September 17 - 23, 2012
First Prize was won by the 32 years old chinese Daye Lin. Second Prize was awarded to Daniel Smith (30) from Australia and the Third Prize to Brandon Keith Brown (31) from the USA.
Prize money: ?15,000 for the winner, ?10,000 for the 2nd prize and ?5000 for the 3rd. Winners of the 1st and 2nd prizes also receive invitations to conduct the Frankfurter Opern- und Museumsorchester, the hr-Sinfonieorchester and other international orchestras in Germany and elsewhere.
Three finalists conducted The Frankfurt Radio Symphony this morning at the Alte Oper Frankfurt - the works, drawn by lots, were: the overture to "Euryanthe" op. 81 by Carl Maria von Weber (Daniel Smith), the overture to "Rienzi, der letzte der Tribunen" by Richard Wagner (Brandon Keith Brown) and the overture to "Fledermaus" by Johann Strauß (Daye Lin). All three candidates then conducted the 2nd suite from Maurice Ravel's "Daphnis and Chloë".
Chairman of the jury Rolf-E. Breuer announced the results after consultation with the jury, members of which had also attended rehearsals for the final concert which took place on Friday and Saturday. "We want this competition to be a platform for future world class conductors", said Breuer.
The thrilling morning was rounded off with Emil von Reznícek's "Donna Diana" ouverture, conducted by the winner, Daye Lin. The score of this (surprise) work was only given to the candidates at the beginning of the competition.
The Final's Jury, chaired by Rolf-E. Breuer, consisted of: Ingo de Haas (1st Leader of the Opern- und Museumsorchester), Bernd Loebe (Intendant & Managing Director of Oper Frankfurt), Dr. Stephan Pauly (Intendant & Managing Director of Alte Oper Frankfurt), Markus Stenz (General Music Director of the City of Cologne, Gürzenich- Kapellmeister), Sebastian Weigle (General Music Director of the City of Frankfurt, Oper Frankfurt and the Opern- und Museumsorchester), Andrea Zietzschmann (Manager of the Music Department and Orchestra at the Hessischen Rundfunk and Orchestral Manager of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony).
405 conductors, aged between 20 and 35, from 70 countries, applied to take part in this year's competition. 22 of them were invited to come to Frankfurt to take part in preliminary rounds (September 17th-20th) with the Opern- und Museumsorchester and The Frankfurt Radio Symphony, from which three finalists were selected.
The Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain sponsored the competition and, thereby the wonderful up and coming conductors, this year for the first time. This is an excellent initiative in the RheinMain area, which enables wonderful things to take place in the region.
1st Prize: Daye Lin (32)
Lin Daye has taken up the role as the Principal Conductor of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra (GSO) from September 2010. After four years of study in Berlin at the Hochschule fur Musik Hanns Eisler, the young Chinese conductor Lin Daye returned in 2009 to his homeland, China, and has enjoyed great success with the country's leading orchestras. In October 2009 he made his debut with the China Philharmonic Orchestra at the Beijing Music Festival in an all-Sibelius program featuring the famous violinist Midori. Following on from his very successful GSO debut, he subsequently was asked to conduct the GSO on tour in Germany, including at the Berlin Konzerthaus, in a challenging program featuring new symphonic works, which received great acclaim. In July 2010, for celebrating the friendship between China and Thailand for 35th anniversary, he undertook a Thailand tour with the GSO and had a critically acclaimed performance in the Thailand Cultural Center. He conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from England in the Music in the Summer Air Festival (MISA) in Shanghai, August 2010. In November 2010, Lin conducted the opening concert of the 2010 Canton Asian Music Festival along side with Midori again and a concert joined force with the most captivating soloists including Sarah Chang and Lang Lang. In addition, he conducted the Chinese premiere of Madame White Snake - a new opera co-commissioned by Opera Boston and the Beijing Music Festival (BMF) in Beijing, October 2010. Lin Daye just made a Europe tour with the GSO in December 2010, and presented successful concerts at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Teatro Verdi in Florence and Schaaner Saal in Liechtenstein. In May 2011, he was invited by Beijing Modern Music Festival to conduct Beijing Symphony Orchestra in the "Young China" concert featuring the new works by the young composers. In September 2011, he conducted GSO to give a celebration concert for the 20th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations at the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay in Singapore. Lin Daye was born in Shandong, China in 1980. As a child he studied piano and at the age of 15 began to study conducting with Professor Xu Xin at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. In 1998, he was accepted into the Shanghai Conservatory of Music to continue his conducting studies with Professor Zhang Guoyong. In 2000, he participated in a master-class given by Maestro Seiji Ozawa who praised him highly. In 2005, he obtained a scholarship from DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and began to study at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin under the guidance of Prof. Christian Ehwald. While there, he had the opportunity to conduct the famous orchestras like Berlin Symphony Orchestra (Konzerthaus Orchestra), Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra and Frankfurt Symphony Orchestra. In China, he has worked with Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Qingdao Symphony Orchestra as well as Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra.
