The following is just in from the Salzburg Festival. (I am afraid it is simply copied and pasted from the press release, with occasional excisions, since I have no time properly to edit it just now and thought the information better disseminated not.)
Out of 91 applicants, including 19 women, the jury, chaired by Ingo Metzmacher has selected three conductors, two men and one woman: the 20-year-old Englishman Jamie Phillips, the 33-year-old Argentinean Christian Baldini and the 26-year-old Lithuanian Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. The three finalists will present themselves to the public on April 28 and 29 during the Award Concert Weekend.
This year, the international competition for young conductors received applications from candidates from four continents. Artistic Director Alexander Pereira commented: “The goal of this initiative is to give young and highly talented artists a decisive impulse for their further careers. Therefore, we give the three candidates the chance to present themselves to the public together with international award-winning soloists, in order to increase the attractiveness of the award.” Pereira has had the idea of a concert weekend in April. "Now, all of Salzburg can participate in this great project without paying much,” Helga Rabl-Stadler, President of the Salzburg Festival, expressed her enthusiasm.
Award Concert Weekend – April 28 and 29, 2012
The three finalists will have the chance to conduct a concert with one of the three partner orchestras as part of the “Award Concert Weekend”. The following young soloists will perform at these concerts: Ingolf Wunder (piano), Alexej Gorlatch (piano) and Dan Zhu (violin). The programme will be chosen by the nominated conductors and announced at a later time.
In order to give as many people as possible the chance to participate in the development of this great idea, tickets will be especially affordable:
For students: 8,00 Euros per concert
For all others: 15,00 Euros per concert
General Pass: 30,00 Euros for all three concerts
Saturday, April 28, 2012, 7:30 pm
Conductor: Jamie Phillips
Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg
Soloist: Ingolf Wunder, Piano (2nd Prize, International Chopin Competition 2010)
Sunday, April 29, 2012, 11:00 am
Conductor: Christian Baldini
Munich Radio Orchestra
Soloist: Alexej Gorlatch, Piano (1st Prize and Audience Prize of the ARD Music Competition 2011)
Sunday, April 29, 2012, 7:30 pm
Conductor: Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla
Soloist: Dan Zhu, Violin (Winner of major international competitions, including the Queen Elisabeth Competition)
After the three concerts, the jury chaired by Ingo Metzmacher will determine the winner, who will conduct the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra at the Felsenreitschule on August 12, 2012.
Christian Baldini (33)
Born in Argentina, Christian Baldini studied orchestral conducting at Pennsylvania State University, earning a Master’s Degree. He has worked with renowned orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra London and the Buenos Aires Philharmonic and has participated in numerous master classes, for example with Kurt Masur. As a composer, Baldini has won several prizes for his works and has made a name for himself internationally, especially in the USA. He has taught at the State University of New York and is currently assistant professor at the University of California.
Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (25)
The native of Lithuania holds a degree in conducting from the University of Graz and continued her studies at the Conservatory in Bologna, the Academy of Music and Theater in Leipzig and most recently at the Arts Academy in Zurich. Gražinytė’s broad range of experience includes many public performances and successful participation in competitions, including the 5th German Music Academy Competition in Orchestral Conducting. Her talent also convinced the Conductors’ Forum of the German Music Council, which has granted Gražinytė a scholarship since 2009.
Jamie Phillips (20)
The young Englishman studies at the University of Manchester and at the Royal Northern College of Music. His level of musicality and expressivity are striking, and despite his youth, he already commands a comprehensive repertoire. He is founder and chief conductor of the Birmingham Festival Orchestra. This past year, he was the youngest finalist to reach the semi-finals at the Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors.