Garry Walker conducts the Orchestra of Opera North
Leeds Conductors Competition returns for 202011:32, 12th February 2020
This September, the Leeds Conductors Competition will return following an 11-year break.
The competition, in partnership between Leeds International Concert Season and Opera North, is held at Leeds Town Hall from Tuesday 8 September culminating in a gala concert on Saturday 12 September with the Orchestra of Opera North. Prize money totals £20,000, and the winner will be offered a series of professional engagements with the country’s leading orchestras.
Tim Walker CBE, chief executive of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, describes his position as jury chair as an ‘honour and a privilege’, commenting: ‘It is in one sense a forbidding task, for brilliant musicianship abounds, but the special qualities that mark a truly great conductor – character and personality, charisma, connection and communication – are rare. In the hands of as great conductor, an orchestra has something to say through its music that touches the head and heart and takes us to another place. The experience can be revelatory.’
Other members of the jury include Opera North’s former music director Richard Farnes, former leader of the Hallé Lyn Fletcher and Professor Emeritus of Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music, Colin Metters.
Garry Walker, Opera North’s music director designate and winner of the 1999 competition, says: ‘Winning the Leeds Conductors Competition was undoubtedly an important landmark in my career, and I will be forever grateful to those who organised it … It certainly helped to open up opportunities which might not have arisen quite so quickly otherwise, and it signalled the beginning of a new phase in my development as a conductor.
‘I would encourage all those participating, whether they win or not, to think of the competition not as an end in itself. The competition is there to help speed the learning curve of all involved.’
Full details and an entry form can be found at www.leedsconductors.co.uk. Applications should be submitted by no later than Thursday 9 April.