The Nicolai Malko competition for young conductors

  • Yu Lu

    China
    *1989 / Is working as a regular assistant to Seiji Ozawa, having been chosen personally by Maestro Ozawa at the age of nineteen. Yu Lu has performed in South Korea with his own chamber orchestra, assisted Sir Roger Norrington in performances with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, and has taken masterclasses with Yuri Temirkanov and Myung-Whun Chung. In 2012 he was selected as one of three candidates for a public masterclass with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Mariss Jansons, making his European debut at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.
  • Antoine Glatard

    France
    *1984 / Won Third Prize in the 2017 International Opera Conductors Competition in Liège. He had previously won the second prize and the special jury prize in the Fourth International Conducting Competition Jeunesses Musicales Bucharest. In January 2018 he won Second Prize in the First Hong Kong International Conducting Competition. Since 2015 Antoine Glatard has been conductor of the Orchestre de jeunes de l’Académie de l’Orchestre national de Lyon.
  • Vlad Vizireanu

    Romania
    *1985 / Recently made his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra at Barbican Hall as one of three finalists in the 2016 Donatella Flick Conducting Competition. He won Second Prize in the 11th International Cadaqués Conducting Competition in 2014. Vlad Vizireanu studied with David Zinman, Kurt Masur and at Lucerne Easter Festivals with Bernhard Haitink in 2013/14. Previously, Vizireanu received the prestigious 2013 Chautauqua Conducting Fellowship in New York.
  • Anna Rakitina

    Russia
    *1989 / Won Third Prize in the German Conductors’ Awards in 2017 and the TCO International Conducting Competition in Taipei, Taiwan, 2015. Anna has conducted orchestras such as the Cologne Philharmonie, the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Lucerne Festival Strings, Gürzenich-Orchester Cologne, Bucharest George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, Hamburger Symphoniker, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. Anna has written a PhD thesis about Rachmaninov.
  • Anton Holmer

    Sweden
    *1990 / Has worked and performed with many prominent orchestras in southern Germany, including the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, the Stuttgart Philharmonic and the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen. Anton Holmer is currently finishing his conducting studies at the State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart, from which he also has a Master’s degree in organ performance.
  • Teddy Poll

    United States
    *1988 / Teddy Poll is both conductor and composer and was born in Pennsylvania. Since completing his tenure in 2016 as a Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, he has conducted performances and workshops at the Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Philadelphia, Bare Opera and the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music. He has been invited twice in the past two seasons by the Juilliard School to conduct opera productions. In the autumn of 2018 he will join the music staff at San Francisco Opera as an assistant conductor.
  • Hee-beom Jeon

    South Korea
    *1984 / Jeon was a quarter-finalist in the International Competition for Young Conductors in Besançon in 2017. He has frequently conducted the Wind Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra of KUG as well as the Graz University Choir. He also conducted the Symphonic Orchestra of The State Opera of Russia in Bulgaria (2014), Bartok Festival Orchestra in Szombathely in Hungary, Moravia Philharmonic Orchestra in the Czech Republic, and Gstaad Festival Orchestra in Switzerland during master classes.
  • Conner Gray Covington

    United States
    *1987 / Was a participant in the 2012 Malko Competition, where he reached the third round. Conner Gray Covington is currently the Assistant Conductor of the Utah Symphony Orchestra, and recently extended his contract as Associate Conductor. Covington has also worked with the St. Louis Symphony, Utah Symphony, and Virginia Symphony as a guest conductor and has served as a cover conductor for among other ensembles the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Atlanta Symphony and Kansas City Symphony.
  • Farkhad Khudyev

    United States
    *1985 / Winner of Third Prize at the 2017 International Sir Georg Solti Conducting Competition in Germany. He has worked with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Opera Orchestra, Monterey Symphony, Yale Symphony Orchestra, among others. Farkhad Khudyev serves as the Music Director of the Hidden Valley Orchestra Institute and Youth Music Monterey County in California.
  • Gurgen Petrosyan

