Three mentions but no Grand Prix in 2021

2021 Competition © Yves Petit

At the end of the Final between Jong-Jie Yon (Chinese, 21 years old), Deun Lee (South Korean, 32 years old) and Chloé Dufresne (French, 29 years old), the jury chose to award three “special mentions”.
After lengthy deliberations, the jury unanimously decided not to award a Grand Prix this year, considering that the diversity of the finalists’ qualities made it impossible to decide between them.

Paul Daniel, the president of the jury, underlined the qualities of each candidate:

  • Jong-Jie Yin, the youngest of the Finalists, had a very good mastery of the music, considering his young age (21).
  • Deun Lee’s enthusiasm and communication with the artists – especially during the singing rounds – in addition to his regularity throughout the competition.
  • The originality and freshness of Chloé Dufresne’s conducting intentions, and especially her very good understanding of Camille Pépin’s work in creation.

Chloé Dufresne also won the “Coup de cœur du public” (audience’s favorite) and “Coup de cœur de l’orchestre” (orchestra’s favorite).

Review the Final of the Competition

2021 Jury

The Jury Chairman of the 57th Competition is the Conductor Paul Daniel

Paul Daniel

Jury chairman, Conductor

Paul Daniel became Music Director of the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine in 2013 and is also currently Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Galicia. He held the same post at the West Australian Symphony Orchestra from 2009 – 2013. From 1997 to 2005 he was Music Director of English National Opera; from 1990 to 1997 he was Music Director of Opera North and Principal Conductor of the English Northern Philharmonia; and from 1987 to 1990 he was Music Director of Opera Factory.
Operatic engagements include the Royal Opera House Covent Garden,, La Monnaie Brussels, the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, Zürich, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Oper Frankfurt, Opéra National de Paris, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Teatro Real Madrid, the Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe and the Bregenz Festival.
Paul Daniel’s orchestral engagements include the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, OAE (with whom he recorded Elijah for Decca), City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Bavarian Radio SO, Swedish Radio SO, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Russian National Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic.
He has recorded a wide repertoire, and recent releases include a DVD of Lulu from La Monnaie.
He was awarded the CBE in the 2000 New Year’s Honours list.

Jacques Mercier

Jury member & juror of preselections, Conductor

Jacques Mercier has studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, where he was unanimously awarded the First Prize of conducting. In the same year, he was awarded the First Prize at the International Competition for Young Conductors in Besançon and was prize-winner of the Fondation de la Vocation.
He has quickly begun an international career. He conducts famous formations : the Orchestre de Paris, the Orchestre national de Radio France, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Stockholm, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Moscow, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande… Holder of the title of "Souveräner Dirigent" in Berlin, Jacques Mercier also performs at the Salzburg Festival, in Bucharest, Helsinki and Madrid, where he is acclaimed by critics as “one of the best French and European conductors of his generation”.
From 1982 to 2002, Jacques Mercier has been Artistic Director and Resident Conductor of the Orchestre National d’Île-de-France. "Displaying communicative energy and enthusiasm, Jacques Mercier managed to make his formation rise at the first places among French orchestras.” (O. Bellamy in L’Evénement du Jeudi) ; “Jacques Mercier has irrefutably proved his great talent, made of precision and mastery, but also with fire and panache.” (P. Petit in Le Figaro).
For seven years, Jacques Mercier has served as Resident Conductor of the Turku Philharmonic in Finland. This experience has been determining in his way of conducting works by North European composers such as Sibelius whose repertoire he made known in France. But his talent, made of precision, rigour, finesse and extreme sensibility, is also perfect when conducting 19th and 20th French repertoires, including new music for which he is standing up with passion – some creations, including some by Iannis Xenakis, Luis de Pablo, Philippe Manoury et Wolfgang Rihm belong to his repertoire.
Jacques Mercier has proved his curiosity and pertinence when choosing his recording. Bacchus and Ariane and Melodies by Albert Roussel have been awarded the Prize of the Académie Charles Cros, Djamileh by Bizet the Prize of the Académie du disque lyrique. His recording, Le Martyre de Saint-Sébastien by Claude Debussy for RCA, has got the "Choc" from the Monde de la Musique. Among lyrical works, Jacques Mercier conducts above all works from the French repertoire such as Carmen, Faust, Béatrice and Bénédict, Dialogues des Carmélites, Pelléas et Mélisande, Lakmé…
Chosen as the "2002 musical Personality" by the professional Union of dramatic and musical critics, Jacques Mercier was Resident Conductor and Artistic Director of the Orchestre National de Lorraine in Metz until 2017. His first CD with the orchestra, L’An Mil, by Gabriel Pierné was awarded the Diapason d’Or 2007.

