musical co-director of the company Ensemble Poursuite since 2019. Félix worked in India with the Calcutta Chamber Orchestra in August 2017, and with Calcutta’s Oxford Mission, giving young children opportunities to discover orchestral music. He teaches music and choral singing in several Paris conservatoires.
Teresa Riveiro Böhm (Austria/Spain), 30
Austrian-Spanish conductor Teresa Riveiro Böhm is currently a Leverhulme Conducting Fellow with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (2019-2021). She was awarded the Neeme-Järvi-Prize at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival 2019, was chosen to participate in the Conductors’ Academy with Paavo Järvi and the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich in 2021, and as Tanglewood Conducting Fellow in 2021. Orchestral highlights include the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Basel Chamber Orchestra, St Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz and Geneva Chamber Orchestra. Forthcoming engagements include the National Orchestra of Spain, Spanish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra and Aalborg Symphony Orchestra. Teresa studied violin in Moscow and church music and conducting in Vienna. As an Assistant she has worked with Thomas Dausgaard, Alpesh Chauhan and Donald Runnicles. She has participated in Masterclasses with David Zinman, Manfred Honeck, Johannes Schlaefli, Sian Edwards and Martyn Brabbins.
Martijn Dendievel (Belgium), 24
Martijn Dendievel received his first violin lessons when he was three years old and would later learn cello, recorder and percussion. Aged 14, he was admitted to the Conservatory of Brussels where he studied music theory, conducting and recording techniques. In 2015 he moved to Weimar as an Erasmus student and now continues his studies in orchestral conducting with Nicolás Pasquet and Ekhart Wycik. He has taken part in masterclasses with Bernard Haitink, Christian Thielemann and Iván Fischer. Dendievel is the winner of the 2018 MDR Symphony Orchestra conducting competition and in September 2019 he won both the first prize and audience prize at the Louis Spohr Conducting competition in Kassel. Since 2018, Dendievel has been the assistant conductor of the Flanders Symphony Orchestra, based in Ghent. Among others he has conducted the Belgian National Orchestra, the Hofer Symphoniker, the Bremer Philharmoniker, the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and philharmonie zuidnederland.
Chloé Dufresne (France), 29
French-born conductor Chloé Dufresne was a finalist of the Siemens-Hallé Conductors Competition 2020, a laureate of the Tremplin des jeunes cheffes with the Philharmonie de Paris and a semi-finalist of the Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition 2018. She graduated in 2020 as a master in orchestral conducting from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. For the last five years she has studied at the Sibelius Academy and at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris under the guidance of Sakari Oramo, Atso Almila and Alain Altinoglu. She has conducted the Finnish Radio Symphony, Helsinki City Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Tapiola Sinfonietta and Ensemble Intercontemporain.In recent years, Dufresne has conducted concerts at the Opéra National de Toulon, Opéra de Rouen, Opéra de Vichy and Orchestre Pasdeloup. In the 2020/21 season, her engagements include a debut with Opéra National de Lorraine, Opéra de Tour and Opéra National de Montpellier.
Nathaniel Efthimiou (Finland), 28
Nathaniel Efthimiou is the Assistant Conductor of the Boston Civic Symphony, a frequent cover conductor for the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and the Assistant Director of Music at Park Street Church in downtown Boston. In 2015, he won the James Conlon Conductor Prize at the Aspen Music Festival and School. Nathaniel is a protégé of Bramwell Tovey and has studied with conductors such as Robert Spano, Larry Rachleff, and Hugh Wolff. In 2017, he completed an Artistic Administration Internship with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. He has assisted conductors such as David Robertson, Pinchas Zuckerman, and Steven Karidoyanes as well as Anna-Maria Helsing with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Nathaniel has earned degrees in composition and conducting from Greatbatch School of Music at Houghton College and a Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting from Boston University. Nathaniel holds dual citizenship in the US and Finland and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts.
Ka Hou Fan (Portugal), 30
From 2010 to 2015, Fan studied orchestral conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. He also received the Erasmus scholarship to study orchestral conducting at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar in 2014. He was a semi-finalist in the the 7th International Competition of Young Conductors Lovro von Matačić, German Conductors’ Award, Princess Astrid International Music Competition and the Maestro Solti International Conducting Competition. In 2019 he joined the Nationale Master Orkestdirectie, a joint program by the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, in which he assists various conductors and professional orchestras in the Netherlands and all over the world.