    Russia
    *1991 / Was selected from 300 candidates to participate in the First Hong Kong International Conducting Competition in January 2018. As the winner of the Moscow Conducting Competition, he conducted the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra in 2017. Gurgen Petrosyan is currently conductor of the Engels Chamber Orchestra.
  • Rafal Janiak

    Poland
    *1986 / In 2011, founded BOS Camerata Viva Orchestra in Warsaw and became its artistic director. Since the 2016/2017 season Rafal Janiak has also been artistic director of Chopin University Chamber Orchestra. He has won several prizes in composing competitions, and was a semi-finalist in the 2014 Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in London.
  • Hossein Pishkar

    Iran
    *1988 / Hossein Pishkar has studied conducting with Ruediger Bohn and worked with Bernard Haitink at Lucerne Easter Festival and Riccardo Muti at Muti Italian Opera Academy. Pishkar has won the Ernst von Schuch Prize and First Prize at the German Conductors’ Awards in Cologne. He was included in the promotion of the Dirigenten Forum des Deutschen Musikrates in 2015 and has conducted orchestras like Romanian State Philharmonie Satu Mare, the Strasbourg Philharmonic, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Guerzenisch Orchestra Cologne and the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker.
  • Kaapo Ijas

    Finland
    *1988 / Took his master’s degree in 2017 at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm with previous studies at the Sibelius Academy and Zurich University of the Arts. Kaapo Iljas was a semifinalist in the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition 2016. Broadmindedness and an unprejudiced attitude to other arts and all genres are at the core of Ijas’ approach.
  • Joel Sandelson

    United Kingdom
    *1994 / Is studying conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London, having graduated from Cambridge University in 2016 with a triple-starred first in music. Recent and forthcoming activities performances with Istante Ensemble, Orchestra of St John's, Wond'rous Machine, and masterclasses with BBC National Orchestra of Wales and at Tanglewood. As a cellist he has performed extensively as a soloist with orchestras in the UK and Europe.
  • Andris Rasmanis

    Latvia
    *1985 / Andris Rasmanis is a Latvian conductor based in Vienna and has conducted orchestras such as the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra.
  • Ryan Bancroft

    Ryan Bancroft

    United States
    *1989 / Hailing from Los Angeles, Ryan Bancroft is now a promising conductor on the Dutch scene. He has conducted the The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Residentie Orkest, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, South Netherlands Philharmonic, North Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, nieuw ensemble, and the BBC Singers.
  • Anton Torbeev

    Russia
    *1985 / Anton Torbeev has conducted orchestras including the Romanian Radio Symphony, Lucerne Festival Strings in Switzerland, Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan, Salzburg Chamber Soloists, Szombathely Symphony Orchestra in Hungary, Volgograd Symphony Orchestra in Russia. He made his opera debut conducting ‘Iolanta’ by Tchaikovsky at the St. Petersburg Opera House. He is currently principal conductor of the Mariinsky Theater Primorsky Stage in Vladivostok, Russia.
  • Wilson Ng

    Hong Kong S.A.R., China
    *1989 / Second Prize winner at the Eighth Sir Georg Solti International Conductors’ Competition in Frankfurt in 2017. He has conducted world-class orchestras including the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival Strings. NG is the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Gustav Mahler Orchestra (GMO), a Hong Kong based orchestra academy.
  • Alessandro Bonato

    Italy
    *1995 / Violinist, violist and orchestra conductor, Alessandro Bonato already has active experience as a musician that places him among the emerging young names on the current Italian music scene. In June 2013 he made his official debut as a conductor, inaugurating the concert season at the Music Conservatory in Verona. Alessandro is only 23, and the youngest contestant in the Malko Competition 2018.
  • Roderick Cox

    United States
    *1987 / Has conducted the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C., Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Florida Orchestra. Upcoming engagements include performances with the LA Philharmonic in 2018, debut at the Houston Grand Opera and the Glimmerglass Festival in NYC 2019. Since 2017 he has been Assistant Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra.
  • Tal Samuel