Gillian Moore

Jury member, Director of Musical Institution

Director of Music and Performing Arts at Southbank Centre

Gillian Moore is Director of Music and Performing Arts at Southbank Centre in London, overseeing a large programme of classical, jazz and contemporary music in one of the world's largest cultural institutions. At Southbank Centre, Gillian has been committed to changing the landscape for music, developing initiatives in finding new audiences and in supporting new music. She has also been at the forefront of encouraging wider debate and positive action to address issues of diversity and equality in music, through initiatives such as Southbank Centre's Women in Music Breakfasts. During her distinguished career, she has collaborated with and commissioned works from many of the great musical and artistic figures of our age. Gillian has been awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Prince Charles in 2019.
Gillian was born in Glasgow, and has worked to bring music and the arts to the widest possible community for over 35 years. In 1983, Gillian became the first Education Officer at a UK orchestra, taking the London Sinfonietta into schools and prisons before becoming Head of Education at the Southbank Centre. Returning to the London Sinfonietta as Artistic Director between 1998 and 2006, Gillian commissioned many new works and developed an approach which connected new music to a wider culture, including visual art, dance and electronica.
Gillian is also a sought after writer on music. In 2019 her book 'The Rite of Spring - Music and Modernity' [Head of Zeus] was published to critical acclaim, and she has written for The Guardian, The Sunday Times and many other media outlets. As a broadcaster, she has been a regular contributor to BBC Television's coverage of the Proms, and makes regular appearances on BBC Radio 3, most recently writing and presenting a series of short programmes on composers and key moments in 20th century music as part of BBC Music's Our Classical Century. Gillian was a jury member for the Leeds International Piano Competition in 2018, and in 2019 was named one of the ten most powerful women in music in BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour 'Top 40 Women in Music Power List'.

Camille Pépin

Jury member, Composer

2020 : composer of the year in Victoires de la Musique Classique for her work The Sound of Trees
2020/2021 : residency in Festival International de musique de Besançon
2019 : release of the album Chamber Music (NoMadMusic)
2018 : nominated for the Trente Eclaireurs Vanity Fair
2018/2019 : Orchestre de Picardie residence
2017 : Music Prize from the Académie des Beaux-Arts
Novembre 2015 : Sacem Prize Symphonic Music "Young Composer »
Avril 2015 : World Premiere of Vajrayana in Philharmonie de Paris with the Orchestre national d'Île de France

Born in 1990, Camille Pepin is one of the most successful rising young composers of her generation. She began her musical studies at the Regional Conservatory in Amiens, studied with Thibaut Perrine and then entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, where she was awarded first prizes (orchestration, analyse, harmonie, contrepoint and fugue & formes). She studied notably with composers Thierry Escaich, Guillaume Connesson, and Marc-André Dalbavie - all of whom were paramount in her musical journey.
She won numerous prizes : Jury & Audience Prizes at the composition competition Ile de Créations 2015, "young composer" Grand Prize SACEM 2015, Prize from the Académie des Beaux-Arts 2017, Trente Eclaireurs Vanity Fair 2018 and then, she is « composer of the year 2020 » at the Victoires de la Musique Classique.
Her works have been played by numerous orchestras (BBC Symphony Orchestra, Malmö Live Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre national de Lyon, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre national de Bordeaux Aquitaine, Orchestre national d’Île de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen, Orchestre de Picardie). They are conducted notably by Mikko Franck, Fabien Gabel, Ben Glassberg, Karen Kamensek, Leonard Slatkin & Arie Van Beek. In her concertos and chamber music, she works with Guillaume Bellom, Adélaïde Ferrière, Hermès Quartet, Julien Hervé, Thibault Lepri, Yan Levionnois, Fiona McGown, Trio Métral, Raphaëlle Moreau, Célia Oneto Bensaid, Ensemble Polygones, Anaëlle Tourret.
She is invited by numerous festivals & events (Festival de Besançon, Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, Concours Long-Thibaud, Festival des Arcs, Présences, Messiaen, Aix-en-Provence, Musikstage Mondsee) and her works have been played in the most prestigious concert halls (Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Wiener Konzerthaus, Kölner Philharmonie, Barbican Center London, Philharmonie de Paris, Auditorium de Radio France, Halle aux Grains in Toulouse, Müpa in Budapest, Bozar in Bruxelles, Konzerthuset Stockholm, Konzerthaus Dortmund etc).
She is composer in residence with the Orchestre de Picardie in 2018 & 2019 and in festival de Besançon from 2019 to 2021.
Her first album Chamber Music is unanimously praised by the press (NoMadMusic, 2019).
Camille is a grant recipient of the Foundation Banque Populaire. Her works are published by Billaudot, Durand-Salabert-Eschig & Jobert.

