The Winners of the MAHLER COMPETITION 2023

Friday 14th July 2023

The 7th Mahler Conducting Competition of the Bamberg Symphony has been won by renowned Italian conductor Giuseppe Mengoli

Italian conductor Giuseppe Mengoli has emerged as the winner of this year’s Mahler conducting competition and has been conferred with a prize amount of 30,000 euros. Second place went to Japanese-American conductor Taichi Fukumura, who received 20,000 euros. In third place was German conductor Georg Köhler, who was awarded a prize money sum of 10,000 euros.

Additionally, a new prize was introduced this year, “Best Conducting of Contemporary Composition,” which carries an award of 7,500 euros, donated by the Mahler Foundation, and was bestowed to American conductor Kevin Fitzgerald.

The repertoire of the competition, which took place in Bamberg from 7 to 13 July, included Gustav Mahler’s 7th Symphony, from which different movements were played in each round. In addition, there was Joseph Haydn – Symphony No. 92 in G major (1st round), Bernd Richard Deutsch – Con Moto (world premiere, commissioned by the Bamberg Symphony) (2nd round), Alan Berg – Seven Early Songs (semi-final) and Igor Stravinsky – Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D in the final. The sold-out final concert of the competition will take place on 15 July, with the winner on the rostrum of the Bamberg Symphony, as well as baritone Thomas Hampson.

Until recently, Mengoli was Lorenzo Viotti’s assistant conductor at the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands National Opera in Amsterdam. This spring, he assisted the artistic team of the Orchestre National de France in the new production of La Bohème at the Theatre de Champs-Elysee, supporting Viotti and the ensemble during the rehearsal phase.

Between 2014 and 2018, he worked as assistant to Oleg Caetani, John Axelrod, Daniel Barenboim and Christoph König, among others, and with institutions and orchestras such as the Real Orquesta Sinfonica de Sevilla, the Oslo Opera House, the Mariinsky Theatre, La Verdi Symphony Orchestra, London’s Covent Garden and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Bad Schandau.

Mengoli made his debut in Holland as conductor with the Nederland Chamber Orchestra and Leonard Elschenbroich at the Cello Biennale ’22 in Amsterdam, where he presented the world premiere of Willem Jeth’s Cello Concerto No. 2 to great acclaim from audiences and critics.

Jakub Hrůša, jury president and principal conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, on the winner: “He has a modest and humble personality which transports into his remarkable connection of kindness and inner power…A totally convincing performance throughout the rounds with a perfect combination of knowledge of the score and an extraordinarily natural feeling of music…He possesses a strong ability to inspire the musicians and the audience alike through his musical language which speaks directly to everyone’s hearts.”

THE MAHLER COMPETITION was founded by the Bamberg Symphony and its then principal conductor Jonathan Nott in 2004 and takes place every three years. The high-calibre international jury was also even broader this year with 15 people and was once again made up of the most diverse members of the classical music world.

In addition to patron Marina Mahler, who supports the jury as an honorary member, as well as jury president Jakub Hrůša, the principal conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, conductors such as Barbara Hannigan and John Storgårds, music managers such as Deborah Borda and Pamela Rosenberg, but also composers and artists such as Thomas Hampson were present. (The full list can also be found here).

You can rewatch the final of the MAHLER COMPETITION 2023 from July 13, 2023 on medici.tv here