Mahler Competition is down to the last 6

Mahler Competition is down to the last 6


norman lebrecht

June 30, 2020

Semi-finals start tomorrow for:

Finnegan Downie Dear (UK)
Andreas Hansson (Sweden)
Thomas Jung (Germany)
Harry Ogg (UK)

Christian Vazquez (Venezuela)
Katharina Wincor (Austria)




  • Anon says:

    how did conductors make careers for themselves before the era of conducting competitions?

    • FrauGeugerin says:

      I know! They learnt for years, they acted as Korrepetitor for years, they learnt to play one or more instruments at a professional level, understood the inner workings of music, had a above average culture (literature, philosophy…), practiced conducting wind bands / off-stage orchestras / choirs…. they learnt for years before they were ready… HOW CRAZY!!!! IMAGINE!!!!

      Now at 35 they are already too old to start a professional career!

    • Not fair says:

      I think even then there was a bunch of good fellows who were forgotten.
      Nowadays there are a few more steps to make it to the “I conducted BerlinPhil”:
      1. Be professional
      That’s all. But in real world:
      1. Study in Germany or Switzerland, please. Nobody cares if you are a good conductor from Norway
      2. Learn German, bitte. Nobody cares if you are a good conductor with English language skills.
      3. Follow every conductor on the facebook. We are all big friends and helpful community (no). Nobody cares if you are a good all-sufficient conductor.
      4. Apply for every competition and masterclass. Nobody cares if you are a good conductor. Nobody knows you.
      5. Feel yourself important and out of reach. But always smile when you conduct. Better not smile but make a big excessive and inappropriate faces. Don’t listen to the music. You are the music. Nobody cares if you are a good conductor and you don’t want to show-off (what? Conductor of 21st century withoit show off?!).

      Now, if you made all of these subjects right, most likely you are already “one of the most sought-after conductors of his/her generation”.

      Now you have engagements, money and what is more important – the fame.

      It’s NOT necessary, but NOW you can try to become professional: learn to play different instruments, learn to orchestrate, listen to the chords, listen to music other than “Beethoven-Brahms-Mahler” and etc.


      Nobody cares if you are a good conductor.

    • PHF says:

      Pretty much like today: strong PR (generally some high rank financial or political godfather with no knowledge about music), ability to kiss a**** and smile at the same time, unique style (whatever thing to distinguish yourself from the crowd, musical or not, making any sense or not), and an enormous passion for money. If you care about the music (or at least pretend well), you’ll probably get jobs in multiple continents at the same time to ensure you’ll never do both well.

    • Pauker says:

      They learned the art of conducting by doing it, starting at the bottom.