Launch of new conducting competition

In 2021 a major international event will be born: the International Conducting Competition Rotterdam (ICCR). ICCR, the world’s most extensive conducting competition, will be organised in close collaboration with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Concertgebouw De Doelen and Droom en Daad foundation. The first edition will take place from 21 May to 4 June 2021 in De Doelen, Rotterdam.

New formula
ICCR presents a new formula, which offers six exceptionally talented conductors aged 23 to 35 years old the opportunity to work with diverse top orchestras. The first edition in 2021 will involve the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Sinfonia Rotterdam, Doelen Ensemble, Rotterdam Symphony Chorus and Budapest Festival Orchestra. The competition comprises six separate rounds with various themes ranging from classical to contemporary, from opera to monumental symphonic works. This gives the participants a unique opportunity to display their expertise. In addition, an open-air round will be held in the centre of Rotterdam, with free admission, the so-called Proms. Each round is a fully-fledged project in itself, with rehearsals and a closing concert. The repertoire will be officially announced in September 2019, and will include a newly commissioned work by the Dutch composer Joey Roukens.

Jury panel
The ICCR clearly enjoys international support, as can be seen in the line-up of twenty leading figures who will comprise the jury, including the conductors: Lahav Shani, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Nathalie Stutzmann, Iván Fischer, Jane Glover, Wayne Marshall, Frank Ollu, Ed Spanjaard, Krzysztof UrbaƄski and Xian Zhang, alongside the composers Michel van der Aa and James MacMillan, musicians Roberta Alexander and Ton Koopman and managers Deborah Borda (CEO New York Philharmonic), Ara Guzelimian (former CEO Carnegie Hall), Sophie de Lint (director Dutch National Opera) and Elmar Weingarten (former intendant of Berliner Philharmoniker).

A prize will be awarded to the best specialist per round. In addition, one conductor will receive the Grand Prix for the best all-rounder. The audience will be given the chance to vote for its favourite, with the Audience Prize provided by the Kersjes Fund. Each prize will amount to €10.000. As part of the prize, the winners will receive support in their career development for a period of three years.

In the subsequent phase, the winner will make his or her debut at major international venues. All laureates will receive individually tailored coaching through a Career Development Programme. This will include engagements with top orchestras worldwide, masterclasses and assistance with PR and the search for an impresario.

ICCR is open to worldwide conducting talent aged 23 to 35 years old. Registration will open in January 2020 and close on 1 July 2020. On the basis of video recordings, 24 candidates will be chosen to participate in two selection rounds with the Orchestra of Codarts/Royal Conservatoire of The Hague and Sinfonia Rotterdam. These selection rounds will be held from 14 to 17 December 2020 in De Doelen, Rotterdam. At the end of these rounds, the six contestants will be selected to participate in the actual competition in 2021.

More information can be found on

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