Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition

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The first winner, Brandon Phillips, has been appointed music director of the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
The first winner, Brandon Phillips, has been appointed music director of the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

The closing date of the 3rd Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition, South Africa’s only competition for young conductors, is March 15, 2015.

The competition is open to South Africans not older than 33 on January 1, 2016, and will take place in June 2015 and February 2016. The competition is run in conjunction with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.

The overall winner receives an all-expenses paid three-month visit to the USA including a month-long internship with the famed Philadelphia Orchestra and a two month semester study at Northwestern University, Chicago, with maestro Professor Victor Yampolsky. The semi-finalists and finalists perform with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and upon his/her return the winner will be invited to conduct the CPO at a suitable time. [GARD]

Len van Zyl, former advertising luminary and board member of Fine Music Radio, aware of the need to offer young conductors educational opportunities abroad, is the visionary behind this competition.

“Entries are already coming in; each of the two previous competitions attracted dozens of aspirant conductors. Each time, some of those who benefited from the previous competition have entered again.” he says. “We continue to be fortunate to have the participation of maestro Victor Yampolsky, who gives the master classes as well. We also continue to have other international conductors on the panel,” says Van Zyl.

The first winner, Brandon Phillips, has been appointed music director of the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, while the second winner, Xavier Cloete, has seen his conducting skills and opportunities grow. Based now in Bloemfontein, Cloete is the conductor in the current series of CPO education and outreach concerts. Both have conducted in the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival.

Entry forms can be downloaded from the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra website at www.cpo.org.za or requested from shirley@gueller.com  071 318 1495. A pre-selection will be made after the closing date on March 15. Those chosen will participate in the preliminary round in June 2015 in Cape Town, with the semi-finals and finals in February, 2016. More information info@cpo.org.za

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