Euan Shields, 24, from the USA/Japan won the seven-strong panel over on the final day with an outstanding display of talent. The second Siemens Hallé International Conductors Competition took place in March 2023 over three days in Manchester, England.
- The conductor came top out of more than 200 candidates from six continents
- The winner will become assistant to Sir Mark Elder CH CBE, Principal Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra, for the next two years, and will take over the directorship of the Hallé Youth Orchestra
- The final was held publicly for the first time in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, presented by BBC Radio 3’s Tom McKinney
More than 200 conductors from six continents had applied to take part, and eight semi-finalists were selected for the competition days. Of these eight, three candidates made it into the final on March 14. Here in The Bridgewater Hall, they guided the Hallé through four works by Mozart, Elgar, Sibelius and Stravinsky. For the first time the final, presented by BBC Radio 3’s Tom McKinney, was a public event at which the finalists were put through their paces in front of an international audience. In a live optional voting session, the audience members separately chose their favourites. Please note, the winner of the competition was selected entirely at the discretion of the panel.
About the winner
Euan Shields said: It’s been a very intense few days of lots of music making and all of this is still resonating in my head. I’m so excited to get to know the entire family of the Hallé Orchestra and to learn as much as possible from the musicians of the Hallé and I’m also very excited to take the Hallé Youth Orchestra on a really exciting musical journey over the course of two years.
About the competition
The first prize of the Conductors Competition consists of a two-year engagement as assistant conductor to Sir Mark Elder, Music Director of the Hallé. In addition, the winner will take over the directorship of the Hallé Youth Orchestra and will receive the opportunity to become established on the world stage through numerous guest conducting appearances. Euan will take up his new position with the Hallé in September 2023.
Sir Mark Elder said: It has been an enthralling three days and a privilege to observe such wonderful talent. Choosing the winner was very difficult, but I am delighted to welcome Euan Shields as the new Assistant Conductor of the Hallé, and look forward to working with him.
Stephan Frucht, Artistic Director of the Siemens Arts Program said: The Hallé Orchestra is a great cultural institution with a great influence on the music scene. The Conductors Competition of the Siemens Arts Program, especially in association with the Hallé Orchestra, therefore offers young talents the ideal start to a promising career. For Delyana Lazarova, the first prize winner of the Siemens Hallé International Conductors Competition in 2020, her win has brought her a real career leap and she has since conducted orchestras all over the world.
Alongside Stephan Frucht and Sir Mark Elder, the competition panel comprises further prestigious, internationally established experts from the music world: David Butcher (Chief Executive of the Hallé), Anna Hirst (Head of Artistic Planning at the Hallé), Angela Dixon (Chief Executive of Saffron Hall), Sergey Smbatyan (Principal Conductor of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra) and Carola Reul (Managing Director of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie).
The competition builds on a long-standing partnership between the Hallé and Siemens AG. As well as fostering excellence among talented young musicians as part of the Siemens Arts Program, the two organizations collaborate closely on delivering a variety of educational and community outreach projects
The winner of the audience vote was Agata Zając.