6th SA Conductors’ Competition

Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra

The first round and masterclasses of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra’s 6th SA Conductors’ Competition has been announced.

The competition will be held from August 30 to September 1 at the Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre in Parow. The closing date for entries is May 31, 2024.

After four successful competitions under the name of, with the CPO, it’s co-founder, Len van Zyl, the 5th one in 2022 became the SA Conductors’ Competition.

The only such competition for young conductors, this competition has already yielded five outstanding winners – Brandon Phillips, Xavier Cloete, Chad Hendricks, Schalk van der Merwe and Jacobus de Jager.

The 6th competition is open to South Africans not older than 33 on January 1, 2025. Repertoire for the first round is Verdi: La Forza del Destino; Weber: Oberon overture and Beethoven: Egmont Overture performed with two pianos and in the next rounds on a date to be announcement next year candidates will conduct Beethoven: Symphony no. 5 in c minor, Op 67 1st mvt; Mozart: Symphony No. 41 C, K 551 “Jupiter” 1st mvt; and Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 in A, Op. 90, 1st mvt with a string quartet and piano. Finalists will conduct one of the symphony movements from symphonies in the previous round as well as movement from a concerto.

The competition will now be presided over by Maestro Arjan Tien, professor of conducting at the Conservatoire of Amsterdam and Maastricht Conservatoire in The Netherlands. He will coach all the candidates in masterclasses in August/September and those who proceed in 2025 as well.

The prize, which includes an opportunity to conduct the CPO at an appropriate time, also includes conducting classes at the Conservatoire of Amsterdam and the Maastricht Conservatoire, as well involvement in symphony orchestras in The Netherlands, all under the supervision of Tien.

Tien will be assisted by a panel, which will include Bernhard Gueller, Richard Cock, Louis Heyneman and some of the previous winners, in the adjudication process.

This competition, the only one of its kind in South Africa, has played an important role in the career paths of its winners and is part of the mission of the CPO to develop the next generation of musicians, in this case conductors.

As Tien has said, “To be part of the development and education of young conductors is very rewarding for working with students motivates one to constantly analyse and develop oneself. I also enjoy sharing experiences, spending time with the winner with my conducting classes and orchestras in The Netherlands and helping guide them as they grow into the next generation, perhaps even on the world stage,”

Entry forms can be downloaded from the CPO website at https://www.cpo.org.za/new/south-african-conductors-competition/

The closing date is May 31, after which a selection will immediately be made.

Candidates will be responsible for their own airfares but will be accommodated at the competition’s expense.

More information shirley@cpo.org.za

Shirley Gueller
071 318 1495
Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra