Elim Chan Becomes the First Female Winner of the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition, Will Conduct for London Symphony Orchestra
The first female winner of the 2014 Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition was announced Monday, Dec 8, and Elim Chan has taken home the prestigious prize and made competition history.
Chan, 28, was born in Hong Kong to British parents and currently studies at the University of Michigan. She is the first female winner of the competition in its 24-year history. She took home the gold after the Dec. 8 finals, where she conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in a program of Beethoven’s Overture Egmont, Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. Her fellow finalists were Jiří Rožeň, from the Czech Republic, and Mihhail Gerts, from Estonia, whom were all selected from a shortlist of 20 conductors over the course of the competition.
Before competing for the Donatella Flick prize, Chan was the music director of the Michigan Pops and University of Michigan Campus Philharmonia orchestras. She studied conducting with Kenneth Kiesler at Michigan University and has worked with renowned conductors Gustav Meier, Colin Metters and Marin Alsop in the past.
The win does not just gain her worldwide recognition: She was presented with a prize of 15,000 pounds — or $23,454.30 — to support specialist studies and concert engagements. It also includes a one-year appointment as an assistant conductor with the London Symphony Orchestra, during which she will have the opportunity to work with the orchestra’s principal conductor, Valery Gergiev and principal guest conductors Michael Tilson Thomas and Daniel Harding, as well as taking part in events for LSO Discovery, the orchestra’s music education and community program.
The biennial competition was inaugurated by Donatella Flick in 1990 under the patronage of Prince Charles and aims to advance the careers of young conductors and help the winner establish an international conducting career. It is open to candidates up to age 35 who are citizens of the 28 member countries of the European Union. Previous winners include François-Xavier Roth and Pablo González.
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