Dima Slobodeniouk

Jury member, Conductor

Moscow-born Dima Slobodeniouk studied violin at Moscow Central Music School under Zinaida Gilels and Jevgenia Chugajev, at the Middle Finland Conservatory as well as the Sibelius Academy under Olga Parhomenko. He studied conducting at the Sibelius Academy under the guidance of Leif Segerstam, Atso Almila and Jorma Panula, he also studied under Ilya Musin and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Striving to inspire young musicians of the future. Continuing his work in education Slobodeniouk began a conducting initiative with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, providing an opportunity for students to work on the podium with a professional orchestra.
Lauded for his deeply informed and intelligent artistic leadership, Dima Slobodeniouk has held the position of Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia since 2013, which he combines with his positions as Principal Conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Sibelius Festival following his appointment in 2016. Linking his native Russian roots with the cultural influence of his later homeland Finland, he draws on the powerful musical heritage of these two countries.
He works with orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago, Baltimore as well as Sydney and NHK Symphony Orchestras.
The 2020/21 sees highlights such as Slobodeniouk’s debuts with Stockholm Philharmonic and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He returns to the Boston Symphony Orchestra to conduct Stravinsky’s complete Firebird, to the Minnesota Orchestra hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien including Scriabin’s Prometheus and Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms with the ORF-Choir, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic in their 75th season with Truls Mørk and Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona.
Slobodeniouk’s discography was recently extended by recordings of Prokofiev Suites with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra works, with whom he previously he recorded works by Kalevi Aho (BIS). The latter received the BBC Music Magazine award in 2018. He has recorded works by Stravinsky with Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia (BIS), Perttu Haapanen and Lotta Wennäkoski with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Ondine) and works by Sebastian Fagerlund with Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (BIS).

Jean-François Verdier

Jury member, Conductor

Jean-François Verdier is the artistic and musical director of the Victor Hugo Franche-Comté Orchestra.
Super-soloist of the Opéra de Paris, he is considered one of the best European clarinetists, winner of international competitions in Tokyo, Vienna, Antwerp, Colmar, Lugano, and plays under the direction of Bernstein, Ozawa, Muti, Gergiev, Salonen, Boulez, Jordan, Dohnanyi, Dudamel, Nelsons... He is notably invited by the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and teaches at the CNSM in Paris.
He was awarded the Bruno Walter Prize at the Lugano International Conducting Competition in 2001, and it was with the advice of Armin Jordan and Kent Nagano that he began his career as a conductor, which was quickly acclaimed by the critics.
Resident conductor of the Orchestre national de Lyon (2008-10), he has been artistic director of the Orchestre Victor Hugo since 2010. With this orchestra, he has recorded several recordings that have won international critical acclaim.
He is in demand on the great lyrical and symphonic stages: Opéra national de Paris (Bastille et Garnier), Madrid, Montreal, Munich, Lausanne, Luxembourg, Bern, Biel, Brussels, Mexico City, Salerno, Tokyo, Nagoya, Vienna, Moscow Bolshoi...
He is also a guest of French national orchestras and operas: Capitole de Toulouse, Lyon, Montpellier, Metz, Bordeaux, Ile-de-France, Nantes, Ensemble orchestral de Paris... He has collaborated with Susan Graham, Rolando Villazon, Ludovic Tézier, Karine Deshayes, Isabelle Faust, Anne Queffélec, Sergei Nakariakov, Nemanja Radulovic... with choreographers Anna Teresa de Keermaeker, Jose Martinez... He is also a jury member for international competitions, notably with Leonard Slatkin, Dennis Russel Davies and Jorma Panula.
He composes musical tales: a suite for Peter and the wolf, The Duck is Still Alive! (text by Bernard Friot, with Jacques Gamblin, Milan); Anna, Léo et le gros ours de l'armoire (Actes sud) played at the Philharmonie de Paris (both Coup de Coeur de l'Académie Charles Cros); Nuage Rouge (text by Vincent Cuvellier) played at the Folle Journée de Nantes; Le Carnaval (gastronomic) des animaux.
He wrote a mini-opera for children created by the Capitole de Toulouse in 2019: Orphée.
Jean-François Verdier is a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.

Katy Woolley

Jury member, Orchestral musician

Born in South West England in 1989, Katy Woolley was appointed principal horn of the Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2019 and is considered one of the most exciting musicians of her generation.
She studied as a scholar at the Royal College of Music in London with Simon Rayner and later at Berlin’s Universität der Künste with Christian Friedrich Dallmann. During her studies Ms. Woolley served as principal horn of the European Youth Orchestra before accepting the position of third horn in the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa Pekka Salonen, she was the first female brass member in the orchestra’s 75 year history. Katy graduated from the Royal College of Music with a first class degree and was awarded the Tagore Gold Medal by the HRH The Prince of Wales for best female leaver.
At the age of twenty-two, Katy was appointed principal horn of the Philharmonia Orchestra. This appointment led to her spreading her soloist in wings as she performed works by Mozart, Richard Strauss and Britten, as well as premiering Tansy Davies’ ‘Forest’ Concerto for four horns with the Philharmonia and New York Philharmonic Orchestras.
A passionate and dedicated teacher, Katy Woolley was professor of horn at the Royal Acdemy of Music in London, a post evolving into International Visiting Professor on her move to Amsterdam. As a guest teacher she has educated students all over Europe as well as North and South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, more recently enjoying making the most of the rise of technology in allowing far-reaching and world-wide student connections.

