Mahler prize goes to a Masur protege

Mahler prize goes to a Masur protege


norman lebrecht

May 13, 2016

The Mahler Competition of the Bamberg Symphony, which ended last night, has yielded some outstanding talents in the past decade, and some outstandingly young. This year’s winners are all around 30 and the talent was too sparse to award a fourth prize.

Here are the results:
1st Prize (€ 20,000) Kachun Wong, Singapore (born 24 June 1986)
2nd Prize (€ 10,000) Sergey Neller, Russia (born 27 October 1986)
3rd Prize (€ 5,000) Valentin Uryupin, Ukraine (born 11 December 1985)

No fourth prize was awarded.


Bamberger Symphoniker. Mahler Competition 2016. Dirigentenwettbewerb. Kah Chun Wong. Bamberg, 11.-13.05.2016


Tonight, Kachun Wong, will conduct the Bamberg Symphony in the closing concert, during which all the winners will also be presented with their prizes. On the programme will be works from the Competition’s set repertoire, by Georg Friedrich Haas, Henri Dutilleux, Gustav Mahler and Jörg Widmann.


Kachun Wong is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Asian Contemporary Ensemble. March 2015 saw his debut with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared with orchestras such as the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, the George Enescu Philharmonic and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. A protégé of Kurt Masur, he studied with him at five masterclasses in New York, Leipzig and Tokyo, and two with the Baltic Youth Philharmonic. In September 2013, he assisted Kurt Masur at the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.

Kurt Masur has left a fertile legacy.



  • Sergey says:

    Just in case, Uryupin is Russian as well.

  • Mihail Ghiga says:

    And we are proud that in the last 5 we had a romanian, Gabriel Bebeselea, an outstanding conductor and musician.

  • Sasha says:

    Is every young conductor who met Kurt Masur (maybe just once in his life!) now a “Masur protege”? I worked as maestro Masur’s assistant conductor for more than two years in Paris and I’d never dare to say I was his “protege”. Who can confirm these claims now that the great man is gone? A fertile legacy indeed…

    • Stephen P says:

      My thoughts exactly Sasha.

    • Rgiarola says:

      In marketing it is called: “how to hype a product”. It’s sells believe me. From tangibles products to even MD positions on some well know USA orchestras.

      It’s sad, but true Sasha….