Deutscher Dirigentenpreis

14. Juni 2017

German Conductors’ Award 2017 – Candidates Are Announced

From September 22nd to 29th, twelve conductors from eight different countries will be competing for the German Conductors’ Award in this international competition, which will, for the first time, take place in Cologne.

A total of 80 conductors from 25 different countries applied to be participants in the 2017 German Conductors’ Award. A jury, whose members included Lothar Zagrosek (Chairman), Siegwald Bütow, Manager and Producer of the WDR Sinfonieorchester, Pierre-Alain Chamot, violinist in the WDR Sinfonieorchester, Patrick Hahn, Artistic Program Planner for the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Dr. Birgit Meyer, Artistic Director of the Oper Köln, and Ulrike Schäfer, solo cellist with the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, reviewed the application materials, including videos, and selected ten candidates. These ten candidates will be admitted to the competition in September, along with two additional candidates who have, on the basis of their successful participation in the Conductors’ Forum (Dirigentenforum), in combination with several jury decisions, qualified themselves for the German Conductors’ Award. The candidates for the 2017 German Conductors’ Award are:

- Bertie Baigent, Great Britain
- Dominik Beykirch, Germany
- Jiannan Cheng, China
- Hamed Garschi, Iran
- Thomas Guggeis, Germany
- James Kahane, France
- Wilson Ng, China
- Hossein Pishkar, Iran
- Anna Rakitina, Russia
- Tal Samuel, Israel
- Paul Willot-Förster, Germany
- Vladimir Yaskorski, Armenia

During the competition, the twelve candidates will, in three judging rounds, work together with the WDR Sinfonieorchester and the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, as well as with singers from the Oper Köln, during which consideration will be given equally to the genres of opera and concert, as well as to a comprehensive range of repertoire. In the final concert on 29 September 2017, which will be held in the Kölner Philharmonie, the orchestras and singers will all be performing with the competition’s three finalists.

The jury for the German Conductors’ Award is made up prominent figures from the international music world. Along with conductors Christoph von Dohnányi (Honorary Chairman), Lothar Zagrosek (Chairman) and Hartmut Haenchen, Siegwald Bütow, Manager and Producer of the WDR Sinfonieorchester, Louwrens Langevoort, Artistic Director of the Kölner Philharmonie and CEO of KölnMusik GmbH, and Dr. Birgit Meyer, Artistic Director of the Oper Köln, as well as the composer Philippe Manoury and Kammersänger Jan-Hendrik Rootering. The participating orchestra members will also have a deciding voice: the overall vote of the orchestra members will be counted as one jury vote in the final decision.

In addition to the prize money, competition finalists will receive contracts for concerts with such orchestras as the Beethoven Orchester Bonn, the Dortmunder Philharmoniker, the Duisburger Philharmoniker, the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, the Nürnberger Symphoniker and the Philharmonie Südwestfalen. The first prize winner will be awarded a conducting audition at the Oper Köln and a production with the WDR Sinfonieorchester as well as assistantships with the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln and the city of Cologne’s General Music Director, François-Xavier Roth.

All rounds of the competition, as well as the final concert, will be held in the Kölner Philharmonie and are, for the most part, open to the public.

The German Conductors’ Award is an international competition for young conductors. It is sponsored by the German Music Council (Deutscher Musikrat), in partnership with the Kölner Philharmonie, Oper Köln, the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, and the WDR Sinfonieorchester. The 2017 German Conductors’ Award receives support from the Freundeskreis Dirigentenforum e.V., the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the city of Cologne.


German Conductors’ Award
September 22 – 29, 2017
Kölner Philharmonie
Honorary Chairman of the Jury: Christoph von Dohnány
Jury Chairman: Lothar Zagrosek

Dirigentenforum, Deutscher Musikrat
Kölner Philharmonie
Oper Köln
Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
WDR Sinfonieorchester

Public Rounds of the Competition in the Kölner Philharmonie (Admission Free)
Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, 2:00pm
Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, 2:00pm
Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, 10:00am

Final Concert
Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, 8:00pm
Tickets for the final concert may be obtained at and at