French prayers at Besancon

The international conducting competition at Besancon, a once-important event that has fallen off the radar, has a Frenchman in the last three:

Victor Jacob, 28

Haoran Li, 33 (China)

Nodoka Okisawa, 32 (Japan)

The final is on Saturday.

Jacob is assistant conductor at Chorégies d’Orange.


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  • No objection from me to this event “falling off the radar.” Any “conducting competition” is an inherently silly and unwarranted endeavor.

    • I would be very happy with all music competitions dissapeared. I think it was Bartok who said “competitions are for horses, not for artists”. There.

      • But what other system would you devise so that comparatively unknown musicians can be seen by those who hire soloists or conductors?

  • Fantastic!
    All the 3 finalists are very skilled, young conductors. I knew about each of them before, and it’s no surprise to me they are the finalists.
    I predict Mr.Li will be the winner.
    Also, I’m suprised Norman didn’t point this out, the Japanese contestant is a woman.
    The picture of Jacob in sunglasses was taken at an outdoor, day-time concert in the midst of summer.
    Also I strongly disagree with ‘Anson’ that conducting competitions are a silly endeavour. They are no less silly than any instrumental competition.

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