Catherine Larsen-Maguire

Juror of preselections, Conductor

Catherine Larsen-Maguire was born in Manchester and is now based in Berlin. Her repertoire ranges from the baroque to the 21st century; she has a special interest in contemporary music and has directed the first performances of numerous works. After ten years as principal bassoonist at the Komische Oper Berlin, where she also directed concerts and operatic performances, she began to concentrate exclusively on conducting in 2012. She made her operatic debut at the Komische Oper in 2009, conducting the German premiere of Elisabeth Naske’s „Die Rote Zora“.
Catherine Larsen-Maguire has shared the concert platform with internationally acclaimed singers and soloists; orchestras she has conducted include the Bremen, Magdeburg, Augsburg and Nuremburg Philharmonic Orchestras, the orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin, the Bochum Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin, the Belgrade Philharmonic, the Slovenian Radio Orchestra, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, OFUNAM in Mexico City, Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa, the orchestra of the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Musikfabrik and Ensemble Resonanz.
Placing great emphasis on working with young professionals, Larsen-Maguire is very much in demand as a conductor for youth orchestras and in music colleges all round the world. As part of the Young Euro Classic Festival she made her debut in Berlin’s Konzerthaus, returning a year later to conduct a world premiere with the German Youth Ballet; this was followed by a tour of China with the same group. Becoming increasingly well-known as a teacher of conducting, she held a guest professorship in conducting at the University of the Arts, Berlin and was a faculty member at the annual Femusc Festival in Brazil for five years. She gives regular masterclasses in Germany and abroad, and was a jury member for the Besançon Competition for Young Conductors in 2017 and 2019.
The season 2019/20 and beyond will see Catherine conduct world premieres at the Ruhrtriennale in Germany and the Bridge Strings Festival in Glasgow, and make her debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, OSUSP in Sao Paulo, the Orquesta de Cámara de Chile, the Orchestre de Picardie and the Young Israel Philharmonic. She will also return to Granada, China, several orchestras in Mexico, the Slovenian Radio Orchestra, and to summer festivals in the USA.
Catherine Larsen-Maguire read music at Cambridge University, and studied the bassoon at the Royal Academy of Music in London, with Klaus Thunemann in Hanover, and at the Karajan Academy in Berlin. She won the top prize in the 1996 Prague Spring Bassoon Competition and has played as guest principal bassoonist in many of the major orchestras in Germany and England, working regularly with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle and Kirill Petrenko.

2021 candidates


Chloé Dufresne

France, 29 years

Chloé Dufresne is the winner of the 3rd prize of the Malko 2021 Competition and of the Tremplin des jeunes conduffes de la Philharmonie de Paris 2018. She graduated from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki with a Master's degree in conducting, in the class of Sakari Oramo.
During her studies, Chloé had the opportunity to conduct the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki city orchestra, Sinfonia Lahti, Tapiola sinfonietta, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the Ensemble Intercontemporain.
Chloé is training with renowned conductors such as Sakari Oramo, Mikko Franck, Susanna Malkki or Hannu Lintu, and has benefited from the guidance of Alain Altinoglu and Alexandre Piquion at the CNSMD of Paris during the year 2018-2019.
She has been invited to conduct concerts with the Orchestre National de France, the Opéra National de Lorraine, the Opéra National de Nice, the Opéra de Rouen, the Opéra National de Montpellier, the Orchestre National d'Auvergne and the Orchestre Pasdeloup.

Deun Lee

South Korea, 32 years

Deun Lee graduated with honours in conducting from the Verdi Conservatory in Milan, Italy, as well as in voice and piano. He also holds a Master's degree from the Mannes School of Music in New York.
He won the 1st prize in the Luigi Mancinelli International Competition for Opera Conductors, as well as the 1st prize in the BMI International Conducting Competition. He has participated in numerous opera productions and concerts as principal or guest conductor, including L'Élixir d'amour, La Bohème, Un Ballo in Maschera, La Cambiale di Matrimonio (Rossini-150 Festival), L'Italienne à Alger, Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle, Carl Orff's Carmina Burana...
He was selected as assistant conductor for the production of Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream for the Filarmonica della Scala's "Sound, Music! 2019".
Deun Lee is also the artistic director of the Belloni Opera Festival in Italy, where he regularly presents opera productions.

Jiong-Jie Yin

China, 21 years

Jiong-Jie Yin is currently a student at the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music, after training with conductor Chen Lin.
Since 2015, he has been selected to participate in several masterclasses with conductors Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Myung-Whun Chung, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Marek Pijarowski and Neeme Järvi (2021), who praised him for his enthusiasm and persistence to achieve great results.
At only 16 years old, he has been shortlisted in many international conducting competitions. In 2019 and 2020, he participated in the 9th Sir Georg Solti International Conductor Competition as one of twelve competitors selected from around the world, and was a semi-finalist in the Jeunesses Musicales Bucharest International Conductor Competition.
Jiong-Jie has participated in many national music festivals, such as the Shanghai International Arts Festival and the Beijing Modern Music Festival. He has also collaborated with the Georg Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lublin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ningbo Symphony Orchestra, the Kunming Nie-Er Symphony Orchestra, the China Youth Symphony Orchestra...