    Israel
    *1987 / Is currently serving as a Conducting Fellow to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Sinfonietta. Sine 2015, she has been working as an assistant conductor at the Opera and Ballet Theatre in Bloomington, Indiana. Tal Samuel's recent conducting engagements include orchestras such as WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, Lucerne Festival Strings, Danubia Orchestra Óbuda, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Haifa Symphony Orchestra and the Israeli Chamber Orchestra. She is currently writing a PhD dissertation about Scriabin.
  • Alexey Mikhaylenko

    Russia
    *1986 / Alexey Mikhaylenko has been a prizewinner in many clarinet and chamber music competitions in Europe and Russia. He studied the clarinet at the Moscow State Conservatory and Norwegian Academy of Music and has conducted orchestras such as George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra (Romania), Vienna Ensemble, Baltic Sea Philharmonic Orchestra, C/O Chamber Orchestra (Germany), Vyatka Symphonic Orchestra, (Russia). Since 2016 he has been a student at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna.
  • Nathan Aspinall

    Australia
    *1990 / Nathan is currently the Associate Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Nathan studied French Horn and Conducting at the University of Queensland and Orchestral Conducting with Hugh Wolff at the New England Conservatory in Boston. He has conducted the Sydney, Adelaide, Queensland and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras and others.
  • Gonzalo Farias

    Chile
    *1983 / Currently holds the prestigious Baltimore Symphony Orchestra – Peabody Conducting Fellowship. As a pianist Gonzalo Farias won First Prize at the Claudio Arrau International Piano Competition. As a conductor, he attended the University of Illinois, working with Donald Schleicher as his assistant. He is the former Music Director of the Joliet Symphony Orchestra and current Associate Conductor of the Occasional Symphony in Baltimore.

NEWS

  • January 26

    Malko Competition reveal candidates for 2018 competition

    There will be fierce competition on the podium at DR Koncerthuset when 24 young conductors from 17 countries battle for the prizes in the Danish National Symphony Orchestra’s Malko Competition 

    It aroused international attention in the autumn when the Danish National Symphony Orchestra was able to reveal the number of applicants for the orchestra’s Malko Conducting Competition. A whole 566 young conductors – a striking increase over previous years – had applied for the prestigious competition which takes place every third year at DR Koncerthuset.

    Now the Danish National Symphony Orchestra present the 24 candidates from all over the world who will be given the opportunity in April to do battle with one another on the podium at DR Koncerthuset. One of them will travel home with the First Prize, consisting of among other things a cheque for 20,000 Euros and a contract with a whole 25 symphony orchestras. 

    Young world elite 

    Fabio Luisi, chief conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and chairman of the jury in the Malko Competition, is pleased with the high standard of this year’s participants: “Not only have we had an exceptionally wide field of applicants for this year’s competition; at the same time we are pleased with the very high standard of the candidates. This is truly the young world elite in what is already a very demanding musical discipline that expects really high standards from the musical and personal skills of the young people.”

    Excitement on the podium 

    Several of the 24 participants in this year’s Malko Competition have met earlier in international conducting competitions and masterclasses with great conductors. This pleases René Mathiesen, timpanist and chairman of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra: “It means extra excitement both for us in the orchestra and for the public, that several of the participants have met or even ‘battled’ with one another earlier. Besides showing that we have many really strong participants, it boosts the element of competition – while at the same time the high standard guarantees that we can all expect great musical experiences in the course of the competition week.”

  • October 13

    Record number of entrants for Malko Competition 2018

    The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Fabio Luisi have received no fewer than 566 applications from young conductors who want to compete for the prizes in the Malko Competition 2018. This is almost double last year’s number. 

    There will be unusually fierce competition for the places on the conductor’s podium in DR Koncerthuset in April 2018. A whole 566 young conductors from all over the world have applied to be nominated for the competition – and that is almost twice as many as the orchestra has experienced in previous years. 

    While most of the applicants come from the major classical music territories Western Europe, the USA, Canada, Russia and Asia, there are also applicants from South America and the Middle East – with a total of 78 nationalities. The applicants’ submitted video material will now be carefully reviewed in the coming months by an internationally composed pre-jury. 