2nd Prize: Daniel Smith (30)
Young Australian conductor, Daniel Smith, is fast becoming one of the world's most exhilarating musicians, filling concert halls around the globe. Winner of the 5th Luigi Mancinelli Opera Conductors' International Competition in Italy (August 2012), and the Orchestra's Choice Prize for Best Conductor in the 2011 Lutoslawski International Conducting Competition, Daniel's energy and connection with both musicians and audiences has had him hailed as "one of the greatest young conducting promises" by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra at his concert debut in 2010. In 2011/2012 Daniel made his conducting debut with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, taking the podium for three different programs including the Festival Antibes Génération Virtuoses, and the cornerstone New Year's Eve concert at the Acropolis, before a capacity audience of 2,500 people: "from beginning to end [Daniel Smith] impressed all and has been imprinted on the minds of everyone... an outburst of enthusiasm and excitement among audience and orchestra for his inexhaustible and exceedingly beautiful performance" (Nice Matin, 2012). Similar acclaim followed Daniel's performance with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra (Canada) in the Masters series with soloist Lara St John this year, with his conducting of Smetana's Ma Vlast described as "unfettered and exhilarating... The performance ended with cheers of enthusiasm and a prolonged standing ovation" and resulting in a re-invitation to conduct for the same series in 2012/13. Sharing his time between Rome and Sydney, in recent years Daniel has also conducted the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Romania, Orchestra della Toscana (as Assistant Conductor), Orquestra de Cadaqués, and Salzburg Chamber Soloists, as well as concerts with Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo, and the Orchestra of Sofia. Daniel has also conducted performances at festivals in Europe, the USA and Australia, including the Mozarteum Festspiele, Jarvi Summer Festival, Estate Musicale Chigiana, Aspen Music Festival and the Sydney Olympic Arts Festival. Venturing into symphonic music for film he has recorded the soundtrack for animated series The Tower of Druaga with the Eminence Symphony Orchestra, along with various works of film composers John Williams and Joe Hisaishi. Equally successful in the opera theatre, he has recently worked on productions of Il barbiere di Siviglia, Cavalleria rusticana, Così fan tutte, Fanciulla del West, Der fliegende Holländer, Gianni Schicchi, La Rondine, Der Rosenkavalier, Suor Angelica, Tosca, La traviata and Wozzeck, alongside esteemed directors, Franco Zeffirelli and Giancarlo del Monaco, at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Opéra Monte Carlo, and Opera i Filharmonia Podlaska. As Assistant Conductor to Maestro Gianluigi Gelmetti at the Sydney Symphony Orchestra from 2005-2009, Daniel has also studied conducting under Maestri Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Jorma Panula, Robert Spano, Hugh Wolff, Imre Pallo and Harry Spence Lyth. He holds a Master of Music degree, two Fellowships in Music and five Diplomas of Merit from institutions such as Trinity College London, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Accademia Musicale Chigiana Siena, the American Academy of Conducting, the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg, and Vysoká skola múzických umení v Bratislave. Grand Finalist in the 2011 Bucharest International Conducting Competition, most voted candidate on the world-wide web in the 2009 Malko International Conducting Competition and winner of the 2009 Brian Stacey Conducting Prize (in conjunction with the Helpmann Awards), Daniel was recently voted the 'Person To Watch' by Fairfax Media International. Over the years, Daniel has won over 100 prizes and scholarships, including the esteemed Sydney Symphony Stuart Challender Fund Scholarship, Accademia Musicale Chigiana Scholarship, Australia Council for the Arts Music Scholarship, Ian Potter Cultural Trust Award, Olive Silvester Scholarship, The Fred Blanks Award and The Alan Bellhouse Memorial Scholarship for Conducting. Daniel has been a member of numerous international juries and has been invited to give masterclasses around the world. Daniel has been involved in music since first learning the flute at the age of 6, studying with Julia Fekete- Berky and later, William Bennett and Sir James Galway. He held the position of Principal Flute with the SBS Radio & Television Orchestra and was accepted into Cirque du Soleil's Talent Bank. He has recorded with ABC Classic FM, 2MBS-FM, AMFS, Gonzo and Scarboro Music Productions and his conducting debut, at age 16, with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, was broadcast around Australia on Television Network 9.
