BBC Music Magazine : 2019-04-17

The Full Score : 10 : 12

The Full Score

12 BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE Thefullsco­re Our pick of the month’s news, views and interviews Hallé launches competitio­n to find baton talent Manchester-based orchestra searches for its next assistant conductor From Sir Charles ★allé himself in the 19th century to Sir Mark Elder in the present day, and including the likes ★ans Richter, John Barbirolli and Stanislaw Skrowaczew­ski along the way, the ★allé orchestra has enjoyed its fair share of great conductors over the years. And now, for the first time ever, the Manchester-based ensemble is holding a competitio­n to discover its next brilliant young maestro. Taking place over three days in February 2020, the Siemens ★allé Internatio­nal Conductors Competitio­n will put young baton wielders through their paces in a series of tests. The prize is a substantia­l one – a two-year appointmen­t as assistant conductor to Sir Mark that, as well as extensive rehearsal duties, will include Secret’s out: Mark Elder keeps mum; (right and below) former Hallé assistants Ewa Strusin´ska and Edward Gardner performing with the orchestra in at least five concerts per year. As Elder himself has previously told BBC Music Magazine, the role is all about ‘being part of the nuts and bolts of running an orchestra’. Elder will, unsurprisi­ngly, be one of the panel of judges of the competitio­n which, intriguing­ly, will break new ground by including a ‘digital challenge’ to keep competitor­s who reach the semi-final stage on their toes. Though exact details of the challenge have yet to be revealed, it will, we are told, involve ‘a task that integrates motion technology into the conducting process. The exercise will test how each candidate adapts to unusual situations, and the technology developed will have lasting benefits for the ★allé’s education and outreach initiative­s.’ Sir Mark Elder, who has been the ★allé’s music director since 2000, took on his first assistant conductor in 2002 and the post has proved a significan­t leg-up to the big time for a number of those who have filled it. Among them is Edward Gardner, who went on to become music director of English National Opera (2007-15) and principal conductor of the Bergen Philharmon­ic (2015 – present) and, in September 2011, conducted the Last Night of the Proms. Other former assistants now enjoying the limelight include Ewa Strusi ska and Andrew Gourlay, while the position is currently held by Jonathon ★eyward. As well as the appointmen­t, the winner of the competitio­n will receive £15,000, while two runners-up will take home £3,000 and £2,000 respective­ly.

© PressReader. All rights reserved.