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Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award 2013 The 2013 Winner: Ben Gernon

9 AUG 2013

published in: General

Press conference Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award 2013: Ingo Metzmacher, Ben Gernon, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Alexander Pereira (Photo: Doris Wild)
From 82 applicants, the international jury had selected three finalists (Ben Gernon from Great Britain, Lu Yu from China and Antonio Mendez from Spain) who were presented to the audience from May 10 to 11, conducting renowned orchestras at the Felsenreitschule.

„I feel incredibly lucky, excited and privileged to be this year's Nestlé and Salzburg Young Conductors Award winner! Music is the most extraordinary and beautiful art that opens our imagination and feeds our souls. To have the opportunity to share my passion for exceptional music making with the Camerata Salzburg, and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, is phenomenal. Salzburg has such a rich and significant musical history and I am truly inspired by the world class performances that happen here. It is an absolute honor to receive this award and I am very grateful for all of the opportunities it will bring that will allow me to grow and develop into the best conductor I can be,“ said Ben Gernon.

Supporting young talents

The competition “Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award” was initiated in 2010 by Nestlé and the Salzburg Festival. The goal of the competition is to give highly talented young conductors a decisive impulse for their career. The winners are selected by a jury chaired by Ingo Metzmacher. Apart from the classical and romantic repertoire, the interpretation of contemporary works is an important criterion. The award carries a cash value of 15,000 Euros and is awarded annually to a young conductor between 22 and 35 years of age.

“The ‘Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Youth Conductors Award’ combines two aspects that are very important and stimulating for Nestlé in a unique way: on the one hand the support of young talents and on the other the fact that innovation can be created from tradition. We are happy that with the ‘Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award’, we established a platform for the support of young talents,” said Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman Nestlé S.A.

Ben Gernon

24- years old Ben Gernon studied tuba and conducting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has worked with several international orchestras. In 2012 he won the second prize in the Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition and is now principal conductor of the Southwark Youth Orchestra. http://www.southwarkmusicservice.org.uk/ben-gernon.html
He recently assisted Gustavo Dudamel during his residence at Barbican Centre in Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
For the Salzburg Festival in 2013 he draws additional responsibility as Artistic Director for Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio for children.

Realignment  of the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award 2014
Contemporary Music Day

The “Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award” is going to extend its constituents:
From all applicants the jury selects up to eight candidates. Within the Contemporary Music Days on December 19th 2013 in Salzburg these candidates will have the chance to compile together with the “oesterreichisches ensemble für neue music” (œnm) oeuvres from the 20th century. At the end of this not public day the jury will choose three candidates.

The winner of 2014 will be announced within the Award Concert Weekend (February 28th, march 1st and 2nd).