When the Danish National Symphony Orchestra plays the first notes of the new season on 1 September, it will also be the first meeting day for the young student conductors who have been admitted to DR’s new Malko Academy for Young Conductors.
The new academy, established in a cooperation with the Swiss cultural foundation Fondation Caris, can only cater for six students per year, and these places have been in great demand. No less than 110 applicants from 27 countries wished to be admitted to the international academy for young conductors, and from them 15 were selected to come to admission examinations at DR Koncerthuset.
After three days of examinations in seven different disciplines, DR is now able to present the six young talents who managed to secure a place at the new Malko Academy: Filip Zaykov, Czech Republic; Gabriel Durliat and Vincent Siret, France; Konstantinos Alexopoulos, Greece; Marian Bozhidarov, Bulgaria; and Ragnheiður Jóhannsdóttir, Iceland.
Comprehensive admission examination
So as to be completely sure of finding the absolutely right students for the new Malko academy, the young talents have been subjected to a comprehensive selection process in which they have been tested in various musical disciplines.
A day of written exams within theoretical disciplines such as ear training and analysis was followed by one with testing the musical proficiencies of the young applicants on their main instrument and also on the piano, which is a compulsory instrument, since an ability to play the piano is important too when rehearsing choral and orchestral music.
On the third day, the aspiring conductors’ abilities were tested on the podium in front of singers and musicians connected to the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the Danish National Concert Choir, in both a previously known repertoire and a new work composed for the occasion by Karl Aage Rasmussen.
An impressive level
Dominik Falenski, who is the principal of the new Malko Academy for Young Conductors, says that the admissions adjudicators have been highly impressed by the musical level of the young applicants:
When one starts a completely new educational programme, one is naturally incredibly eager to find out if one has been successful in attracting the right students. And I have to say that we have been able to compile no less than a dream team for DR’s new academy for young conductors, says Dominik Falenski.
These six young people are not only exceptionally proficient musicians with incredibly keen hearing; they also possess the ability to ‘come across’ in front of professional musicians and to communicate their musical ideas. Over the next two years, we will together form their conducting technique, their knowledge of the repertoire and their ability to lead professional ensembles, so that they can set out into the world with solid musical proficiencies from DR – and we also hope to be able to link them to DR Koncerthuset in the longer term.