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Igor Manasherov

Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Igor Manasherov wins inaugural Audite International Conducting Competition

3:42, 7th August 2017

Igor Manasherov (Russia) has been named as the winner of the inaugural Audite International Conducting Competition, which took place 9-15 July in Radom, Poland. He won £5,000 and a number of conducting engagements.

Adrian Slywotzky (USA) received second prize, and Naoyuki Hayashi (Japan) won both third prize and the orchestra prize. Sébastien Thomas Bagnoud (Switzerland) won the Yuri Simonov Prize.

Devised by Conductors’ Academy directors Jonathan Brett and Maciej Żółtowski, the competition aimed to create an unbiased assessment process through screened judging.

The first and second rounds and the semi-final were judged from behind a screen candidates appeared in random order and were not allowed to speak on stage. Only the finalists won the right to speak to the orchestra in the final round, at which the jury – comprising Jonathan Brett, Paweł Kotla, Piotr Sułkowski, Roberto Trainini and Maciej Żółtowski – was allowed to see as well and hear both the rehearsal and the final performance.

Jonathan Brett, chair of the jury, said: ‘After four long days judging only sound, when I finally saw the finalists conducting it made me acutely aware of the relative pollution of the purity of judgement if the eyes are allowed to be involved: when I see someone approach a problem in a way I cannot imagine can be effective, it is simply impossible for my ears – and consequent judgement – not to be affected.

‘To me this explains a lot of the issues of bias which tend to surround more traditionally organised music competitions of every kind. My conclusion is that, whilst the details might be tweaked, in principle the concept is right: this is a really good way to manage a competition.’

ca.classicconcerts.org.uk/competition-2/

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