Alexandre Bloch has emerged victorious in the 2012 Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition. In an enthralling final at the Barbican in London, the French conductor, 27, impressed the judges with his performances of Weber’s Der Freischütz overture, Debussy’s La mer and a suite from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. The other finalists, conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in the same repertoire, were Ben Gernon and Stamatia Karampini, from Britain and Greece respectively.
In taking the first prize, Bloch wins £15,000 plus the chance to become assistant conductor at the LSO for a year, a role that will involve working alongside principal conductor Valery Gergiev, rehearsing the orchestra and possibly even conducting it in concert.
Bloch, who studied in Orléans and Paris, is presently a junior fellow in conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music. The founder of his own Orchestre Antipodes ensemble in 2011, he has previously conducted orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw and the Lucerne Festival Strings.
He is the 12th winner of the Donatella Flick competition, which was founded in 1990 to give talented young conductors the chance to begin a professional career. Previous winners have included Paul Mann (1998), François-Xavier Roth (2000) and Michal Dworzynski (2006).