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Guide to the International Conducting Competition Rotterdam

About ICCR

In Summer 2021 an exciting new international event will see the light of day: the International Conducting Competition Rotterdam (ICCR). Presenting a completely new format with multiple rounds during which young conductors get a chance to work with numerous orchestras. By focusing on different genres and stylistic periods, participants can present themselves both as a specialist or as an all-rounder.

ICCR introduces a complete new formula by using multiple well-known orchestras with strong artistic profiles. Each round highlights a different genre, ranging from romantic to contemporary music, as well as opera and oratorio.

The ICCR presents a new format for the judging, in which a winner will be determined for each round. Next to these six ‘specialist awards’ also a Grand Prix will be awarded for the best all-round conductor.

The international jury will consist of a fixed core of four members extended with three rotating ‘specialists’ for each round. The jury will include the following*: Roberta Alexander, Deborah Borda, Iván Fischer, Ara Guzelimian, Antony Hermus, Philippe Herreweghe, Ton Koopman, James MacMillan, Wayne Marshall, Kenneth Montgomery, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Lahav Shani, Ed Spanjaard, Benjamin Wallfisch, Xian Zhang & Elmar Weingarten, among others.

A chance to work with the following orchestras

Budapest Festival Orchestra

De Doelen Ensemble

Orchestra of the 18th Century

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

Rotterdam Symphony Chorus

Sinfonia Rotterdam

Budapest Festival Orcchestra

When Iván Fischer founded the Budapest Festival Orchestra together with Zoltán Kocsis 35 years ago, he made a personal dream come true. Core of the philosophy of the orchestra is the total absence of daily routine. It is about taking the risk, the initiative and freedom to do things differently. Every concert is therefore a joyful discovery of uncharted territory, a journey to new horizons in music.The orchestra’s outstanding performances, its inventiveness and the distinct ensemble tone have led to numerous accolades. It has won two Gramophone Awards, the ‘Oscars of classical music’, and has been nominated for a Grammy. Concerts at the world’s most important venues and successes aside, the orchestra’s driving mission is to serve its home audience in over seventy concerts.

Doelen Ensemble

The Doelen Ensemble is a classical ensemble specializing in music of the 20th & 21st centuries. Established in 1990, it is based in Rotterdam in The Netherlands. With a flexibel formation the Doelen Ensemble brings divers programmes from small chamber music settings to big formations. The work of young composers is highlighted next to masterpieces from the recent era, that are seldom performed. The Doelen Ensemble has performed together with composers like Tan Dun, Steve Reich and Steve Coleman.It is led by Maarten van Veen.

Orchestra of the 18th Century

The Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century was founded in 1981 by Frans Brüggen, which
consists of some fifty-five members from more than twenty different countries. Five times a year the orchestra assembles to go on tour. The musicians, who are all specialists in eighteenth and early nineteenth century music, play on period instruments or on contemporary copies. The wide-ranging repertoire this orchestra has recorded for Philips Classics and nowadays for The Grand Tour / Glossa includes works by Purcell, Bach, Rameau, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Chopin. In August 2014 the Orchestra had to say farewell to Frans Brüggen. The Orchestra decided to continue the tradition of five projects a year, now inviting guests and guest conductors.

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1918. From 1930, under principal conductor Eduard Flipse, it developed into one of the foremost orchestras of the Netherlands. In the 1970s, with Jean Fournet and Edo de Waart, the orchestra gained international recognition. Valery Gergiev’s appointment heralded a new period of bloom, which continued from 2008 with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who after 2018 remains with the orchestra as honorary conductor. Lahav Shani has become principal conductor from September 2018

Rotterdam Symphony Chorus

The Rotterdam Symphony Chorus is a young symphonic choir, founded by the Laurenscantorij (a chorus that has been in existence for over 50 years) on the request of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and De Doelen. It is specialised in producing high level performance of large scale symphonic repertoire. It is led by Wiecher Mandemaker.

Sinfonia Rotterdam

was founded in 2000 by its chief conductor Conrad van Alphen. The orchestra presents concert series at de Doelen in Rotterdam, at the Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague and at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Under Conrad’s leadership, it has become an internationally recognised ensemble, has made acclaimed recordings, and has toured Mexico, Brazil, Columbia Chile, China and Russia.

Fact file
SectionsConductor
Deadline01 Jan - 01 Jul 2020
Finals21 May - 04 Jun 2021
WhereRotterdam, Netherlands
Age groupsBetween the ages of 23 and 35 at the start of the competition
Upcoming eventsSee more...

RotterdamRound 1: Contemporary

Various: Contemporary works
Doelen Ensemble; Finalists of the International Conducting Competition Rotterdam

RotterdamRound 4: Proms (outdoors)

Unknown: Proms (Outdoors)
Sinfonia Rotterdam; Finalists of the International Conducting Competition Rotterdam

RotterdamRound 2: Historically informed practice

Various: Music from the 18th/19th Century
Orchestra of the 18th Century; Finalists of the International Conducting Competition Rotterdam

RotterdamRound 3: Concertos

Various: Concerti for piano and violin
Budapest Festival Orchestra; Finalists of the International Conducting Competition Rotterdam

RotterdamRound 5: Opera

Various: Opera
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra; Finalists of the International Conducting Competition Rotterdam; Rotterdam Symphony Chorus; Unknown

RotterdamRound 6: Large Symphonic

Various: Repertoire to include new commissioned work by Joey Roukens
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra; Finalists of the International Conducting Competition Rotterdam
Alsop on ICCR
Prizes and career development

A prize will be awarded to the best specialist per round. In addition, one conductor will receive the Grand Prix for the best all-rounder. The audience will be given the chance to vote for its favourite, with the Audience Prize provided by the Kersjes Fund. Each prize will amount to €10.000. As part of the prize, the winners will receive support in their career development for a period of three years.

Selection Rounds

The selection rounds will consist of two rounds, during which a number of pre-selected participants will get the chance to work with two orchestra’s Sinfonia Rotterdam and the Codarts Symphony Orchestra. Eventually five conductors will be selected for the actual competition, which takes place half a year later.

The competition

The competition consists of six rounds, each with a different specialism. Each round will consist of rehearsals and a final concert performance, both will be judged by the jury, and will be open to the public. Participants will get a chance to work with a number of renowned orchestras.


Career development for the winners

A prize will be awarded to the best specialist per round. In addition, one conductor will receive the Grand Prix for the best all-rounder. The audience will be given the chance to vote for its favourite, with the Audience Prize provided by the Kersjes Fund.


For more information please visit the ICCR website