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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » October 26, 2012
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Competition for Conductors
October 26, 2012   
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This year’s Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors will be held Nov. 16-25 at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, southern Poland.

After the International Chopin Piano Competition and the International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition, this is the third Polish music competition to be a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions in Geneva, which brings together the 129 most prestigious competitions in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia. Only seven of those are competitions for conductors, which require the involvement of an entire orchestra at all times. Such events, which involve high costs, are undertaken by the organizers of competitions in Barcelona (Spain), Besancon (France), Katowice (Poland), Parma and Trent (Italy), St. Petersburg (Russia), and Verviers (Belgium).

The competition in Katowice is being held for the ninth time. Although it is not the oldest—there have been 51 competitions in Besancon to date, for example—it is regarded as one of the most important events of its kind. It has the highest number of competing conductors—50, compared to 15 in Barcelona and 20 in Besancon—and covers a wide repertoire of almost 40 works, ranging from Baroque pieces to contemporary times and from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to Witold Lutosławski. These include pieces which require the conductors to work with soloists. The Katowice event also has a larger international panel of judges than many other competitions.

The Grzegorz Fitelberg Competition for Conductors is highly popular. Contestants who failed to make it to the finals in previous years often enter the competition again in a determined attempt to succeed. For example, Italy’s Massimiliano Caldi (pictured) first entered the Fitelberg Competition in 1995 but did not win until 1999. A total of 200 conductors from around the world have applied to enter the competition this year and the qualifying committee has selected 50.

The competition went international in 1979, which marked 100 years since the birth of Grzegorz Fitelberg, Poland’s most internationally famous conductor and the founder of the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

For further information on the competition and accompanying events go to www.konkursfitelberg.pl
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