    International exposure

    The Danish National Symphony Orchestra is more than satisfied with the great interest in the Malko Competition. “The wide field of applicants for the Malko Competition 2018 first and foremost reflects our determined effort to give the orchestra international exposure in recent years. With Fabio Luisi as principal conductor, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra has gained a secure position on the musical world map which we maintain among other ways through touring, international collaborations and live-streaming of selected concerts,” says Kim Bohr, Head of DR Choirs and Orchestras.

    Attractive Fist Prize

    The Danish National Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi plays a crucial role in the Malko Competition 2018. As well as chairing the international professional jury that is to decide the fate of the 24 candidates in DR Koncerthuset in April, he will himself be a personal mentor for the winner of the competition for a period of two years after the competition. 

    Apart from the mentorship of Luisi, the conductor who ends up victorious on the podium in DR Koncerthuset in April wins not only 20,000 Euro but also contracts with a whole 25 leading European orchestras in the coming concert seasons. 

    New strategy

    An important incentive for the young conductors who have applied to be nominated for the Malko Competition 2018 is the opportunity to conduct the Danish National Symphony Orchestra in a competition that is covered nationally by DR’s media platforms, and which can at the same time be followed all over the world via live-streaming. 

    Head of Orchestras Kim Bohr believes that a new communication strategy for the Malko Competition is part of the explanation of the wide field of applicants: “To reach out to young conducting talents all over the world and find the right range of applicants we have had to go to work very determinedly. In connection with the fact that the orchestra has recently taken over the whole administration of the competition we have chosen to focus on a new combination of digital dialogue via social media, online marketing, international press work and direct personal contact with agencies, conservatories and conducting academies. It really lifts the spirits to see that the work has borne fruit – and now the whole orchestra is looking forward to meeting the 24 candidates selected by the pre-jury.”

  • August 14

    Applications now open for Malko Competition for Young Conductors

    The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Jury Chairman Fabio Luisi invite young talented conductors to apply for the 2018 Malko Competition before 12th October

    Applications are now invited for the Malko Competition for Young Conductors, hosted by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra at DR Koncerthuset, Copenhagen on 20th-27th April 2018. 

    International jury and prominent observers
    The 2018 Malko Competition will have a strong international jury including Seiji Ozawa, JoAnn Falletta and members of the Berlin Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic. Furthermore, the 2018 competition will be followed live in Copenhagen by observers from the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. 

    25 orchestral contracts for winning conductor
    Apart from a 1st prize of Euro 20,000, the Malko winner of 2018 will be offered concert contracts with no fewer than 25 leading European orchestras including the RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Throughout the first year after the competition, the winner will also be offered personal mentorship by the jury chairman, Fabio Luisi.

    Hoping to see great talent
    “I hope to see great talent among the 2018 Malko contestants. I also hope to see a fresh way of presenting and approaching the music as well as a fresh way of working with the orchestra,” says Jury Chairman Fabio Luisi. He also explains: “For a young conductor, competitions are a unique chance to get professional feedback from experienced jury members, young colleagues and not least the musicians of a first-class orchestra.”

    Livestream and media coverage
    As part of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR), the Danish National Symphony Orchestra will ensure extensive media coverage of the Malko competition week through worldwide livestreaming of the competition on the competition’s own web platform www.malkocompetition.dk as well as editorial coverage on DR’s broadcasting platforms and a strong social media presence. 

    Applications may be submitted until 12th October
    For more details about the 2018 Malko Competition and the application procedure, please click here (http://malkocompetition.dk/#application)

  • June 9

    Jury, prizes and repertoire for 2018 announced

    Maestro Fabio Luisi will be heading the jury of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra’s international Malko Competition for young conductors

    The Danish National Symphony Orchestra, part of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, has just announced the complete competition details for the next Malko Competition for young conductors on the new website www.malkocompetition.dk. The competition will take place on 20th-27th April 2018 in DR Koncerthuset, Copenhagen, opening the application on August 26th 2017.

