Three of Russia’s best young conductors head to France for contest

The best young musicians from all over the world are getting ready to prove their virtuosity in conducting an orchestra. Out of 18 contestants, three Russians will attempt to defend the privilege of their school.

The French city of Montpellier will host the second International Svetlakov Conductors’ Contest as part of the year of Russia in France.

The first competition took place in Luxembourg in 2007 and saw 18 young conductors selected out of 150. This year 18 participants were chosen out of 350 applicants from France, Germany, the UK, the US, Poland, Israel, Greece, Venezuela, Latvia and Japan.

Some 36 Russian applications were sent to the competition’s committee for considering. However, only three of them have been chosen to represent their country at the international contest. Young musicians, all under 30 years of age, have already been recognized for their outstanding musical abilities.

The first and youngest Russian participant is Ilya Gasin, 26, who received a prestigious award from celebrated conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky two years ago. Of the other contestants, Mikhail Leontiev from St. Petersburg won the 15th Conductors Contest in Tokyo among several other awards, while Anna Skryleva, conductor and pianist, currently works with the Hamburg State Opera.

All contest participants will be performing with the National Orchestra of Montpellier.