Nicolò Foron (Germany/Italy), 23
Nicolò Foron is a young Italian-German conductor, pianist and composer. Discovered at the age of ten by Jorma Panula, he has been praised for his versatile concert programmes and efficient rehearsals. He has assisted renowned conductors including Peter Eötvös, Martyn Brabbins, Lorin Maazel, Alan Gilbert, Bernhard Haitink, Sir Antonio Pappano and Riccardo Muti. During the years of his artistic development, he gathered extensive experience of a wide symphonic, operatic and contemporary repertoire. He has conducted in Amsterdam at the Grachtenfestival and at the Opera Forward Festival in cooperation with the National Opera Amsterdam. He recorded Beethoven’s Symphony No 7 at Abbey Road Studios for the Royal College of Music, where he currently studies. Besides the Donatella Flick competition, he will be taking part in the final rounds of the Rotterdam and Toscanini competitions.
Thomas Goff (United Kingdom), 28
Thomas Goff is a British musician living in the Netherlands. Having studied as a composer, cellist and jazz pianist, he went on to study conducting as the Oglesby Scholar at the Royal Northern College of Music, graduating with the Brierly/Kershaw Prize in Conducting. Since moving to The Hague, Thomas has worked as assistant conductor with most of the orchestras in the Netherlands. He has conducted performances with Noord Nederlands Orkest, Dutch National Opera Academy, and AskoSchönberg in venues including the Royal Concertgebouw. In 2018 he conducted at the Rotterdam Philharmonic’s Gergiev Festival in a masterclass with Valery Gergiev followed by a concert tour. In different contexts, he has conducted the Netherlands Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Ulster Orchestra, Residentie Orkest, Cadaqués Orchestra, and Philharmonie Zuidnederland. He has also studied in masterclasses with Valery Gergiev, Daniele Gatti, Sir Mark Elder, Marc Albrecht, Vasily Petrenko and Juanjo Mena.
Victor Jacob (France), 29
French conductor Victor Jacob is currently assistant conductor of the Liège Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and music director of the Orchestre National de Lyon Youth Orchestra. Finalist and ‘Prix Spécial’ in the Besançon Conducting Competition 2019, Victor is regularly invited to work with orchestras in Europe and abroad, including Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille, Moscow State Philharmonia, Orchestre National de Montpellier, Orquestra Sinfonica Simón Bolívar de Venezuela, Orchestre Symphonique de Mulhouse, and Esbjerg Ensemble in Denmark. In opera productions, Victor has conducted or assisted the Orchestre National de Montpellier, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Orchestre Symphonique de La Monnaie, Orchestre National de France and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France. Victor graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris. He was trained by Alain Altinoglu, Marin Alsop, Sian Edwards, David Zinman, Lawrence Foster and Bernard Haitink.
Jacob Joyce (Germany), 27
Jacob Joyce is currently serving his third season as the Associate Conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He made his debut with several American orchestras in 19/20, including the Detroit, St Louis, Houston, and Toledo symphonies. For his work in Indianapolis and across the United States, Joyce was awarded a Solti Career Assistance Award in 2020. Joyce also previously served as the Conducting Fellow for the Fort Worth Symphony. He has worked extensively in Europe, conducting the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the NDR Sinfonieorchester, and the Frankfurt Museums-orchester. He has also appeared as a semifinalist in both the LSO Donatella Flick Conducting Competition and the Solti International Conducting Competition. Joyce studied Orchestral Conducting with Hugh Wolff at the New England Conservatory, and graduated from Yale College in 2014, with a BA in Music and Economics.
Nicolas Kierdorf (Germany), 25
Nicolas Kierdorf studied with Michael Luig and Stephan Wehr in Cologne and continued his studies with Ulrich Windfuhr in Hamburg. He works regularly with the Hamburger Symphoniker and has also worked with the WDR-Sinfonieorchester, the Gürzenich-Orchester and the Südwestfälische Philharmonie Konstanz. He has attended numerous masterclasses with Kent Nagano, Nicolás Pasquet and Johannes Schlaefli, among others. Nicolas is interested in symphonic music as well as opera and has conducted performances of Hänsel und Gretel, Alcina, The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Marriage of Figaro at the opera schools of Cologne and Hamburg. He has collaborated closely with the ensemble Concert Royal Köln, for whom he was music director in the 2018 opera-production of Il matrimonio segreto. In 2019, he was a semi-finalist for the prestigious Deutscher Dirigentenpreis. In Autumn 2021 he will make his debut with the Camerata Hamburg at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.