    Personal mentorship and orchestral contracts
    The Danish National Symphony Orchestra’s principal conductor Fabio Luisi, also known as principal conductor of The Met and the General Music Director of Zurich opera, will be heading the 2018 competition jury and will also be offering his personal mentorship to the winner of the competition. Among other draws for young conductors in the 2018 competition is a contract of 18 concerts with leading European orchestras including the RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.

    Media coverage and PR package
    As part of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR), the Danish National Symphony Orchestra will ensure extensive media coverage of the Malko competition week through international livestreaming of the competition week as well as editorial coverage on DR’s broadcasting platforms and a strong social media presence. Furthermore, the winner of the competition will receive an attractive PR kit consisting of professional video recordings, press photos and other material to support the winner’s future conducting career.

    Engaged and dedicated orchestra
    In addition to offering a whole bouquet of attractive prizes, the Malko Competition is unique in its organization: The competition is hosted by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra itself – and as a result, it is known to support the competitors with extraordinarily dedicated orchestral playing.

    René Mathiesen, chairman and percussionist of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, says: ”We are looking immensely forward to welcoming the next team of Malko competitors in 2018. Our competition is known for the special dedication and attentiveness of the orchestra through all rounds of the competition, and we are proud to have an artistically strong Jury consisting mainly of conductors and orchestral musicians.”

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  • Danish National Symphony Orchestra

    Since 1925 the Danish National Symphony Orchestra has been the cultural flagship of DR, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation. With Maestro Fabio Luisi as its new Chief Conductor and a succession of prominent guest artists each season, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra is today among Europe’s leading symphony orchestras.

    The distinctive sound of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra has been moulded over the years by Chief Conductors like Nicolai Malko, Herbert Blomstedt, Thomas Dausgaard and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.

    Today the Orchestra offers everything from Classical sounds through Roman­tic tone-poems and modern masterpieces to new creations by the com­posers of tomorrow. At the same time, the Orchestra has a special feeling for Danish music – from classics like Carl Nielsen and Niels W. Gade to the very young Danish composing talents.

    Each year more than 100.000 music-lovers experience the magic of live symphonic music with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra – both in the DR Concert Hall and on the Orchestra’s major annual tour abroad.

    The Orchestra’s popular Thursday Concert series is experienced every week by many Danes on radio and TV, and millions tune in when the concerts are broadcast internationally.

  • Fabio Luisi

    Fabio Luisi, principal conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, is the chairman of the 2018 edition of the Malko Competition competition and will be mentor to it´s winner.

    Luisi is well known for his deep personal engagement in the music; at the same time his musical experience and range are vast – with principal conductor posts with among others the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Zürich Opera.

    Before taking up the post Fabio Luisi had already forged a close relationship with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. But in his new, permanent role as principal conduc­tor, he can challenge the musicians and develop the Orchestra in earnest from this season on.

Schedule & Repertoire April 20th to 27th 2018

  • 20 Friday
    Opening concert
    Fabio Luisi and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra

    Conductor: Fabio Luisi

    Soloist: Eva Steinaa

    Richard Strauss: Oboe Concerto

    Anton Bruckner: Symphony no. 7

  • 21 Saturday
    Day off
  • 22 Sunday
    First round
    particiants 1-12

    The candidate chooses two of the three possibilities below.
    The jury chooses one of the candidate’s two choices, which may be an excerpt of the piece(s).
    The candidate thus only plays one of the possibilities below.
    Each candidate will have 15 minutes with the orchestra.
    During the 15 minutes the candidate can rehearse with the orchestra.

    1. W.A. Mozart: Die Zauberflöte - Ouverture (Breitkopf), and
       W.A. Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail - Ouverture (Bärenreiter)
    2. L.v. Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 - 1st movement (Bärenreiter)
    3. L.v. Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 - 3rd movement (Bärenreiter)

    Rules

    After the first round each member of the Jury places a “+” beside the names of the 12 candidates whom the Juror deems best qualified. The 12 candidates who obtain most votes will qualify for the second round.

