Nodoka Okisawa, laureate of the Grand Prix 2019
After a Final between Haoran Li (China, 33), Victor Jacob (France, 28) et Nodoka Okisawa (Japan, 32), the jury chose Nodoka Okisawa as laureate of the Grand Prix de Direction of the 56th International Competition for Young Conductors.
She succeeds Ben Glassberg, winner in 2017, and won all three main prizes:
- Grand Prix de Direction 2019
- “Coup de cœur de l’orchestre” (orchestra’s favorite)
- “Coup de cœur du public” (audience’s favorite)
The jury also chose to award a Special Mention to Victor Jacob.
The 3 finalists
Semi-finalist of Besançon and Hong-Kong conducting competition, he is regularly invited to conduct Orchestre National de Montpellier Occitanie as well as the Choeur and Maîtrise de Radio France. Victor Jacob already conducted several orchestras, including Campos do Jordao Festival Orchestra in Brasil, Miskolc Symphony Orchestra in Hungary, Hong-Kong Sinfonietta, Orchestre Symphonique de Tours, Bucarest Symphony Orchestra or Kielce Symphony Orchestra in Poland.
Among his engagements as guest conductor, Victor Jacob is often invited as an assistant for opera productions, including Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Orchestre National de Montpellier Occitanie, Orchestre National de France or Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France at Chorégies d’Orange.
This season, he was appointed assistant conductor of Fabien Gabel at Orchestre Français des Jeunes and musical director of Orchestre National de Lyon Youth Orchestra.
Victor Jacob is laureate of SAFRAN Foundation, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Born into a musical family in China, Haoran Li showed his musical talent from an early age.
He started learning the piano at the age of six and had his first public concert at the age ten.
He studied Orchestral Conducting under Prof. Xia Xiao-Tang for his Bachelor’s Degree at the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music in China.
In 2011 moved to Germany to continue his musical study at the prestigious Hochschule für Musik ”Hanns Eisler”-Berlin, where he was admitted with the highest grade among all candidates. In 2016 he got his “Konzertexam” at Hochschule für Musik ”Hanns Eisler”. His teachers include Prof. Christian Ehwald, Prof. Hans-Dieter Baum, Prof. Alexander Vitlin.
In 2013, he devoted himself to conducting with Pierre Migard. He obtained his Diploma of Musical Studies in Besançon, as well as the Diploma of the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris in the class of Dominique Rouits. Since 2015, he studied at the University of Music of Lausanne in Master of Management with Aurélien Azan Zielinski. He studied at the Prague School of Music under Tomás Kutnik and Ivan Parik. He was assistant conductor of Norbert Baxa in “Hamlet”'s production at the Plzen Opera House (Czech Republic).
His experience was forged in contact with the International Academy of Atri (Italy), the Orchestra Music en Seine in Paris, the Opéra de Massy, the University Symphonic Orchestra and the HEMU of Lausanne, the North Philharmonic Czech of Teplice or various orchestras of the region.
Hee-Beom has taken part in masterclasses with Johannes Schläfli (Swizerland), Howard Williams (England) , Alim Shakh (Russia) and Jaap van Zweden (Netherlands). He has frequently conducted the Wind Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra of University of Graz as well as the University Choir.
Last season, he conducted a programme of Rachmaninov's "piano concerto no.3" with Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, and Saint Saens' "Symphony no.3" and Tchaikovsky's "Symphony no.5" with the Gstaad Festival Orchestra in Festival-Zelt Gstaad in 2017.
He had a concert with Gyeunggi Philharmonic Orchestra in 2019.
He was a quarter finalist in the 55th International Competition Besancon in 2017 and was selected to participate in the Malko Competition for Young Conductors in 2018.
Other candidates of the 2nd Round
After finished his master degree in Glgasgow, SIT was invited by the Mozartuem University in Salzburg and pursuing post-graduation diploma under guidance of Prof. Bruno Weil, Prof. Reinhard Goebel and Prof. Johannes Kalitzke. During his time in Glasgow and Salzburg, he was invited to conduct two Opera productions with the Mozarteum University Opera, Bald Reichenhall Philharmonic Orchestra, and South Czech Philharmonic among others.
