Germans pick five future conductors: all male

Germans pick five future conductors: all male


norman lebrecht

April 13, 2015

Our observer at the German Music Council’s search for conductors of the future came away dejected.  There were 24 candidates. Only one woman made it into the second day, and she was soon discarded.

Unlike past rounds that produced such winners as Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and Shi-Yeon Sung, both of whom found posts at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, this week’s winners were drearily male.


l-r: Dominic Limburg, David Niemann, Hossein Pishkar, Nuno Coelho Silva, Jiri Rozen

Our observer thought the Portuguese candidate had possibilities.

Two judges from Zurich and Hamburg each had two of their own students among the winners. So it goes.

Here’s the press release:

Das Förderprogramm des Deutschen Musikrates für den dirigentischen Nachwuchs nimmt neue Stipendiaten auf.

Nach Sichtung der Bewerbungsunterlagen und des eingeschickten Videomaterials wurden 24 Kandidaten zum Auswahldirigieren mit der Philharmonie Südwestfalen nach Hilchenbach eingeladen. Eine fünfköpfige Jury unter dem Vorsitz von Prof. Johannes Schlaefli bewertete sowohl die Probenarbeit der Kandidaten an verschiedenen Werken als auch das Begleiten eines Solokonzertes. Nach zwei Durchgängen entschieden sich die Juroren für die Aufnahme von Nuno Coelho Silva (Zürcher Hochschule der Künste), Dominic Limburg (Zürcher Hochschule der Künste), David Niemann (Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg), Hossein Pishkar (Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf) und Jiří Rožeň (Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg).

Die neuen Stipendiaten erwartet im DIRIGENTENFORUM ein umfangreiches Arbeitsprogramm mit Berufsorchestern unter Anleitung von renommierten Dirigentenpersönlichkeiten. Proben und Aufführungen in den Bereichen Musiktheater und Sinfonik stehen dabei im Zentrum. Darüber hinaus gibt es regelmäßige Kooperationen mit Kammerorchestern und Spezialensembles für Alte und Neue Musik. Assistenzen, Förderkonzerte, Preise und Stipendien ergänzen die Förderbausteine des DIRIGENTENFORUMs.



  • Malcolm james says:

    ‘Our observer thought the Portuguese candidate had possibilities.’

    Is this damning with faint praise – best of a mediocre bunch?

  • Jim says:

    Lol! An article claiming to be speaking out against sexism, posted right after two close-up pictures of Kathryne Jenkins’ bust with her head cropped off!

  • V.Lind says:

    Just because no female conductors seem to have qualified for this nebulous honour does not make the recipients “dreary.”

    I really wonder how many women are entered for these things. It would be good to think that those who did were judged on their merits. if they are not as good as the “drearies” then I want no part of them.

    If you are suggesting attitudes mar the judgment of those in charge, then I have to get behind Jim’s post above.

  • cameron paul says:

    “Drearily Male?” What a stupid comment. Suggesting that male conductors are inferior to female? Really? Seems you’re another victim of that “dreary” P.C. !

  • Andrew Balio says:

    It doesn’t help the cause of advancing the careers of more women conductors to imply sexism, thus maligning the jury of a competition. If you really want women to be equals among peers, then you need to accept that they become subject to the same rigorous standards that befall endless unknown males who too attempt to advance their careers.
    Headlines like this become the “Big Brother” of the music business, intimidating juries and others to look over their shoulders, lest they be censured for crimes of omission. There must already be conversations in the deliberation rooms cautioning against arousing suspicions of sexism should they not meet their quota.