Gramophone Editor-in-Chief James Jolly announced as host for livestream of Final Round

Martyn Brabbins, Music Director of English National Opera, joins Jury

LSO Principals David Cohen and Chris Richards confirmed as soloists for Round Two

LSO St Luke’s, Tuesday 21 – Thursday 23 March 2023

Further details for the 17th Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition have been announced, ahead of the First Round on 21 March 2023. Internationally recognized as one of the world’s leading conducting competitions, the Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition will see twenty competitors from across Europe compete for the £15,000 prize awarded by Donatella Flick and the opportunity to become Assistant Conductor with the London Symphony Orchestra for up to one year.

Gramophone Editor-in-Chief James Jolly will host the live broadcast of the Final Round on Thursday 23 March from 7pm, where viewers from around the globe will be able to catch the excitement of the Competition and see the winner announced live. James Jolly previously hosted the broadcast of the Competition back in 2018, as well as many other streams including the annual Gramophone Awards and musicmakers, a series of interviews with some of the biggest names in classical music.

Martyn Brabbins was also recently announced as a member of the Jury, joining David Alberman (Jury Chair), LSO Principal Second Violin & LSO Chair; Sally Beamish, Composer; Sian Edwards, Conductor; Juliana Koch, LSO Principal Oboe; and Sir Antonio Pappano, LSO’s Chief Conductor Designate. Brabbins is currently Music Director of English National Opera, and guests with top orchestras both in the UK and internationally, and has for many years supported professional, student and amateur music-making at the highest level in the UK.   

LSO Principals David Cohen (cello) and Chris Richards (clarinet) have also been confirmed as the soloists for Round Two, where the ten competitors who progress from Round One will conduct them in excerpts of Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No.1 and Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. Competitors will also conduct Sally Beamish’s Variations on a Theme of Benjamin Britten.

The 20 competitors previously announced come from eleven countries: Austria, Czechia, France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland and the UK. Biographies for each of the competitors can be found on the Competition’s website. As always, competitors will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra and are drawn from the best conductors aged 30 or under who are citizens of the UK; countries having full membership of the European Union; and Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein or Switzerland.

After the first day of competition the Competition’s jury selects ten conductors to go through to the Second Round, and from these, three finalists will be chosen for the Final Round.

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.

One of the competitors will also become a Welsh National Opera Associate Conductor for a season, where they will have the opportunity to work with WNO’s Music Director, Tomas Hanus, as well as on a range of productions, concerts and engagement activity in Cardiff and at some of the Company’s touring venues in Wales and England.