The ten conductors progressing to the Second Round of the 17th Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition have today been announced [21 March], following the First Round of the Competition at LSO St Luke’s, London. Chosen by an expert jury which includes David Alberman (jury Chair), Sally Beamish, Martyn Brabbins, Sian Edwards and Juliana Koch, the competitors progressing to the Second Round are:

Félix Benati – 26, France
Nicolò Umberto Foron – 25, Germany
Jiří Habart – 30, Czechia
Nathanaël Iselin
 – 29, France
Nicolas Kierdorf – 28, Luxembourg
Zofia Kiniorska – 26, Poland

Aleksandra Melaniuk – 22, Poland
Jakub Przybycień – 27, Poland

Matthew Rhodes – 23, United Kingdom
Agata Zając – 27, Poland

These ten conductors will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra in the Second Round tomorrow [22 March], where they will conduct excerpts of Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 and Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, as well as Sally Beamish’s Variations on a Theme of Benjamin Britten. LSO Principals David Cohen (cello) and Chris Richards (clarinet) will perform as the soloists.

Following the Second Round, three conductors will be chosen to compete in the Final on Thursday 23 March, where they will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra in pieces by Wagner, Grieg and Berlioz. Sir Antonio Pappano will also join the jury for the Final Round. The Final will be streamed on on 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. The livestream will be hosted by Gramophone Editor-in-Chief James Jolly.

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. 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.

Previous winners of the Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition include Elim Chan (2014 winner), François-Xavier Roth (2000 joint winner) and Clemens Schuldt (2010).