This event, which takes place every two years, is renowned for being the most complete conductors' competition in the world. The young French conductor Swann Van Rechem, 25, won Saturday the 58th International Competition of Young Conductors of Besançon, organized during the International Music Festival, noted an AFP journalist.
In addition to the Grand Prix, Swann Van Rechem has won the People's Choice Award and the Orchestre national d'Île-de-France Award, which each of the three finalists was responsible for conducting in concert conditions.
The French Swann Van Rechem, the Korean Hae Lee and the Chinese Chao Dong succeeded each other on the stage of the Ledoux Theater in Besançon conducting the Orchestre National d'Île-de-France in Cosi fan tutte, Mozart's overture; Strauss's Don Juan op.20.
They also conducted the musicians in a play by Alexandros Markeas, world premiere and commissioned by the festival: Living happily during the war. A member of the jury, the composer explained to France Bleue that the winner was distinguished by his ability to "combine, at the same time, a very, very meticulous control of what is happening with perfect expressiveness".
Comes from a family of musicians
We are so focused on music during the week of the contest that we almost forget why we are there! And when we can reach the next round, we are especially happy to finally be able to direct what we have been preparing for months. Obviously, this Grand Prix makes me very happy and the rest will be important, "said the winner of the Grand Prix. Coming from a family of musicians, the young man had the vocation very young. "He must have been 5 or 6 years old, he put on a record and imitated a conductor in front of the mirror," his mother told France Bleu.
Swann Van Rechem, who studied at the Paris and Amsterdam Conservatories and is completing a master's degree in Weimar, has worked at the Metz Opera. He participated in productions of the Opera of Nantes and Rouen, says his biography.
280 candidates registered, about twenty selected
A total of 280 candidates registered for this edition of the competition. "It's a real marathon that these candidates have followed during auditions organized around the world since last April," says Jean-Michel Mathé, director of the festival and competition.
A jury with two pianists travelled to Berlin, Tokyo, Montreal and Paris," he explained. About twenty candidates were finally pre-selected. They were invited to Besançon to try to win the Grand Prix.
The Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors has crowned conductors such as Seiji Osawa, Alexander Gibson, Sergiu Comissiona, Gerd Albrecht, Michel Plasson and Lionel Bringuier.