No Germans in German conducting competition

No Germans in German conducting competition


norman lebrecht

October 25, 2021

A Belgian, Martijn Dendievel, 24, has won the German Conductor Award 2021.

Second was a Latvian, Aivis Greters.

Third was the South Korean Hangyul Chung, who also took the audience prize.

The event is run by the German Music Council. No German contender came close.


  • Lila says:

    Maybe the Germans were all in Berlin to become Karajan scholar and Petrenko’s assistant? At least two Germans won there.

  • Ruben Greenberg says:

    I seem to recall Martijn took some master classes with the late Bernard Haitink. This was bound to have helped him!

  • Peter San Diego says:

    The skill and musicality of the conductor matters just a bit more than the nationality, doesn’t it?

  • Patrick says:

    I believe he was a finalist at the LSO Donatella Flick Competition. And just lost the first place.

  • Guglhupf says:

    This competition is open to anyone who studies at a German conservatory, and the German conservatories (which are tuition-free) are open to anyone in the world. That ought to be seen as a positive…

  • Conductor says:

    The Competition was a joke. The repertoire changed one week before!

  • Tom Phillips says:

    I suspect Germans are far less upset about this than you are. Why are UK writers so fixated on performer’s nationality?

    • HugoPreuss says:

      Indeed. I literally don’t understand what the problem is. We have plenty of great musicians from all over the world at our conservatories. And later in our orchestras, or on opera stages, or in the conducting pit. Where on earth is the problem?? Not with the German public, I can assure you.