Warsaw Wind Ensemble Conducting Competition 2019 – Summary

The first edition of the Warsaw Wind Ensemble Conducting Competition took place in Warsaw from 23rd to 27th October 2019. The Competition was organised by the Warsaw Wind Music Association.

The Competition consisted of three stages and 18 conductors from 11 countries took part in the Competitions.

The participants were judged by a jury chaired by Prof. Szymon Kawalla, Dean of the Symphony and Opera Conducting Department of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. It was composed of the most eminent Polish conductors of wind orchestras: Jarosław Ignaszak – conductor of the brass band of the Academy of Music in Kraków and Lieutenant Colonel Adam Czajkowski – Kapellmeister-in-Chief of the General Józef Wybicki Representative Orchestra of the Polish Army in Warsaw and Dr Jarosław Praszczałek – pedagogue of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, secretary of the jury and initiator of the Competition. The jury also included composers Tomasz Dudziński and Artur Słotwiński, whose works were performed by the Competition participants.

The first stage took place from 23rd to 24th October at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music. The conductors were accompanied by two pianists – Łukasz Nagórka and Misato Tokuda. The repertoire included Dance Sacrale from the Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Stanisław Moniuszko’s Fairy Tale Concert Overture. After the first stage, the jury selected 12 conductors who made it to the next stage of the Competition.

Further competition moved to the District Cultural Centre of Ursynów. During the second stage, which took place between 25 and 26 October, the conductors conducted the Youth Warsaw Wind Orchestra. The repertoire included two pieces: Serenade in D minor for wind instruments by Antoni Dvorzak and Film Variations on the theme of Stanisław Moniuszko’s aria “Szumią jodły na szczycie” by Tomasz Dudziński.

During the second stage of the Competition, after the auditions, lectures conducted by teachers, composers and musicians were held. The speakers were: pedagogue and composer Ignacy Zalewski, composer Paweł Pudło, trumpeter Bartłomiej Łubian and composer Artur Słotwiński.

The jury selected the best six conductors for the third stage. Among them were: three Koreans – Kang Lim, Kim Daehwan and Oh Hyun Kwon, Spanish David Llano Diaz, Japanese Manataka Shibaoka and American Chris David Westover.

The final of the competition took place on Sunday, October 27th. The finalists conducted the Festival Orchestra consisting of the musicians of the WULS Representative Orchestra and the Youth Warsaw Wind Orchestra. The final repertoire included Gustav Holst’s Second Suite in F major for military band and Artur Słotwinski’s Overture of the Year 1918.

After the auditions, the Gala Concert took place, during which the jury announced the winners of the Competition. The jury emphasized the high level of the participants, which was confirmed by the verdict – awarding the first two places ex equo. The first prize winner title went to a Korean, Kim Daehwan and an American, Chris David Westover. The second place went to the Japanese Manataka Shibaoka. At the end of the competition, the winners once again conducted works performed during the final stage.

The winners were awarded prizes in the form of concerts with wind orchestras in the 2019/2020 season: Manataka Shibaoka will be conduct the Wieniawa Orchestra, Youth Warsaw Wind Orchestra will be conduct by Kim Daehwan, and Chris David Westover will perform a concert with the Representative Orchestra of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences.

The next edition of the Competition was announced for 2021.

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