The Leeds Conductors Competition returns in September 2020 for its tenth outing, offering transformative opportunities for young British conductors.
Held at Leeds Town Hall in partnership between Leeds International Concert Season and Opera North, the Competition begins with a chance to take the podium in front of musicians from the Orchestra of Opera North, and climaxes with a gala concert with the full ensemble, prize money totalling £21,000, and a series of professional engagements with the country's other leading orchestras for the winner.
From its inception in 1984 to the last instalment in 2009, the Leeds Conductors Competition’s alumni are among the most illustrious names in orchestral music today. Inaugural winner Sian Edwards (pictured below) went on to become Music Director of English National Opera; and Opera North’s current Music Director designate, Garry Walker, won the Competition in 1999.
The Competition begins on Tuesday 8 September, when sixteen selected entrants conduct small ensembles from the Orchestra of Opera North in the chamber music rounds. Twelve successful competitors will then go through to public rounds that are free to attend with the orchestra from Wednesday 9 September. The competition culminates on Saturday 12 September with a gala concert of Beethoven, Elgar and Sibelius, with the winner of the first prize of £10,000 announced at the end of the evening.
Timothy Walker, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chair of this year’s jury (pictured below) says: “It is an honour and a privilege to chair the jury of this year’s Leeds Conductors Competition. I and my colleagues are tasked with identifying the next generation of British conductors. It is in one sense a forbidding task for brilliant musicianship abounds but the special quality that marks a truly great conductor is rare and when seen and heard the effect touches us in an almost other-worldly way.”
Other members of the jury include conductor Richard Farnes, violinist Lyn Fletcher, and Colin Metters, Professor Emeritus of Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music. Find out more about this year’s jury.