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Reorientation of the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award and Extension of Nestlé’s Sponsorship

7 OCT 2011

published in: Concert, General

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Ingo Metzmacher, Helga Rabl-Stadler, Alexander Pereira, Photo: Sabine Burger
The “Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award” was initiated in 2010 by Nestlé and the Salzburg Festival, under the patronage of Pierre Boulez. The goal of the competition is to give highly talented young conductors a decisive impulse for their career. The first two winners were the German conductor David Afkham (2010) and the Latvian Ainārs Rubiķis (2011).

With the artistic directorship of Alexander Pereira, the following innovations will take hold: the award will be expanded by an Award Concert Weekend taking place in April. Furthermore, Ingo Metzmacher will act as chairman of the jury.

As part of the Award Concert Weekend on April 28 and 29, 2012, the three final candidates will conduct one concert each at the incomparable Felsenreitschule in Salzburg. In three public concerts, the partner orchestras of the weekend – Camerata Salzburg, the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg and the Munich Radio Orchestra – will be heard with one young, international soloist each. “With this concert weekend, we have made the award even more attractive, offering young conductors an additional chance to appear in public,” the Festival’s Artistic Director Alexander Pereira declares, “and we wish to give interested audience members the opportunity to glean a deeper insight into the work of young conductors. Changes in the selection criteria will also improve the jury’s assessments.”

Apart from the classic and romantic repertoire, the interpretation of contemporary works is a decisive criterion for the selection of the winner. The prize carries a cash value of 15,000 Euros and is awarded every year to a conductor between the age of 22 and 35. The winner, who will be nominated at the end of the Award Concert Weekend, will conduct his first concert at the Salzburg Festival, the Award Winner Concert, on August 12, 2012.

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, President of the Board of Directors of Nestlé AG, sees the reason for this cooperation in the company’s wish to create long-term and lasting values not only for itself, but also for society as a whole: “Winning the ‘Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award’ has already given two promising talents an important boost for their international careers. Performing as part of the Salzburg Festival offers the award winner a platform to prove his abilities.”

It is particularly gratifying that Ingo Metzmacher has taken over the chairmanship of the YCA jury: “Becoming a good conductor requires years of experience in dealing with orchestras and the musicians who play in them. Pronounced musicality and the determination to express something through music are only the beginning. At the same time, the playfulness that is part of music-making should never be neglected. One must treat scores with inventiveness and joy. My colleagues on the jury and I are looking forward to meeting promising young conductors and to honoring one of them with the distinction of winning the ‘Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award’,” says Ingo Metzmacher. Since the beginning of his career, Ingo Metzmacher’s work has been marked by innovative programming and indefatigable championing of 20th century music. Among the highlights of recent years are his conducting of Luigi Nono’s Al gran sole carico d’amore and his Prometeo, as well as the world premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s Dionysos at the Salzburg Festival.

As part of the presentation of the competition, an extension of Nestlé’s sponsorship of the Festival until 2015 was also announced. “Nestlé is our most faithful sponsor. For 20 years, we have lived by the motto ‘A Shared Passion for Quality’. It was Nestlé who gave us the money for reduced-price tickets for young people in 1991. It was Nestlé which opened a new chapter in the Salzburg Festival’s engagement for young artists with the initiation of the ‘Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award’ in 2010. We are profoundly grateful to Nestlé,” Festival President Helga Rabl-Stadler declared.

Please click here to download the folder “Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award”.