The Hallé has named Delyana Lazarova as the winner of the inaugural Siemens Hallé International Conductors Competition. In addition to a cash prize of £15,000, Lazarova will fulfill a two-year engagement as the 8th Assistant Conductor for the Hallé, which also includes the role of Music Director of the Hallé Youth Orchestra. She will take up this appointment in September 2020 and during her tenure will work under the close mentorship of the Hallé’s Music Director Sir Mark Elder, and assist other visiting international conductors. Second prize, which includes a cash prize of £3,000, was awarded to Venezuelan-born Rodolfo Barráez, while British conductor Joel Sandelson received the third prize, which includes a cash prize of £2,000.
“It has been a week of huge excitement for us all to meet, and work with, these wonderful young conductors at the start of their careers,” said Sir Mark Elder. “With so much extraordinary talent on display, choosing the winner was very difficult, but I am delighted to welcome Delyana as the new young conductor of the Hallé, and look forward enormously to our work together.”
The competition attracted 287 applicants representing 55 countries across all six continents. After two thrilling days at Hallé St Peter’s in Manchester, Lazarova was one of four finalists selected from ten international semi-finalists to rehearse and perform with the Hallé on Saturday 22 February. Lazarova commented on her appointment: “I am extremely excited to have received this prize. The whole experience was incredibly rewarding and I very much enjoyed working alongside such fabulous colleagues. I consider it a great privilege to be able to work with the Hallé and Sir Mark Elder, whom I consider to be an exceptional artist, musician and mind. I am really looking forward to the next two years and being part of the Hallé family.”
Born in Bulgaria and resident in Switzerland, in 2019 Lazarova received the James Conlon Conducting Prize at the prestigious Aspen Music Festival, and has worked with Hradec-Kralove Philharmonic Orchestra in Czech Republic, Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra in Greece, Meiningen and Konstanz Symphony Orchestras in Germany.
The judging panel comprised the Hallé Artistic team led by Sir Mark Elder, Music Director; Professor Dr. Stephan Frucht, Artistic Director of the Siemens Arts Program; Arna Kristín Einarsdóttir, Managing Director of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra; Carola Reul, Managing Director of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie; and Julia Albrecht, Director of the Artist Management Department of Konzertdirektion Schmid.
The Siemens Hallé International Conductors Competition builds upon a remarkable partnership between the Hallé and Siemens AG, a global technology powerhouse, that has been developed over the last two decades. Creating links between engineering and music, Siemens and the Hallé have not only brought classical music to Manchester audiences, they have collaborated on delivering a variety of education and community outreach projects that engage children and support communities throughout the North of England.