  • 23 Monday
    First round
    participants 13-24, Jury votes, announcement of result

    See details in round 1 first day

  • 24 Tuesday
    Second round
    12 participants, Jury votes, announcement of result

    Each candidate will have 20 minutes with the orchestra.
    The candidate prepares all three symphonies.
    The candidate may rehearse with the orchestra.
    The candidate can decide the order of performance.

    • P.I. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 (Breitkopf)
    • G. Mahler: Symphony No. 1 (Universal Edition)
    • R. Schumann: Symphony No. 4 (Breitkopf, 1851 version)

    On the day before the 2nd round, the exact excerpts will be announced to each of the candidates.

    Rules

    After the second round each member of the Jury places a “+” beside the names of the 6 candidates whom the Juror deems best qualified. The 6 candidates who obtain most votes will qualify for the third round.

  • 25 Wednesday
    Third round
    6 participants, Jury votes, announcement of result

    The 3rd round is divided into two parts: Morning and afternoon.

    In the morning each candidate will have 20 minutes with the orchestra.
    The candidate can decide the order of performance.

    Poul Ruders: New commission for the Malko Competition (ap. 5-7 minutes) (Edition Wilhelm Hansen)
    The candidate may rehearse with the orchestra.
    The piece by Poul Ruders will be sent to the candidates on March 20th 2018. 

    Without rehearsal the candidate will perform one of the following three pieces (by his/her own choice):
    R. Wagner: Lohengrin - Prelude to Act I (Breitkopf)
    C.M.v. Weber: Der Freischütz - Ouverture (Breitkopf)
    G. Verdi: La Forza del Destino - Ouverture (Ricordi)

    In the afternoon each candidate will, without rehearsal, perform 
    A. Dvorak: Cello Concerto - 1st movement (KLHU)
    Soloist: Andreas Brantelid
    The candidate will have time to meet and talk with the soloist beforehand.

    Rules

    After the third round each member of the Jury places a “+” beside the names of the 3 candidates whom the Juror deems best qualified. The 3 candidates who obtain most votes will qualify for the finale.

  • 26 Thursday
    Day off
  • 27 Friday
    Finale
    3 participants, Jury votes, Prize ceremony

    Each candidate will rehearse with the orchestra in the morning.
    In the afternoon each candidate will perform one of the following three pieces (as decided by ballot on April 25th 2018):

    • J. Brahms: Symphony No. 1 - 1st movement (Breitkopf)
    • J. Brahms: Symphony No. 2 - 1st movement (Breitkopf)
    • J. Brahms: Symphony No. 4 - 1st movement (Breitkopf)

    In addition the candidate will perform:
    C. Nielsen: Maskarade - Dance of the Cockerels (Hanedans) (Edition Wilhelm Hansen)

    Rules

    After the finale, a separate vote is taken for each of the 1st-3rd Prize – beginning with the 1st Prize.
    Prior to the vote, each member of the Jury is issued with a ballot on which he or she writes the name of the finalist to whom the Juror wishes to award the prize in question.
    If the voting results in a tie between two finalists, a vote is taken to decide whether a Prize is to be divided between the two (in which case the subsequent Prize is not awarded, and the sum for the two Prizes is divided equally between the two winners (ex aequo)). If there is not a majority in favor of dividing the 1st Prize, the vote of the President of the Jury decides in favor of one of the candidates.
    If the voting results in a tie between three finalists, a vote will be taken to select, finally, the two best-qualified. Then follows the above procedure for the case of a tie between two finalists.
    In the event of all voting ballots for this prize being blank the prize will not be awarded.

    After each of the first three rounds the president will announce the candidates continuing to the next round in alphabetical order, without mentioning the number of votes they have got.

    After the finale, the president will announce the winners without mentioning the number of votes obtained.

    The decision of the Jury is final and cannot be appealed.

