(formerly the Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition)


The first round and masterclasses of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra’s 6thSA Conductors’ Competition will be held from August 30 to September 1 at the Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre in Parow.

Entries have closed.

The only such competition for young conductors, this competition has already yielded five outstanding winners – Brandon Phillips, Xavier Cloete, Chad Hendricks, Schalk van der Merwe and Jacobus de Jager.

The 6th competition is open to South Africans not older than 33 on January 1, 2025. Repertoire for the first round is Verdi:  La Forza del Destino;  Weber:  Oberon overture and Beethoven: Egmont Overture performed with two pianosand in the next rounds on a date to be announcement next year candidates will conduct Beethoven: Symphony no. 5 in c minor,  Op 67 1st mvt; Mozart: Symphony No. 41  C,  K 551 “Jupiter” 1st mvt; and Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 in A, Op. 90, 1st mvt with a string quartet and piano.  Finalists will conduct one of the symphony movements from symphonies in the previous round as well as movement from a concerto.

The competition will now be presided over by Maestro Arjan Tien, professor of conducting at the Conservatoire of Amsterdam and Maastricht Conservatoire in The Netherlands. He will coach all the candidates in masterclasses in August/September and those who proceed in 2025 as welll.

The prize, which includes an opportunity to conduct the CPO at an appropriate time, also includes conducting classes at the Conservatoire of Amsterdam and the Maastricht Conservatoire, as well involvement in symphony orchestras in The Netherlands, all under the supervision of Tien.

Tien will be assisted by a panel, which will include Bernhard Gueller, Richard Cock, Louis Heyneman and some of the previous winners, in the adjudication process.

This competition, the only one of its kind in South Africa, has played an important role in the career paths of its winners and is part of the mission of the CPO to develop the next generation of musicians, in this case conductors.