Pick of the Flicks
Felix Mildenberger has won the 15th Donatella Flick Conducting Competition. At the final at the Barbican in London, the 28-year-old German impressed the judges with his command of works by Wagner, Prokofiev and Kodály, winning himself £15,000 and the year-long post of assistant conductor at the London Symphony Orchestra. His fellow finalists were Harry Ogg, of the UK and Alexander Colding Smith from Denmark.
Maybe one day Mildenberger will take the helm of the Philharmonia Orchestra? The London-based ensemble is currently on the look-out for a new maestro after its current principal conductor Esa-pekka Salonen announced that the 2020/21 season will be his last in post. The Finn will be heading across the pond where, in another recently announced move, he is to take over from Michael Tilson-thomas as music director of the San Francisco Symphony in 2020.
Lewis no more
The pianist Paul Lewis, meanwhile, has announced that he is to step down as co-artistic director of the Leeds International Piano Competition so that he can concentrate on performing. Lewis and former Radio 3 editor and producer Adam Gatehouse took over the running of the prestigious event for the first time this year, making major changes to its format. Gatehouse will now be in sole charge.
Martin T:son Engstroem, founder of the ultra-plush Verbier Festival, is to launch a new annual event, this time in Latvia. Artists announced for this year’s inaugural Riga Jurmala Music Festival, staged at two venues in the Baltic country, include conductor Mariss Jansons and cellist Misha Maisky, both born in Riga, plus pianists Yuja Wang and Murray Perahia.
Winning beat: German conductor Felix Mildenberger