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End of the preliminary rounds of the 56th International Competition for Young Conductors

The preliminaries of the prestigious competition for conductors ended on Saturday, May 4 after three weeks of auditions and four hours of deliberation for the jury. 261 candidates (out of the 309 registered candidates) had an audition for these qualifying rounds. In the end, only twenty are selected for the final rounds and keep their hopes alive of winning the Grand Prix!

Since April 15, Catherine Larsen-Maguire and Jorge Rotter, jury members, accompanied by two pianists, Thomas Palmer and David Berdery, and Jean-Michel Mathé, director of the Festival, traveled to Berlin, Montreal, Beijing and Besançon, in order to audition all the young candidates.

At the end of the deliberations, 20 candidates (including 4 women) from 12 nationalities (including 4 French) were selected to participate in the final rounds with orchestra, choir and soloists, from September 16 to 21, as part of the 72nd International Music Festival.

Preliminary round of Besançon © Yves Petit

The twenty candidates selected for the final rounds

  • Mrs Anne-Louise Bourion, France (28 y.o.)
  • Mr Hongjun Chen, China (22)
  • Mr Laurent Comte, France (26)
  • Mr Ivan Demidov, Russia (28) – Finalist 2017
  • Mr Jeon Hee-Beom, South Korea (35) – 1/4 finalist 2017
  • Mr Victor Jacob, France (28) – 1/2 finalist 2017
  • Mr Georg Köhler, Germany (31)
  • Mr Haoran Li, China (33)
  • Mr Jingsong Lin, China (33)
  • Mr Jonathan Mann, Great-Britain (33)
  • Mr Léo Margue, France (29)
  • Mrs Nodoka Okisawa, Japan (32)
  • Mrs Silvina Peruglia, Spain/Argentina (33)
  • Mrs Charlotte Politi, Italy/France (29)
  • Mr Ngai Cheung Sit, Hong Kong (30) – Selected in 2017
  • Mr Johann Stuckenbruck, USA (28)
  • Mr Yu Sugimoto, Japan (29)
  • Mr Federico Tibone, Italy (33)
  • Mr Salvador Vazquez Sanchez, Spain (33)
  • Mr Su-Han Yang, Taiwan (30) – 1/2 finalist 2017

Some figures about the preliminary rounds…

  • The average age of the 309 candidats is 29,5 years. For the 20 selected candidates, it is around 30 years.
  • During 19 days, the jury members traveled more than 30,000 km, from Berlin to Besançon via Montreal and Beijing. They listened to the same musical extracts for about 60 hours
  • Each candidate conducted the two pianists for 10 minutes. First without interruption on extracts from Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, Op. 45, and then with a musical work on extracts of Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 “Haffner”385.
  • About 250 students from seven schools in the region (middle and high schools) and the Conservatoire of the city had the chance to attend some auditions of candidates in Besançon.

All the candidates had the same conditions for the auditions: same jury, same program, same duration, same artists, etc. No diploma required, no cooptation or recommendation, in order to guarantee equal opportunities to all.
These conditions remain exceptional in the field of competitions.

More information about the Competition on the website page and the Facebook page.