Bamberg Symphony’s international competition for young conductors, The Mahler
Competition, is accepting applications for conductors under the age of 35. The
competition will take place in Bamberg, Germany from July 7 – July 15, 2023. The
application period is running from September 15 – November 30th, 2022, with
applications forms available on the Mahler Competition website.
Founded by the Bamberg Symphony in 2004, under the patronage of the composer’s
grand-daughter, Marina Mahler, the Mahler Competition returns in 2023 for its
seventh edition. The jury, chaired by Marina Mahler, Chief Conductor Jakub Hrůša
and Chief Executive Marcus Rudolf Axt, will include Deborah Borda, Thomas
Hampson, and Barbara Hannigan alongside nine other classical music luminaries.
The last competition held in 2020 saw a total of 336 applicants from 54 nations, with
10 male and 2 female finalists. Excelling candidates from various regions are invited
to Bamberg for the final stages of the competition. Cash prizes will be awarded to the
three finalists, with 30,000 Euros awarded to the first prize winner, 20,000 Euros to
second place, and 10,000 Euros to third. The first-place winner will additionally
receive career coaching and the unique opportunity to grow as a conductor and artist
through continued mentorship. Many extraordinary conductors found their start at the
Mahler Competition, including 2006 winner Gustavo Dudamel and 2013 winner
Lahav Shani.
This competition’s repertoire begins fittingly with Gustav Mahler’s brilliant Symphony
No. 7, followed with works by Joseph Haydn, Alban Berg, Igor Stravinsky, and
concluding with Bernd Richard Deutsch’s new work for orchestra, a world premiere
commission by the Bamberg Symphony.
Bamberg Symphony encourages young conductors from around the world to apply
online for consideration in this competition. All travel and accommodation expenses
will be covered, and the majority of competition rounds will be streamed online.