The first prize at the Mahler Competition in Bamberg was awarded to Finnegan Downie Dear, who on Friday gave easily the most uncertain reading of Mahler’s fourth symphony I have ever seen. He takes away 30,000 Euros and a career boost.
The gifted young British conductor is represented by Askonas Holt. The agency’s ex-boss Martin Campbell-White was on the jury. We trust he recused himself in the voting.
Second prize went to Thomas Jung (Germany).
Third prize was split between the three remaining finalists Wilson Ng, Harry Ogg and Katharina Wincor.
Clearly the jury was unable to give a clear upbeat, rather like some of the finalists.
Given all the difficulties presented by Covid-19 and all the competition’s past achievements, this event was a total shambles.
This was the jury: