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And the Winner is … Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award 2011

11 AUG 2011

published in: Concert, General

Ainārs Rubiķis, Photo: Wildbild
The Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award is unique, giving young conductors the chance to compare and present themselves internationally. The award is an initiative by Nestlé and the Salzburg Festival in cooperation with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. It stands for the highest quality, sustainability and values.

The 2011 winner’s name is Ainārs Rubiķis, and he hails from Latvia. Rubiķis first came to international attention when he won the Third Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition of the Bamberg Symphony in 2010. In 2010-2011, he made his debuts with many international orchestras, including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Duisburg and Budapest Philharmonic Orchestras and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. Future plans include his debuts with the Philharmonic Orchestras of Hong Kong, Oslo, Poznan and Brussels, with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and at the Edinburgh International Festival. Rubiķis was born in Riga and studied piano, violin and choral conducting before pursuing postgraduate orchestral conducting studies with Andris Vecumnieks. In addition, he participated in master classes by Mariss Jansons and Zsolt Nagy. From 2000 to 2005, he was the Artistic Director of the renowned Dziesmuvara, the Chamber Chorus of the University of Latvia; from 2006 to 2010 he worked as assistant conductor and member of the Latvian Radio Choir. In 2008, he became an assistant conductor at the Latvian National Opera. There, he has conducted performances of Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflöte.

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, President of the Board of Directors of Nestlé, comments: “An area which is central both to the Salzburg Festival and to Nestlé is the support of youth and young talent. Following our strategy, ‘Creating Shared Value’, we want to provide long-term and sustainable values for us as a company and for society as a whole. Through this initiative, which is unique world-wide, we want to help discover young conductors and make an important contribution to their careers.”

The prize carries a cash value of 15,000 Euros. In addition, the winner has the opportunity to conduct the Final Concert of the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award, featuring the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. The concert takes place on August 13, 2011 at the Felsenreitschule; you can find the full concert program here.