British conductor Bertie Baigent wins inaugural International Rotterdam Conducting Competition

Baigent, who also won the Classical Music and Great Symphonic Works categories, was recently appointed assistant conductor with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Published: June 7, 2022 at 10:56 am
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The inaugural International Conducting Competition in Rotterdam has come to an end, with first prize - The Grand Prix of €15,000 for the Best Allrounder - going to the 27-year-old British conductor and composer Bertie Baigent.

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A graduate from Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music, Baigent was appointed assistant conductor with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in February this year.

The other prizes were distributed as follows:

Proms Open Air Concert: €7,500

Winner: Martijn Dendievel

Contemporary Music: €7,500

Winner: Chloe Rooke

Classical Music: €7,500

Winner: Bertie Baigent

Opera: €7,500

Winner: Luis Toro Araya

Great Symphonic Works: €7,500

Winner: Bertie Baigent

Both the audience in the hall and the thousands of online viewers worldwide were able to vote for their favourite conductor for the Kersjes Audience Award, of €10,000, which went to the 27-year-old Chilean conductor Luis Toro Araya.

The competition consisted of five rounds with different orchestras and themes, from classical to contemporary, from opera to large symphonic works, with the conductors directing various orchestras and ensembles in various locations. In addition to the evening concerts, the public could see the conductors at work during rehearsals live in the hall as well as through livestreams.

Sitting on the jury were more than 25 renowned conductors, including Lahav Shani, Karina Canellakis, Ton Koopman, Sophie de Lint, Anja Bihlmaier and Ed Spanjaard.

Commenting on the competition, jury chair Ara Guzelimian said: ''True to music itself, the ICCR gives these young conductors the gift of time.'

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Authors

Hannah Nepilova is a regular contributor to BBC Music Magazine. She has also written for The Financial Times, The Times, The Strad, Gramophone, Opera Now, Opera, the BBC Proms and the Philharmonia, and runs The Cusp, an online magazine exploring the boundaries between art forms. Born to Czech parents, she has a strong interest in Czech music and culture.

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