Johannes Marsovszky (Germany), 26
Johannes Marsovsky is conducting fellow at Dirigentenforum (Deutscher Musikrat) and assistant conductor to Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. In this position he has also assisted conductors such as Manfred Honeck, Lahav Shani, Leonidas Kavakos and Michel Tabachnik. During his studies, Johannes was recipient of choral conducting competition prizes in Hungary (2015 and 2016), assisted Gergely Madaras, was the youngest semi-finalist in the 2017 Maestro Georg Solti Competition and was awarded a Bayreuth scholarship from the Budapest Richard Wagner Society. In 2018 he took part in the Bayreuth masterclass with Christian Thielemann. He made his opera debut in 2019 with Puccini’s La Bohème and assisted Christoph Ulrich Meier in a production at the Vienna University of Music. He was selected for the International Conducting Competition Rotterdam 2021.
Paul Marsovszky (Germany), 26
Paul Marsovszky has been working as Assistant Conductor with Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra since 2019. During this time he has had the opportunity to work closely with world renowned artists such as Sir András Schiff, Elisabeth Leonskaja and Mia Persson. He has participated in several major conducting competitions, including the Deutscher Dirigentenpreis 2019 and the Maestro Solti Conducting competition 2017 in Budapest. In 2021 he has been selected to participate in the first International Conducting Competition Rotterdam.Before his graduation in orchestra conducting from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music Budapest, he took part in Bernard Haitink’s masterclass at the Lucerne Easter Festival 2018. His interest in opera repertoire led him to assist Brian Schembri at Theater Lübeck for an opera production when he was 19 years old. In 2018 he received the Bayreuth-Scholarship of the Richard-Wagner-Scholarship-Foundation.
Nils Erik Måseidvåg (Norway), 27
Third prize winner of the Princess Astrid International Music Competition, Nils Erik Måseidvåg is considered one of Norway’s greatest talents in conducting, and has regularly worked with Norwegian orchestras, including the Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Trondheim SO Kristiansand SO, Stavanger SO, Arctic Philharmonic and The Norwegian Radio Orchestra. Having attended international masterclasses like the Gstaad Menuhin Conducting Academy and the Järvi Academy, Nils Erik has studied with Manfred Honeck, Johannes Schlaefli, Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi and Jorma Panula. In 2018/19 he was assistant conductor at the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, working closely with Chief Conductor Ed Gardner and Juanjo Mena. He recently concluded his studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Music with Giordano Bellincampi and Michael Schønwandt. There he conducted the Danish National, Odense, Aalborg, Sønderjylland and Aarhus Symphony Orchestras. Previous studies include a masters degree in conducting at the Norwegian Academy of Music with Ole Kristian Ruud and Sigmund Torp.
Chloe Rooke (United Kingdom), 23
‘Highly Commended’ in the Women of the Future Awards, Chloe is currently undertaking the Dutch National Master in Orchestral Conducting. She has worked with the Residentie Orkest, Noord Nederlands Orkest, Phion Orkest van Gelderland & Overijssel, Philharmonie Zuidnederland, Southbank Sinfonia, Britten-Pears Orchestra, British Youth Opera and New Chamber Opera, assisting conductors including Sir Mark Elder, John Wilson, Antony Hermus, Ed Spanjaard and Jac Van Steen. Passionate about music’s role in transforming lives, Chloe also conducts Street Orchestra Live – a young professional ensemble performing in unusual locations all over the country, with the mantra ‘Music for Anyone, Everywhere’. In July 2020 she completed an MA in Orchestral Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied with Sian Edwards and was the recipient of the Ernest Read Conducting Prize. Prior to this she graduated with a first in Music from St Catherine’s College, Oxford.
Harry Sever (United Kingdom), 28
British conductor and composer Harry Sever studied at Oxford University and trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Recent and upcoming engagements include The Barber of Seville (WNO), Fantasio (Garsington), La traviata (Opera Holland Park Young Artists), Cendrillon (Bampton Classical Opera) and The Nutcracker (Peter Schaufuss Ballet), as well as projects with The Royal Danish Opera, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and British Youth Opera. He has worked on the music staff at ENO, Den Jyske Opera, and the Grange Festival, collaborating with orchestras including the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Odense Symfoniorkester, and the Britten Sinfonia, and has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, and the Barbican. Recent composition highlights include commissions for the Oxford Lieder Festival and Sell-A-Door productions. Passionate about outreach work, he is a regular collaborator with the Royal Opera House, ENO, and Streetwise Opera, bringing music to the wider community.
