The final round of the 4th Len van Zyl Competition will take place on Sunday, February 10, at 8pm at the Cape Town City Hall. Three young conductors on the cusp of careers will compete for the title, having been selected in the semi-final round two days before. The first round was held in June 2018, when 15 converged in Cape Town for master classes by Victor Yampolsky, America’s pre-eminent conducting teacher and a well-known figure on the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra podium. Yampolsky will be joined by the CPO’s principal guest conductor Bernhard Gueller, Richard Cock, Brandon Phillips and the CPO’s CEO Louis Heyneman on the panel of judges.
Like the winners before, the overall laurate will receive a month’s internship at the Philadelphia Orchestra and two months in the conducting classes of Yampolsky at Northwestern University to hone skills and technique.
For inaugural winner in 2010, Brandon Phillips, this was a turning point in his career, which has seen him flourish with all the orchestras in South Africa – he is now the CPO’s resident conductor and conductor of the CP Youth Orchestra – and also the Miagi Orchestra overseas. Xavier Cloete, the second winner, conducts here and overseas, while Chad Hendricks is considered to be one of the most exciting of the new generation of conductors. While the jury is deliberating, Hendricks will conduct the ‘Noon Witch’ by Dvorak, the piece that helped him win the title three years ago.
The winning candidates will each conduct one of three short pieces – ‘Liszt Les Preludes’, ‘Dvorak Otello Overture’ or ‘Berlioz King Lear’ and accompany a piano soloist.
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