French prayers at Besancon

French prayers at Besancon


norman lebrecht

September 19, 2019

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.



  • Maestro Miss says:

    Ben Glassberg, the last winner, is extremely impressive.

  • Anson says:

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

    • FrauGeigerin says:

      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.

      • Saxon Broken says:

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

  • RW2013 says:

    Prestigious jury (not).

  • StallsLeft says:

    Not sure how any player can follow him when he’s standing behind those sunglasses.

  • Anon says:

    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.