(formerly the Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition)


The first round and master classes of the 5th South African Conductors’ Competition, supported by the City of Cape Town,  took place at Artscape from October 4 -6, 2021.  Arjan Tien presented the masterclasses in which the candidates were accompanied by pianists  José Dias  and François du Toit. Six candidates were selected by a panel headed by Tien and comprising Bernhard Gueller, Brandon Phillips, Schalk van der Merwe and Louis Heyneman to proceed to the next round which will take place in 2022.  Those selected are Jason  Atherton, Dane Coetzee, Jacobus de Jager, Reghardt Kuhn, Mieke-Marie Kunz and Chevonne Plaatjies will return.

Says Louis Heyneman, CEO of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, “for the first year we were delighted to see that one-quarter of the candidates were women, two of whom were selected to go forward.  Candidates came from Cape Town, Umtata, Durban, Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Stellenbosch.

Maestro Tien says this is a good sign for the future of classical music in South Africa. “The amount of talent is amazing. It was a delight to see the incredible development and progress made over just a couple of days. All showed flexibility as well as talent and eagerness to improve. I know we will see some of them back for another competition and masterclasses.”

Comments from the candidates range from “inspirational” to “one of the best experiences of my life” and above all “I have learned I still have a lot to learn.”

You can see the conditions of the competition here.

The finals will be held on August 7, 2022 at the Hugo Lamprechts Music Centre in Parow.

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