3rd Prize: Brandon Keith Brown (31)
Brandon Keith Brown is quickly garnering national and international attention as a prominent young conductor. Winner of the 2011 Ansbacher Fellowship, he was selected by members of the Vienna Philharmonic to be in residence at The Salzburg Festival, where he conducted students and members of the Vienna Philharmonic in the Operancampsprogram. At the invitation of Kurt Masur, he recently made is New York debut at the Manhattan School of Music. Handpicked by David Zinman, he conducted the Tonhalle- Orchestra on full scholarship in a special June masterclass in Zurich. Also in June, he conducted the Forth Worth Symphony at the annual League of American Orchestra conference in a masterclass with Miguel Harth-Bedoya. In September, he will conduct the Atlanta Symphony in a master class with Robert Spano. This summer, he returned to Salzburg to serve as the Conductor for the Vienna Philharmonic's Operacamps, conducting philharmonic members and students. Chosen by Lorin Maazel as his apprentice, Brown performed at The 2010 Castleton Festival in Virginia USA. In 2009, he performed in the acclaimed American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, with David Zinman. Solely representing the United States, he competed in Zagreb, Croatia as 1 of 16 semi-finalists in The Lovro Matacic International Competition for Young Conductors in October, having been chosen from 163 applicants from 43 countries. In May, he conducted Danish National Symphony Orchestra as 1 of 28 second round participants in the Malko International Conducting Competitionin Copenhagen, having been selected from over 400 applicants. In September, he will compete as 1 of 22 competitors in the 2012 Georg Solti Competition, having been chosen from over 400 applicants. He will conduct the Frankfurter Opern und Museumsorchester and The Frankfurt Radio Symphony. A strong advocate for music education, this past season, he was Associate Conductor of the Omaha Area Youth Orchestras where he secured a new $25,000 donation, led a large and unprecedented fall recruitment effort and served on the grant review panel for the Nebraska Arts Council.Recent guest conducting included 26 concerts for the Omaha Symphony's "Mission Imagination" Education Series. Orchestras conducted include the Tonhalle-Orchestra, Danish National Symphony, Croatian Radio and Television Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Omaha Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, Macon Sinfonia, the Astoria Symphony, the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, the Yakima Chamber Orchestra, and various youth, collegiate, and all-state orchestras. Versatile in opera, Brown has been music director for Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte, Suor Angelica, assistant for Britten's Albert Herring and studied Puccini's Il Trittico with Lorin Maazel. Previously, he has served as cover conductor for the Baltimore Symphony, Assistant Conductor at the Peabody Institute, and as an assistant conductor/fellow of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra. Other prestigious workshops and schools attended include: The Pierre Monteux School, The Conductor's Institute, The League of American Orchestras, The Omaha Symphony Conductor's Symposium, the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen and the Conductor's Guild. Prominent conductors he has worked with include: James Depreist, Murray Sidlin, Leonid Korchmar, Oleg Proskurnya, Thomas Wilkins, Carl Topilow, Donald Thulean, Marin Alsop, Gustav Meier and David Zinman. A strong advocate for music education, this past season, he was Associate Conductor of the Omaha Area Youth Orchestras where he secured a new $25,000 donation, led a large and unprecedented fall recruitment effort and served on the grant review panel for the Nebraska Arts Council. Winner of the Peabody Career Grant, Mr. Brown holds a Master's of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, under Gustav Meier. Initially trained as a violinist, Mr. Brown is a high school graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He later continued his studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and Northwestern University, where he received a Bachelor's in Performance under Roland and Almita Vamos.