Bamberg, 5th July 2020
Announcement of the prize winners of the sixth Mahler Competition
On Saturday 4th July 2020, the jury of the 2020 Mahler Competition announced the winners
of the competition immediately after the final.
Prize (€ 30.000) Finnegan Downie Dear, Great Britain (born 1st April 1990)
Prize (€ 20.000) Thomas Jung, Germany (born 1st November 1984)
Prize (€ 10.000) Wilson Ng, Hong Kong (born 7th August 1989); Harry Ogg, Great Britain (born 21st October 1990); Katharina Wincor, Austria (born 30th March 1995)
Finnegan Downie Dear completed his studies at the University of Cambridge and the Royal
Academy of Music, graduating with distinction. He has worked as a répétiteur and assistant
at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Bavarian State Opera Munich, the Vienna
State Opera, the Berlin State Opera, the Zurich Opera House and the Salzburg Festival.
Future engagements will take him to Frankfurt Opera and the Royal Opera Stockholm.
In the concert hall, he has already worked with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra,
Ensemble Resonanz, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra, the RTÉ
Concert Orchestra and the Slovak State Philharmonic.
The Jury’s verdict states the following: “Finnegan Downie Dear shows a very rare
combination of an open heart and a brilliant mind in his excellent music making. He is able to
evoke truly magical moments in Mahler as well as in the works of contemporary music, as if
there can be nothing more natural to do. At this time we need such beautiful art, made with
authenticity and sincerity, more than ever before.“
Instead of awarding a single 3rd prize winner, the jury decided to honor the quality of all
other participants in the semifinals and to split the 3rd prize amongst one finalist and the two
remaining semi finalists. Thanks to a spontaneous donation from a patron of the orchestra,
the prize winners of the 3rd prize were each awarded € 5000.
The winner of the Mahler Competition, Finnegan Downie Dear, will conduct the final concert
with the Bamberg Symphony on Sunday 5 July 2020, 5 p.m. (CET), during which time the
award ceremony will also take place. The programme includes Miroslav Srnka’s new work “Memory Full”, a commissioned work by the Bamberg Symphony, which will be
premiered in this concert, and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the soprano Barbara
Founded by the Bamberg Symphony in 2004, under the patronage of the composer’s granddaughter,
Marina Mahler, the Mahler Competition is in its sixth edition. The jury is chaired by
chief conductor Jakub Hrůša. Also sitting on the jury is patron and honorary member, Marina
Mahler, Gustav Mahler’s granddaughter. This year, there were 336 young applicants from 54
countries. 12 candidates were invited to Bamberg, 10 male and 2 female.
This year’s jury was comprised of chief conductor Jakub Hrůša; Marina Mahler; conductors
Lahav Shani, Juanjo Mena and John Carewe; conductor and singer Barbara Hannigan;
professor of orchestral conducting Mark Stringer; composer Miroslav Srnka; artist consultant
Martin Campbell-White; principal and Dean of the Juilliard School New York, Ara
Guzelimian; Pamela Rosenberg, the former director of the Berlin Philharmonic; the director
of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra Marcus Rudolf Axt; and Martin Timphus, member of
the orchestra director of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra.
The Mahler Competition 2020 is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the
Bamberg Symphony, the company Brose Fahrzeugteile GmbH & Co. KG in Hallstadt and