(formerly the Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition)


After an exciting final of the 5th SA Conductors’ Competition presented by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hugo Lamprechts Music Centre on Sunday, August 7, 2022, the prestigious title was awarded to Stellenbosch student Jacobus de Jager. The runners up were Jason Atherton and Reghardt Kühn.

De Jager’s prize includes the chance to study with Maestro Arjan Tien in The Netherlands. Tien, who chaired the panel of jurors at the competition, gave master classes to all the candidates in October last year, and a second round of master classes to the six semi-finalists in the days before the finals.

In the concert, De Jager conducted the CPO in the overture to the Magic Flute and, with soloist Lance Thuysnma,  the 1st movement of the Clarinet Concerto, both by Mozart;  Atherton conducted the overture to Beethoven’s Coriolan and, with soloist Isaac van der Merwe, the 1st mvt of the Piano Concerto no 20 by Mozart; Kühn conducted the overture to Der Freischutz by Weber and, with soloist Samantha Durrant,  the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto’s 1st mvt.

The CPO’s CEO and Artistic Director Louis Heyneman says the competition is an important investment into the future of music. “We have such an abundance of musical talent in South Africa, but gaining experience in front of a professional symphony orchestra is difficult and expensive. Our contribution towards developing local conductors have been an important addition to transferring skills to young musicians. In spite of so many financial obstacles in the way the CPO will continue to build on our reputation as pioneers on several levels.”

The competition was formerly The Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition; the medals were presented by Louis van Zyl, so of the indisposed founder, Len van Zyl.

Judges were Tien, conductor Richard Cock, the CPO’s principal guest conductor Bernhard Gueller, 3rd Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition winner Chad Hendricks, CEO and Artistic Director of the CPO Louis Heyneman and inaugural winner of the Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition in 2010 Brandon Phillips.  The 4th winner, Schalk van der Merwe, conducted the CPO in the overture to Die Fledermaus while the jurors were in discussion.

This competition is generously sponsored by

See photographs here

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