The Kodaly Philharmonic
© Peter Biri Photo

The Jury has announced the winners of the 2nd Zoltán Kodály International Music Competition, during which young conductors competed. No Furst Prize was awarded. Instead, there are two Second Prizes which went to Alexander Sinan Binder (Germany) and Mateusz Gwizdalla (Australia/Poland).

Dániel Erdelyi from Hungary won Third Prize, Eric Staiger from Germany (Fourth Prize) and Jiří Habart from Czech Republic was awarded Fifth Prize.

The jury chaired by Jorma Panula included Janos Acs, Peter Broadbent, Remy Franck, Zsolt Hamar, Oksana Madarash and Imre Kollar.

Jury members Janosz Acs, Peter Broadbent and Remy Franck discussing
© Peter Biri Photo

Alexander Sinan Binder (b. 1990) studied orchestral conducting at Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf. He also studied parts of his Master of Music at Zürcher Hochschule der Künste with Prof. Johannes Schlaefli. Furthermore, he was supported in his education by the Conductors’ Forum of the German Music Council and the Akademie Musiktheater heute of the Deutsche Bank Foundation.

Alexander Sinan Binder
© Peter Biri Photo

Masterclasses and workshops with David Zinman, Bernard Haitink, John Carewe, Peter Eötvös, Yuri Simonov, Colin Metters and most recently with Stefan Asbury at the Tanglewood Music Festival rounded off his training.

Assistantships led Alexander Sinan Binder to the European Workshop for Contemporary Music (EWCM) as part of Warsaw Autumn, Staatstheater Mainz as assistant to GMD Hermann Bäumer, Jeunesses Musicales Germany as assistant to Patrick Lange, Musiktheater im Revier in Gelsenkirchen as assistant to GMD Rasmus Baumann, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie as assistant to Ingo Metzmacher for the Sax & Crime Tour 2018 and as assistant to James Gaffigan for the symphonic concert Romantic Rococo with Sol Gabetta in the 2019/20 season with Lucerne Symphony Orchestra.

His work as a conductor includes both symphonic and opera, and he has already conducted internationally renowned orchestras such as Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, WDR Funkhausorchester, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Komische Oper Berlin and others.

From the 2018/19 season Alexander Sinan Binder was engaged as Kapellmeister and pianist at Lucerne Theater, where he took over the position of 1st Kapellmeister in 2020/21. Furthermore, his profile as a conductor is characterized by a great amount of experience in the field of contemporary music as well as with dance. He is currently principal conductor and artistic director of the Abaco Orchestra Munich, and in 2021/22 he additionally led the Academy of Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt as conductor.

Mateusz Gwizdałła (b. 1993) is an Australian-Polish conductor-composer based in Helsinki, Finland, where he studies with prof. Sakari Oramo at the Sibelius Academy orchestra conducting class.

Mateusz Gwizdalla
© Peter Biri Photo

This year Mateusz is making his debut with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra. The following season Mateusz debuts with Oulu Sinfonia, with whom he has previously worked as an assistant conductor.

In Melbourne, Australia he first trained as a classical trumpet player and then attained a double degree Bachelor’s in Jazz Composition and Performing Arts (theatre making) at Monash University. He followed these studies with an MA in Symphonic and Operatic Conducting at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, Poland, under Prof. Monika Wolińska.

Besides conducting, Mateusz works as tenor section leader for the Musiikkitalon Kuoro, the chorus for the Helsinki Philharmonic and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

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