Simon Clausse

France, 20 years

Simon Clausse started playing music at the age of five. A horn player and pianist, he diversified his approach by attending analysis, writing, composition and orchestration classes at the Metz-Métropole conservatory. Driven by an overwhelming passion for the symphony orchestra, he joined Julien Leroy's conducting class in 2013. He holds several DEMs, including one in conducting validated with the congratulations of the jury, and is currently studying writing at the CNSMD in Paris.
His conducting experience has been forged through contact with conductors such as Julien Leroy, David Reiland, Aurélien Azan Zielinsky, Laurent Gay, Domingo Hindoyan, Adrian McDonnell and Grant Llewellyn. These various encounters have enabled him to conduct orchestras such as the COGE, the Orchestre du Paris Conducting Workshop, the Orchestre de la Haute École de Musique de Genève, the Orchestre National de Bretagne and the Orchestre National de Metz.

Georg Köhler

Germany, 33 years

[Selected candidate in 2019] Georg Köhler conducts operas, concerts and ballets throughout Europe.
Recent and future notable engagements include reinvitations to the Sinfonieorchester Basel, the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra and the Göttinger Symphonieorchester.
Since 2016, Georg has conducted productions of I Pagliacci and Hansel and Gretel at the opera houses in Pilzen and Meiningen, as well as performances of Madame Butterfly, La Traviata and The Magic Flute in Pilzen and Teplice, Death in Venice (ballet) at Theater Basel...
Georg has conducted orchestras such as the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Gstaad Festival Orchestra, the Bamberger Symphoniker, the Stuttgarter Philharmoniker and the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie.
He studied conducting in Stuttgart with Professor Per Borin and in Zurich with Professor Johannes Schlaefli, where he graduated with distinction. He has participated in masterclasses with conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Esa-Pekka Salonen, David Zinman and Jaap van Zweden.

David Molard Soriano

France, 31 years

Music director and founder of the Orchestre des Jeunes d'Île-de-France, David has been assistant conductor of the Orchestre National de France since 2019, working with Emmanuel Krivine and then Cristian Măcelaru; he has conducted the ONF in numerous programmes.
From 2014 to 2018, David assisted Paavo Järvi with the Orchestre de Paris and the Estonian Festival Orchestra, and Fabien Gabel and Gustavo Dudamel at the Rencontres Musicales d'Évian.
In 2019 he conducted two concerts with Jean-Claude Casadesus at Vadim Repin's Transsiberian Festival in Lille. In 2020-2021, David made his debut with the Orchestre National de Bretagne and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse.
Previously, he has also conducted the Opéra national de Lorraine, the Orchestre philharmonique du Liban, the Orchestre de chambre du Luxembourg, the Opéra de Limoges...
David obtained his Superior Diploma in conducting at the École Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot in Paris and has studied with Tugan Sokhiev, Neeme Järvi, Guennadi Rojdestvenski, Jorma Panula and Georges Prêtre.

Junping Qian

China, 31 years

Junping Qian has just completed his second year as Assistant Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. After graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music, he studied with Mark Gibson, Michael Jinbo and Otto Werner Mueller. He has been mentored by Daniel Harding since 2014 and Sir Roger Norrington since 2019. He graduated from the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin with professors Christian Ehwald, Hans-Dieter Baum and Manuel Nawri.
Junping has won numerous prizes and scholarships including the Bucharest Competition (2017) and the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Scholarship (2018).
Since 2015, Junping has been able to conduct many orchestras: the Danish National Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Hungarian State Opera Orchestra, George Enescu Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Berlin Sinfonietta, Shanghai Philharmonic, Shenzhen Symphony, Guangzhou Orchestra, St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, Toronto Festival Orchestra...
Recent engagements include a tour of China with the Teatro del Giglio Lucca Philharmonic Orchestra, his North American professional debut with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and re-invitations from the Toronto, Macau, Shanghai, Qingdao, Kunming, Xi'An, Bucharest, Iasi and Tirgus Mures orchestras.

Yu Sugimoto

Japan, 30 years

[semi-finalist candidate in 2019] Born in Kyoto, Yu Sugimoto studied at the University of Music and Theatre in Hamburg under Professor Ulrich Windfuhr.
He has already conducted numerous orchestras: Kanagawa Philharmonic, Kyoto Symphony, Kyusyu Symphony (Japan), Hamburg Symphony, Dresden Symphony, Detmold State Symphony, Baden-Baden Philharmonic, Thuringian Symphony, Saalfeld-Rudolstadt Symphony, Münster Symphony, Heidelberg City Philharmonic (Germany), Abruzzo Symphony (Italy) and the Sttatskapelle in Halle.
He has also conducted numerous operas such as The Magic Flute, The Clemency of Titus, Hansel and Gretel, Rigoletto, Eugene Onegin, Alcina, Orestes and The Emperor of Atlantis...
In 2012 and 2013 he received a scholarship with the recommendation of Seiji Ozawa and the support of Yuji Yuasa of the Rohm Music Foundation.
For the 2021/2022 season he is working as a repetitor at the Theater Bremen.

