Donatella Flick Conducting Competition Announces New Dates: 
20 Emerging Conductors Will Conduct The London Symphony Orchestra From 21-23 May

20 of Europe’s most talented young conductors will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra as they compete in the 16th biennial Donatella Flick Conducting Competition from 21-23 May 2021 in London. Founded by Donatella Flick, who remains at its helm, this year’s event marks 30 years since the first Competition in 1991. The winner receives a £15,000 cash prize from Donatella Flick and becomes Assistant Conductor at the London Symphony Orchestra for one year. 

Originally scheduled to take place in February 2021 the Competition was postponed in response to UK Government restrictions around the covid-19 pandemic. It has now been planned to take place in a Covid-secure environment with a number of changes in place. 

For the first time all 20 candidates will have the chance to conduct the London Symphony Orchestra which now takes part in all three rounds of the Competition, rather than performing only in the Final. A new jury has been assembled, and each competitor entering the UK will arrive early to quarantine according to UK laws.

Donatella Flick, the Competition’s founder, said:

“After 30 years of careful planning and honing to make my Competition of as much value as possible for young conductors, I was determined that the reality of a global pandemic was something that we would work with rather than allow to defeat us. We have all made changes and sacrifices in our lives over the past year, not least the musical community, which has been very deeply affected by Covid-19. Our close partner, the London Symphony Orchestra, has been at the front and centre of plans for the musical world to reopen, and I am grateful for the support and expertise of its players and staff, which has been invaluable. I am also grateful to our new jury members for giving up their time at short notice and to each and every one of the contestants who will have to spend several days in quarantine to compete. I wish them all the very best of luck and hope that by pressing ahead, we show in some small way that the musical world is open for business again.”

With no live audience for the Competition’s Final, which moves from the Barbican to LSO St Luke’s, the focus shifts to a digital audience watching live on Medici TV. All appropriately socially-distanced, the Competitors and Orchestra will be joined only by necessary staff and the jury in the Hall.

To the jury, the Competition welcomes the conductors Sian Edwards, Carlo Rizzi and Andrew Constantine, winner of the first Competition in 1991 and from the LSO, Principal Bassoon Rachel Gough and David Alberman, the Orchestra’s Chairman and Principal 2nd Violin. The soprano Danielle de Niese and the composer and conductor Sir James MacMillan are also on the panel, which is chaired by Lennox Mackenzie, former Sub-Leader of the LSO. 

Amongst the 20 talented young conductors taking part from across Europe are 26yo identical twin brothers Johannes and Paul Marsovszky from Germany. Three women conductors will compete, 30yo Austro-Spanish conductor Teresa Reveiro Böhm, 25yo Agata Zając from Poland, and Chloe Rooke (23) who is one of three candidates from the UK, alongside Thomas Goff (28) and Harry Sever (28). 27yo Nils Erik Måseidvåg is the Competition’s first Norwegian candidate, since entry was opened to that country in 2018. The competitors this year are from Austria, Belgium, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the UK. More information about the full list of candidates can be found at https://donatellaflickcompetition.com/meet-the-competitors.  

All 20 candidates compete in round one and ten remain for the second round, during which the jury select three finalists. The winner is announced at the end of the Final Round on Friday 23 May.

Welsh National Opera is delighted to continue its association with the Competition by offering one of the Finalists the opportunity to join the Company as WNO Associate Conductor for the 2022/23 Season. Previous WNO Associate Conductors have included Competition Finalists Kerem Hasan and Harry Ogg. 

The rescheduled 16th Donatella Flick Conducting Competition takes place from 21-23 May at LSO St Luke’s on London’s Old Street and the Final will be broadcast live on Medici TV (www.medici.tv) from 18.30 BST on Friday 23 May.