The inaugural Siemens Hallé International Conductors Competition was won by Bulgarian conductor Delyana Lazarova. First Prize comprises a £15,000 cash prize and Hallé Assistant Conductor role for a minimum of 2 years. Second prize was awarded to Rodolfo Barráez (Venezuela) and third prize to Joel Sandelson (UK).

The competition attracted 287 applicants representing 55 countries across all six continents. After two thrilling days at Hallé St Peter’s in Manchester, Lazarova was one of four finalists selected from ten international semi-finalists to rehearse and perform with the Hallé on Saturday 22 February. Lazarova commented on her appointment: « I am extremely excited to have received this prize. The whole experience was incredibly rewarding and I very much enjoyed working alongside such fabulous colleagues. I consider it a great privilege to be able to work with the Hallé and Sir Mark Elder, whom I consider to be an exceptional artist, musician and mind. I am really looking forward to the next two years and being part of the Hallé family. »

Born in Bulgaria and resident in Switzerland, in 2019 Lazarova received the James Conlon Conducting Prize at the prestigious Aspen Music Festival, and has worked with Hradec-Kralove Philharmonic Orchestra in Czech Republic, Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra in Greece, Meiningen and Konstanz Symphony Orchestras in Germany.

The judging panel comprised the Hallé Artistic team led by Sir Mark Elder, Music Director; Professor Dr. Stephan Frucht, Artistic Director of the Siemens Arts Program; Arna Kristín Einarsdóttir, Managing Director of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra; Carola Reul, Managing Director of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie; and Julia Albrecht, Director of the Artist Management Department of Konzertdirektion Schmid.

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