1st and 2nd round candidates

Anne-Louise Bourion

France, 30 years

[Selected candidate in 2019] Winner of the Baugé Opera International Conducting Competition in 2019 where she won the first prize as well as the orchestra prize, quarter-finalist of the 56th Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors (2019), Anne-Louise Bourion has since been assistant conductor of the Gürzenich-Orchester in Cologne with its musical director François-Xavier Roth, and with Pavel Baleff at the Limoges Opera (Rusalka by Dvořák).
Anne-Louise started playing the piano, then the oboe, at the age of 3. She obtained a Master's degree in voice direction at the CNSMD in Paris in June 2018. In 2013, she started conducting at the Lille Conservatory in the class of Jean-Sébastien Béreau and studied there for two years before perfecting her skills with Claire Levacher, Colin Metters, Alim Shakh, Roberto Benzi. She is currently under the guidance of Pavel Baleff.
The 2021/2022 season will mark her debut with the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra.

Hongjun Chen

China, 24 years

[Selected candidate in 2019] Born in Nanjing, Hongjun Chen studied piano at the age of four under Professor Shuren Sun. In 2012, he was admitted to the Middle School of the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music in conducting under the guidance of Professor Chen Bing. In 2015, he entered the Central Conservatory of Music under the direction of Professor Xia Xiaotang. During his studies, he participated in many rehearsals and performances of classical and modern works and received critical acclaim. In June 2017, he achieved great success with Tchaikovsky's opera Iolanta, cooperating with the Vocal Music Department of the Central Conservatory of Music and the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Central Conservatory of Music. He graduated in 2019 under the direction of Professor Yang Yang.

Ustina Dubitsky

Germany, 33 years

Ustina Dubitsky dedicated herself to conducting in 2014, after initial experiences during her studies of music education. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Weimar and attended masterclasses with Peter Eötvös, David Zinman and Paavo Järvi. During her studies she conducted orchestras such as the Jenaer Philharmonie.
From October 2015 to July 2017, she was the artistic director of the Collegium Musicum Weimar. She was a scholarship holder of the Bergische Symphoniker from August 2018 to July 2019, allowing her to conduct numerous school and open air concerts.
In September 2021, she completed her Master's degree in performance with Johannes Schlaefli at the ZhdK in Zürich. During these two years she conducted the Meininger Staatskapelle, the Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz and the Musikkollegium Winterthur.
She has her own projects, such as "Wie ich dich liebe" in July 2019, with actors and musicians from the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.

Christopher Gaudreault

Canada, 25 years

Christopher Gaudreault is an ambitious young Canadian conductor and pianist known for his musicality and diverse repertoire in both disciplines. A recent graduate of the University of Michigan, he earned a Master's degree in conducting under the tutelage of renowned educator Kenneth Kiesler. Also a graduate of McGill University, Christopher is currently based in Montreal, Canada, where he is a sought-after conductor and choral accompanist.
He has had the opportunity to serve as assistant conductor for the University of Michigan's production of Puccini's La Bohème and to assist in a production of Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen with NUOVA Opera in Edmonton. Christopher has also joined the Atelier Lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal for the 2021-2022 season, as pianist and vocal coach.

Joséphine Korda

United-Kingdom, 24 years

Joséphine Korda has just obtained her Perfectionnement diploma from the École Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot in Paris. There she studied conducting with Dominique Rouits and Julien Masmondet, and composition with Michel Merlet and Régis Campo; nurturing her love for French music.
She is assistant conductor at the Massy Opera where she recently conducted the show "Féminin-Masculin".
Last year Josephine was selected for the Women's Conducting Masterclass with Marin Alsop and the Southbank Sinfabrik. In 2019 she was awarded a scholarship to work with the Dartington Festival Orchestra in masterclasses with Graeme Jenkins and Timothy Redmond. She has also conducted as part of the festival.
Josephine holds an honours degree in musicology from Oxford University, where she was a choral and instrumental (trumpet) fellow and founded and conducted the Occasional Orchestra.
While serving as Principal Trumpet of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, she began her conducting studies with Peter Ash and conducted the LSSO on its 2015 tour of Spain. Next year she will continue her conducting studies with Maestro Arturo Tamayo, focusing on contemporary repertoire.