Nikita Sorokine (France), 29
Nikita Sorokine was born in Leningrad in 1990. He graduated from the St Petersburg State Conservatory in 2012 as a musicologist, and went on to analyse Mahler’s symphonies in collaboration with world-renowned Mahler authority Henry-Louis De La Grange. He then began conducting studies at the Conservatoire de Paris with Alain Altinoglu. In 2016 he became assistant conductor to Leonard Slatkin for the Orchestre National de Lyon’s Tchaikovsky symphonies cycle. In 2019 he participated in a masterclass with Tugan Sokhiev and the Toulouse National Capitol Orchestra. In the summer of 2019 he was invited to be assistant conductor at Bregenz Opera Festival (Austria), where he worked on a staging of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin together with Valentin Uryupin. He has participated in numerous workshops with Ensemble Intercontemporain. Nikita won the All-Russian Conducting Competition which took place in 2019 in Moscow with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra.
Jonathan Stark (Germany), 25
German conductor Jonathan Stark combines historically informed style with technical precision. As winner of the Athens International Conducting Competition 2019, he will make his debut with the Athens Philharmonia Orchestra and the Volksoper Wien in the 2020/21 season. He conducted contemporary ensemble works at the Vienna Musikverein and at the Wien Modern Festival. His work in the orchestra pit began in 2018 with Johann Strauss’ operetta A Night in Venice, followed by assistances at the Schlossfestspiele Langenlois and at the Volksoper Wien. He completed his conducting training in Vienna with Andreas Stoehr and supplemented it with masterclasses with Jorma Panula and Michalis Economou. In August 2020, he launched the StarkConductor Blog, where he has since been blogging about various aspects of classical music and engaging with audiences.
Julio García Vico (Spain), 28
Winner of the German Conductor’s Award 2019, the Oscar-and-Vera-Ritter-Stiftung Audience Award and the Opernfreunde-Bonn-2019 Award, Julio García Vico will conduct the Beethoven-Orchestra-Bonn, Gürzenich-Orchester-Köln, Münchener-Symphoniker, Oper-Köln and WDR-Sinfonieorchester in the next season.Julio won the Santa-Cecilia-Odero National Prize before studying at the RCSMM Madrid, where he won the First Performance Prize. He travelled to Munich to study contemporary music and became ‘Akademist’ at the Ensemble-Modern-Frankfurt. He is studying conducting with Rüdiger Bohn in Düsseldorf and a Philosophy degree at the UNED. He is a scholar of the German Music Council’s Dirigentenforum and has been conductor of the Collegium Musicum Aachen, the Komische Oper am Rhein, repetiteur of the Robert-Schumann-University (with baritone Konrad Jarnot) and musical director of the Operstudio at the Krefeld and Mönchengladbach theaters (Germany). He has been invited to festivals such as Manifeste Paris, Beijing-Music-Festival, Warszawska Jesień and Gaudeamus Muziekweek.
Agata Zając (Poland), 25
Agata Zając is a Polish conductor born in 1995. For the 2020/21 season, she is a conductor-in-residence of the Toruń Symphony Orchestra. She graduated in conducting studies with a Master’s degree at the Academy of Music in Poznań. Since 2018, she has collaborated with the Warsaw Chamber Opera as an assistant conductor and also with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Greek National Radio Orchestra and Athens Philharmonia Orchestra as an assistant of Michalis Economou. She has performed with l’Orchestre national de Metz, Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of Poznań Grand Theatre, Opole Philharmonic Orchestra and Schumann Youth Orchestra.Agata has participated in many international masterclasses - with Peter Eötvös, Marin Alsop, David Reiland as teachers. She has been invited to numerous competitions and auditions – including with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France, where she was selected for the finals.
The Donatella Flick Conducting Competition will take place at LSO St Luke's in COVID-secure conditions on 21–23 May 2021. The final will be livestreamed via medici.tv from LSO St Luke's on Sunday 23 May 2021.
ONLINE EVENT: Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition Final
Sun 23 May 2021 6.30pm BST on medici.tv
Verdi Nabucco – Overture
Brahms Variations on the St Anthony Chorale
Dvorák Slavonic Dances Op 72
Lennox Mackenzie OBE – Chair of the Jury
David Alberman – LSO Chairman
Martin Handley presenter
Tasmin Little guest presenter
London Symphony Orchestra