Prizes

1
First prize
20,000 €
2
Second prize
15,000 €
3
Third prize
12,000 €
Audience prize
1,500 €

Personal consultant

The winner of the 1st prize will receive advice and support for a period of one year from Jennifer Spencer who, for 20 years until June 2016, was a Director at Harrison Parrott, responsible for the strategic career development of a number of major and emerging conductors. During her time at Harrison Parrott Jennifer Spencer has worked with Paavo Järvi, Sakari Oramo, Yakov Kreizberg, Xian Zhang, Kirill Karabits, Krzysztof Urbanski, Elim Chan, Iván Fischer and Christoph von Dohnanyi (amongst others).

Mentorship

Fabio Luisi will be personal mentor for the winner of 1st prize.

Audio visual recording

The winner of the 1st prize will be offered the opportunity to conduct the Danish National Symphony Orchestra in an audiovisual studio-production of 5-10 minutes length. The recording can be used by the winner for non-commercial purposes, e.g. on the winner´s homepage. Note: The repertoire for this recording must be owned by the orchestra´s library in order to allow free publication. Therefore the repertoire will be agreed on in dialogue between the winner and the orchestra administration.

Portrait photos

The winner of the 1st prize will be offered a photo session with the danish photography artist Per Morten Abrahamsen.

Rules

Rules and voting procedure for the Jury 

The competition takes place in 3 rounds and a finale. In the 1st round, which runs over two days, 24 candidates will participate. 12 candidates will be selected for the 2nd round, which runs over one day. 6 candidates will go on to the 3rd round. 3 candidates will go on to the Finale. 

The Jury votes after having heard all candidates. If a member of the jury has not heard all candidates in a round, the juror cannot vote in the round.

Voting is by secret ballot in the presence of a Moderator representing, and appointed by the Management of the Competition. Ballots may not be made public.

The Jurors will vote independently and may not discuss the performances before or during the voting procedure.
If a member of the jury does not participate in the competition, for example on account of ”Force Majeure”, the Management has the right to appoint a new member of the jury immediately.

The Moderator collects all votes after each round, and checks that the ballot is properly signed by the juror. The Moderator and a neutral assistant count the votes and give the result to the assembled jury.

Prior to voting after the first, second and third round, each member of the Jury will be issued with a ballot with names of all the candidates performing in the round.

First round After the first round each member of the Jury places a “+” beside the names of the 12 candidates whom the Juror deems best qualified. The 12 candidates who obtain most votes will qualify for the second round.
Second round After the second round each member of the Jury places a “+” beside the names of the 6 candidates whom the Juror deems best qualified. The 6 candidates who obtain most votes will qualify for the third round.
Third round After the third round each member of the Jury places a “+” beside the names of the 3 candidates whom the Juror deems best qualified. The 3 candidates who obtain most votes will qualify for the finale.
Inconclusive votes If a vote proves inconclusive, the following procedures will be observed:
a) Should two or more candidates receive the same number of qualifying votes, a separate ballot will be held.
b) Should the votes be inconclusively distributed (minority votes) on both sides of the qualifying line, the contestants enjoying the support of the clear majority will be chosen first and those with not more than one vote will be rejected.
A new ballot will then be undertaken among the remaining candidates to allocate the vacancies.
Finale After the finale, a separate vote is taken for each of the 1st-3rd Prize – beginning with the 1st Prize.
Prior to the vote, each member of the Jury is issued with a ballot on which he or she writes the name of the finalist to whom the Juror wishes to award the prize in question.
If the voting results in a tie between two finalists, a vote is taken to decide whether a Prize is to be divided between the two (in which case the subsequent Prize is not awarded, and the sum for the two Prizes is divided equally between the two winners (ex aequo)). If there is not a majority in favor of dividing the 1st Prize, the vote of the President of the Jury decides in favor of one of the candidates.
If the voting results in a tie between three finalists, a vote will be taken to select, finally, the two best-qualified. Then follows the above procedure for the case of a tie between two finalists.
In the event of all voting ballots for this prize being blank the prize will not be awarded.

