Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

New choral conducting competition to launch in October

3:15, 23rd February 2018

The inaugural London International Choral Conducting Competition (LIACCC) will take place 20-21 October 2018 at the Royal Academy of Music.

Curated by London-based chamber choirs Chantage and Coro, the biennial event will turn the spotlight on choral conductors in the early stages of their career, aged between 18 and 32.

The competition will also encompass conducting masterclasses and a Gala Concert, which will see the two resident choirs joined by this year’s international guest choir: Chamber Choir FREIA, conducted by Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi.

The Competition was founded as a means of fostering increased international co-operation in choral music. The founding committee includes Chantage director James Davey; Coro director Mark Griffiths; and Amy Bebbington, director of training for the Association of British Choral Directors.

All applicants will be judged by an initial video round, after which the best six will be invited to compete over the course of the weekend. Those six competitors will take multiple rehearsals with Chantage, Coro and FREIA, conducting repertoire which has been selected by the committee to challenge competitors and allow them to demonstrate their musical personality. The final will take place on 22 October in front of a public audience.

The winner, chosen by a distinguished international jury and the choirs themselves, will receive a £5,000 cash prize and the opportunity to attend rehearsal observation sessions with Simon Halsey at the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus and London Symphony Chorus and with Ben Parry at the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. The runner-up receives £1,000 plus a weekend pass and accommodation at the ABCD’s annual convention at the Birmingham Conservatoire in 2019.

Asserting that such a competition was ‘long overdue for a country with such an immensely strong choral tradition’, Simon Halsey said: ‘I am delighted that three such inspirational choirs and choral directors have taken the initiative to broaden the reach of choral music in the UK and reinforce its global reputation in the process.’

Applications close on 25 May 2018.


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