The Princess Astrid International Music Competition, based in Trondheim, Norway, has announced this year's winning conductors.


First prize went to the 29-year-old Hong-Kong-born, British conductor Alvin Ho, who received 160,000 NOK (€15000) as well as a future concert engagement with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. A past recipient of the Bruno Walter Conducting fellowship at the Cabrillo Contemporary Music Festival and Farber Karajan Conducting Fellowship at the Salzburg Festival, Ho was recently named Assistant Conductor of Naples Philharmonic Orchestra.

Second prize of 50,000 NOK was awarded to the 33-year old Australian-British conductor Toby C Thatcher, while third prize of 25,000 NOK went to the 32-year-old Chinese conductor Junping Qian.

The winners - selected from 12 contestants - were announced following a final in which each of the contestants conducted Anna Clyne's Masquerade, a piece inspired by the 18th century promenade concerts in London's amusement parks, where people from all walks of life were entertained by music, acrobatics, exotic street performers, dancers, fireworks and costume balls.

Sitting on the jury were Han-Na Chang (TSO's chief conductor), Jasper Parrott, Peter Szilvay, Daniel Turcina, Anna-Maria Helsing, Anna Clyne and Elise Båtnes.


Established in 1953, the competition is a biennial event for under-35s that rotates between violin and conducting.


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.