Haoran Li

China, 35 years

[Finalist candidate in 2019] Haoran Li has already won the first prize at the 5th Jeunesses Musicales conducting competition (Bucharest), the "Orchestra Prize" (Radio France Philharmonic) and the "Audience Prize" at the 4th Evgeny Svetlanov Competition in Paris (2018).
Previous orchestras he has conducted include the Radio France Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester, MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Moscow Philharmonic, DRP Saarbrücken, George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra...
Haoran has participated in masterclasses with Daniel Barenboim, Seiji Ozawa, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Fabio Luisi, Neeme Järvi, Peter Eötvös, Tugan Sokhiev and Horia Andreescu.
In 2013 he was awarded the conducting fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival and made his debut in 2016 with the National Center for the Performing Arts China.
In the 2022/2023 season, Haoran will conduct a new production at the Royal Danish Opera, his debut there, and will return as guest conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.
Born into a musical family, he began playing the piano at the age of six. He continued his training at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin. His teachers included Xia Xiao-Tang, Christian Ehwald, Hans-Dieter Baum and Alexander Vitlin.

Sucen Liu

China, 33 years

Sucen Liu is a pianist and composer: first in China, where she won several prizes, then in France from 2006 where she obtained her composition diploma at the Conservatoire de Toulouse.
In 2010, she composed for the Occitània Festival (Toulouse Chamber Orchestra). She studied composition in Paris with Éric Tanguy, and won a composition prize at the Beijing Modern Music Festival in 2012.
Having often conducted her own creations (Wuhan and Toulouse conservatories orchestras), she decided to study conducting with Adrian McDonnell and Roger Boutry (Musique des Transmissions de Versailles) at the Conservatoire Frédéric Chopin in Paris, and at the Schola Cantorum from which she graduated. She participated in masterclasses with Nicolas Brochot (Orchestre d'Évry), Pierre-Michel Durand (Orchestre Prométhée) and Claire Gibault (Paris Mozart Orchestra).
In 2020, she was among the finalists of the assistant conductor competition of the Orchestre national d'Île-de-France. She is currently studying at the Conservatoire à rayonnement régional de Paris.

Luigi Mazzocchi

Italy, 33 years

[Selected candidate in 2017] Luigi Mazzocchi graduated with honours in violin, composition and conducting from the conservatories of music in Brescia and Parma. He studied conducting at the Accademia Musicale Pescarese, the Italian Academy of Conducting in Milan and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena with Michel Tabachnik and Daniele Gatti.
In recent years he has been assistant to conductors Umberto Benedetti Michelangeli, Roberto Tolomelli, Corrado Rovaris, Ivan Lopez Reynoso and Giacomo Sagripanti.
Since 2015, Luigi has established a constant collaboration with the Opera of Oviedo (Spain) where he has been engaged as both assistant conductor and conductor in several productions (Il Duca d'Alba, Così fan tutte, Il Turco in Italia, Lucia di Lammermoor).
In the 2019-2020 season, Luigi conducted the "Toscanini" Symphony Orchestra and also made his debut at the Teatro Regio in Parma for the 2019 Verdi Festival. In January 2020 he conducted Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor at the Oviedo Opera House, with the Philarmonia d'Oviedo.
Luigi has conducted orchestras in Italy, Spain, Belgium and England.

Riku Okamoto

Japan, 22 years

Born in Shiga, Japan, Riku Okamoto started playing the violin at the age of three. He won 4th prize in the 26th Japan Classical Music Competition and entered the conducting department of Tokyo College of Music in 2017 as a special scholarship student. He was taught by Junichi Hirokami, Toshifumi Tashiro, Nobutaka Masui, Akihito Mihara and Toshihiro Yonezu.
Riku was also selected as a Toda Scholarship Foundation Fellow by the Tokyo College of Music from 2017 to 2020.
Currently, he is an assistant conductor at Super Kids Orchestra (Artistic Director Yutaka Sado, belonging to Hyogo Performing Arts Center), Kyoto Junior Orchestra (Super visor Junichi Hirokami, belonging to City of Kyoto Symphony Orchestra).
He has participated in masterclasses with Boris Belkin, Tsugio Tokunaga, Yasuhiko Shiozawa.

Pablo Devigo

Spain, 31 years

Spanish conductor Pablo Devigo has been repeatedly praised for his strong commitment and passion. In the 2019-2020 season he held the position of Associate Conductor of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra (Indiana, USA) and in 2020 he made his Spanish debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Galicia.
His most recent appearances include the Khachaturian International Conducting Competition 2021, where he reached the final.
Pablo has been fortunate to receive guidance from conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Fabio Luisi, Dima Slobodeniouk, Robert Spano and David Zinman.
Originally from Castro Caldelas (Spain), Pablo has received a broad interdisciplinary musical education. In 2015, he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to continue his conducting studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2018, he was awarded a fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival. Pablo is currently pursuing his doctorate at Indiana University with conductor Arthur Fagen.

