Felix Mildenberger has won the 15th Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in London, taking up the position of Assistant Conductor at the London Symphony Orchestra for one year and receiving a £15,000 cash prize from Donatella Flick, the Competition’s founder. As Assistant Conductor he will have the chance to assist LSO conductors including Music Director Sir Simon Rattle, and Principal Guest Conductors François-Xavier Roth and Gianandrea Noseda, giving him a unique opportunity to learn on the job with some of today’s leading conductors and a world-class symphony orchestra.
Mildenberger was one of three finalists who conducted the London Symphony Orchestra at the Competition’s final round at London’s Barbican Centre last night in front of HRH The Duke of Kent, Donatella Flick and a public audience. The runners up were Harry Ogg, aged 27 from the UK and Alexander Colding Smith, 29 from Denmark. The final round of the competition was judged by a panel comprising conductors Sian Edwards, Tadaaki Otaka, François-Xavier Roth and Yan Pascal Tortelier, the violinist Vadim Repin, Gareth Davies (LSO Principal Flute), Christine Pendrill, (LSO Principal Cor Anglais), and Lennox Mackenzie former LSO Sub-Leader.
The concert opened with three performances of the Prelude to Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, each conducted by a different finalist, followed by the three movements of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No 2 with soloist Vadim Repin, also serving on the judging panel, and Kodály’s Dances of Galánta. The finalists conducted a movement each of the Prokofiev, and a section each of the Kodály, their repertoire and running order drawn by lot at the end of Round Two.
For the first time this year the Competition’s final round was live-streamed on medici.tv.
Inaugurated by Donatella Flick in 1990 under the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales, the biennial Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition aims to advance the careers of young conductors and help the winner to establish an international conducting career. The Competition is open to candidates up to the age of 30 from the countries of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland.
Prior to the final, 20 shortlisted candidates competed across two days of intense heats at Milton Court Concert Hall with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra. On the day of the Final, the three finalists led their first rehearsals in the Barbican with the London Symphony Orchestra.