Other candidates of the 1st Round
Since 2017 Ivan Demidov is Kapellmeister of the Staatstheater Augsburg, Germany. He has conducted among others “The Four Seasons” (ballet), “Swan Lake”, “La forza del destino”, “Die Zauberflöte”, “Dalibor”, “Solaris”, “Roxy und ihr Wunderteam”. Further projects are “Don Pasquale”, “JFK” and “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Giselle” and “In The Penal Colony” by Philip Glass.
In 2017 became a finalist of The 55th International Competition for young conductors in Besançon, France. His repertoire includes Mozart's “Così fan tutte” and “Le nozze di Figaro”, Poulenc's “The Human Voice”, Tchaikovsky's “Eugene Onegin”, Bizet’s “Carmen” as well as symphonic works by Beethoven, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Schumann, Weber.
Looking forward, Köhler will return to the Theater Basel, leading ballet-performances of "Snow White" as well as assisting Jonathan Stockhammer in Nonos "Al gran sole carico d’amore".
Also an active opera conductor, Köhler has conducted productions of "I Pagliacci" and "Hänsel und Gretel" at opera houses in Pilzen and Meiningen, and performances of "Madama Butterfly", "La Traviata", "Die Zauberflöte" in Pilzen and Teplice, "Death in Venice" (ballet) at Theater Basel and "Die Formel" (WP) at Konzert Theater Bern, where, since 2014, he is frequently conducting family and school concerts.
Köhler studied conducting in Stuttgart and Zurich where he graduated “with distinction”. He has participated in masterclasses with conductors including Bernard Haitink, Esa-Pekka Salonen, David Zinman and Jaap van Zweden.
From 2014 to 2016, he entered into Hochschule fuer Musik Karlsruhe for master study majored in Symphony conducting. Following professor Andreas Weiss and professor Werner Stiefel. Since 2017, he has been the conductor of the Xiamen Philharmonic orchestra.
The professional orchestra he conducted: Constance Philharmonic Orchestra; Baden Philharmonic Orchestra; Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra; Potsheim Chamber Orchestr; Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra; Shenzhen City Philharmonic Orchestra.
His work as founding Music Director of the Cardiff Sinfonietta has seen the orchestra broadcast for the BBC and perform with soloists including Nicola Benedetti and Evelyn Glennie.
Jonathan has collaborated with composers Diana Burrell, Peter Maxwell Davies and Mark-Anthony Turnage. He has conducted the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, ‘Composers of Wales’ concert series several times and also premiered five new operas with Size Zero Opera (UK).
Passionate about inspiring young musicians, he has worked in Europe and Asia with numerous youth orchestras. Since 2015 he has mentored students from the Immanuel Orchestra - Music for Life project based in the Bangkok slums.
Jonathan studied conducting at the Royal Academy of Music and with Bernard Haitink at the Lucerne Festival.
Since 2015 he lives in Paris, where he joined the Paris Opera Academy until 2017. He then continues to collaborate with the Paris Opera, and with the Master of Radio France or the Queen Elisabeth Chapel in Brussels. He is also studying with Nicolas Brochot and is receiving advice from Jorma Panula, Donato Renzetti, Vittorio Parisi and Jin Wang.
His deep knowledge of the repertoire of opera allows him to successfully conduct the musical direction of “Così fan Tutte” (Orvieto, Italy, 2017) and “Un Ballo in Maschera” (Almaty, Kazakhstan, 2018). In 2018 he won the 2nd prize at the "International Competition for Luigi Mancinelli Opera Conductors" (Orvieto, Italy).
Steps and dates of the 56th Competition
Preliminary rounds – April and May 2019
Each candidate is required to conduct symphonic works performed by two pianos in front of two jury members.
David Berdery and Thomas Palmer
- Jury members
Catherine Larsen Maguire
Jorge Rotter (replacing Yan Pascal Tortelier, suffering)
- Serguei Rachmaninoff, Symphonic Dances, opus 45
Transcription for two pianos
Edition Boosey et Hawkes
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Symphony no. 35 « Haffner » K.385
Orchestra score. Piano 1 = harmony. Piano 2 = strings.
Edition Breitkopf & Härtel
Final rounds – September 16-21, 2019
The final rounds take place from 16 to 21 September 2019 in Besançon, during the 72nd edition of the Besançon Music Festival. After the preliminaries (270 candidates) only twenty candidates will be entered into the orchestra rounds.
- All of the rounds with orchestra are open to the public. All works are imposed.
- The candidates will either be asked to conduct entire pieces or excerpts, or to rehearse the artists under their musical direction, according to their interpretation or at the jury’s request.