Jack Sheen

United-Kingdom, 28 years

Originally from Manchester, Jack Sheen made his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Britten Sinfonia in 2021. He has also returned to the Lucerne Festival Academy as Associate Conductor.
Jack has participated in prestigious masterclasses, received scholarships and been invited to numerous festivals around the world: Tanglewood Fellowship, Dartington, Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme and Manchester International Festival.
In 2017 he became the youngest conducting fellow at the Royal Northern College of Music, appointed and mentored by Sir Mark Elder, working closely with the Hallé and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Equally at home in both classical and contemporary repertoire, Jack has performed with the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Halberstadt Orchestra and London Sinfonietta, as well as in productions of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel and Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.

Federico Tibone

Italy, 34 years

[Selected candidate in 2019] A pianist by training, Federico Tibone obtained his diploma in conducting in the class of Nicolas Brochot, while benefiting from the advice of Marco Guidarini, Jorma Panula, Donato Renzetti, Vittorio Parisi and Jin Wang.
In 2017, he was assistant conductor to Fayçal Karoui in Pau for Verdi's Requiem. He was also a finalist in the BMI Conductor Competition (Bucharest). The following year, he was invited by the Académie de l'Opéra de Paris to conduct opera scenes in concert at the Amphithéâtre Bastille and the Palais Garnier.
His conducting projects include Mozart's Così fan Tutte in Orvieto (Italy) in 2017; Verdi's Un Bal Masqué at the Abay Opera House (Almaty, Kazakhstan) in 2018 and Madame Butterfly in Orvieto (Italy) in 2020.
In 2018 he won the second prize at the 8th Opera Conductors' Competition (Orvieto, Italy) and in 2021 he was a finalist in two conducting competitions: Hans von Bülow Conducting Competition and Lányi
International Conducting Competition.

Steps of the 57th Competition

13 to 18 September 2021

The finals will take place from 13th to 18th September 2021 in Besançon, during the 74th edition of the Besançon Franche-Comté International Music Festival.

Of the candidates who took part in the pre-selections, only twenty were admitted to the final rounds with orchestra.

  • 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.

Grand Prix

The Grand Prix will be awarded by the Jury chairman on Saturday, September 18, at the end of the Final.
The Grand Prix cannot be shared, and the jury reserves the right not to award it
See the Grand Prix

2021 Competition © Yves Petit


Welcome meeting

Sunday 12 September, 4:30pm

1st round Symphony

Monday 13 September, 2:30pm & 8:00pm
Orchestre Victor Hugo Franche-Comté
> Joseph Haydn : Symphonies n°90 et 103, extracts
(max 20 candidates)

2nd round Symphony

Tuesday 14 September, 2:30pm & 8:00pm
Orchestre Victor Hugo Franche-Comté
> Francis Poulenc : Sinfonietta, extracts
(max 20 candidates)

Semi-final Oratorio

Wednesday 15 September, 2:30pm
Orchestre national de Lyon
Chœur de l'Opéra de Dijon
& La Tempête, compagnie vocale
> Felix Mendelssohn : Elias op. 70, extracts
(max 8 candidates)

Semi-final Oper

Wednesday 15 September, 8:00pm
Orchestre national de Lyon
Soloists (six student singers from the Ecole Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot)
> Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart : Don Giovanni K.527, extracts
(max 8 candidates)

Final Symphony and World Premiere

Saturday 18 September, 4:00pm
Orchestre national de Lyon
> Camille Pépin : Aux confins de l’orage, world premiere, commissioned by the Festival
> Jean Sibelius : Symphonie n°5, op.82
(max 3 candidates)

Preliminary rounds – April 20 to July 4, 2021

Each registered candidate is called to conduct symphonic works played by two pianists on two pianos, in front of two members of the jury.


  • David Berdery
  • Paul Montag

Jury members in charge of the preliminaries

  • Catherine Larsen-Maguire
  • Jacques Mercier


  • Claude Debussy
    La Mer, trois esquisses symphoniques
    Transcription for two pianos by André Caplet
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
    Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus, op.43

Germany, Berlin

Institut Français
Postponed from 1 to 4 July 2021

France, Paris

École Normale de musique Alfred Cortot
20 and 21 April 2021
+ Addition of 23 April 2021

China, Beijing

Central Conservatory of Music
Postponed the 24 June 2021
by visioconference

Canada, Montréal

Conservatoire de musique
Postponed the 28 June 2021
by visioconference

France, Besançon

NEW PLACE: Théâtre Ledoux
From 3 to 5 May 2021


Registration was open from January 25 to February 10, 2021, subject to availability. They closed on February 5, 2021.
The waiting list is also closed.

We remain informed of the evolution of the restrictions due to the epidemic, particularly concerning international travel :

  • In the event of total cancellation of the Competition before the preliminary rounds, the
    registration fees will be refunded;
  • In case of cancellation of the final rounds in September decided after the preliminary rounds has taken place, the registration fees will only be refunded to the selected candidates;
  • In the event that candidates are unable to travel due to pandemic-related travel restrictions – for the preliminary rounds or final rounds – their registration fees will be fully refunded.
2021 Competition Rules
2021 Poster