After each of the first three rounds the president will announce the candidates continuing to the next round in alphabetical order, without mentioning the number of votes they have got.

After the finale, the president will announce the winners without mentioning the number of votes obtained.

The decision of the Jury is final and cannot be appealed.

Members of the Jury 

The History

The Nicolai Malko Competition is the Danish National Symphony Orchestra’s international competition for conductors. It has been held every three years since 1965. At the heart of the competition is the goal to identify and bring out those great young musical talents who will one day grace the podia of leading orchestras all over the world. 

As it has done from the very beginning, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra will dedicate all of its skills and energies to the competition. For the orchestra, the Malko Competition is about providing maximum artistic expression in partnership with the conductor in the same creative way as happens in all of its concerts throughout its orchestral season.

Maestro Fabio Luisi, principal conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, is the chairman of the 2018 edition of the Nicolai Malko Competition and will be personal mentor to its winner.

The Nicolai Malko Competition was under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Henrik until his recent death. 

The competition is generously supported by:
Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond
Augustinus Fonden
Beckett-Fonden

Previous winners

  • Tung-Chieh Chuang

    Tung-Chieh Chuang is the celebrated winner of the International Malko Competition 2015 in Copenhagen. As a guest conductor, Tung-Chieh Chuang has recently conducted such orchestras as Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Tampere Philharmonic and Qatar Philharmonic. He worked with the 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic and conducted the Filharmonica G. Enescu Bucharest, Oviedo Filarmonia, and Sønderjyllands Symphony Orchestra.

    Highlights of the 2016/2017 season include concerts with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken, Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice, RTE Dublin and Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg. Furthermore, he works with Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Turku Philharmonic, Helsingborg Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan and Macao Orchestra. In October 2016 he will conduct the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra on a tour in China.

  • Rafael Payare

    In May 2012, Payare was awarded first prize at the Malko International Conducting Competition, and in July 2012, he was personally invited by his mentor, the late Lorin Maazel, to conduct at his Castleton Festival in Virginia. This led to a close association and, in July 2015, he was honoured to accept the position of Principal Conductor of the Castleton Festival. In the summer of 2015, he conducted performances of Gounod 'Romeo and Juliette’ and a performance of Beethoven Symphony No 9 in memory of Lorin Maazel. 

    The 2014-15 season saw his acclaimed debut with the Wiener Philharmoniker at the Musikverein, and invitations to the London Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic. This was followed by his debut with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival. In September 2014, he was announced as Chief Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra in Northern Ireland and their partnership is now recognised as one of the most dynamic in the United Kingdom. Highlights with the UO have included his debut at the BBC Proms in August 2016 and a successful Beethoven and Tchaikovsky cycle with many of the concerts broadcast on BBC Radio 3. 

    Notable invitations during the 2015-16 season included the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, NDR Sinfonieochester Hamburg, Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchesterand the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Southbank Centre, plus return visits to the Rotterdam Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra.

  • Joshua Weilerstein

    Born into a musical family, Weilerstein’s career was launched after winning both the First Prize and the Audience Prize at the Malko Competition for Young Conductors 2009 in Copenhagen. He then completed a three-year appointment as Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, which concluded in the 13/14 season. 
    Since then, he has steadily gained a growing profile in both North America and abroad, including recent guest conducting engagements with the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Fort Worth, and Vancouver; Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, The Florida Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, and the Aspen Music Festival, among others. 
    In Europe, he has established strong relationships with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Stockholm Philharmonic, Oslo Phiharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Swedish Chamber Orchestra. He has also conducted the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchestre Berlin, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. 
    In the 2015/16 season Weilerstein makes debuts with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, Calgary Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, SWR Stuttgart, and Lahti Symphony Orchestra, and will make his Barbican debut when he returns to the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He will also return to the Baltimore, Vancouver, and Danish National Symphony Orchestras; the Royal Liverpool, Oslo, and Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestras; Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, and the Orchestre National de Lyon. With the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Weilerstein goes on tour in Germany, performing in Bremen, Hamburg, Hannover, and Düsseldorf.