The Hallé has named Delyana Lazarova as the winner of the inaugural Siemens Hallé International Conductors Competition at the final in Manchester on 22 February 2020.
Born in Bulgaria and resident in Switzerland, Lazarova received the James Conlon Conducting Prize at the 2019 Aspen Music Festival, and has worked with Hradec-Kralove Philharmonic Orchestra in the Czech Republic, Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra in Greece, and the Meiningen and Konstanz Symphony Orchestras in Germany.
The competition attracted 287 applicants representing 55 countries across all six continents. Lazarova was one of four finalists selected from ten international semi-finalists to rehearse and perform with the Hallé.
In addition to a cash prize of £15,000, Lazarova will fulfil a two-year engagement as the 8th Assistant Conductor for the Hallé, which also includes the role of Music Director of the Hallé Youth Orchestra. She will take up this appointment in September 2020 and during her tenure will work under the close mentorship of the Hallé’s Music Director Sir Mark Elder, and assist other visting international conductors.
The second prize, which includes a cash prize of £3,000, was awarded to Venezuelan-born Rodolfo Barráez, while British conductor Joel Sandelson received the third prize, which includes a cash prize of £2,000.
The Siemens Hallé International Conductors Competition builds upon a partnership between the Hallé and the global technology company Siemens AG, developed over the last two decades and creating links between engineering and music and supporting classical music performances and a range of education and community outreach projects throughout the North of England.
Delyana Lazarova said:
‘I am extremely excited to have received this prize. The whole experience was incredibly rewarding and I very much enjoyed working alongside such fabulous colleagues. I consider it a great privilege to be able to work with the Hallé and Sir Mark Elder, whom I consider to be an exceptional artist, musician and mind. I am really looking forward to the next two years and being part of the Hallé family.’
Sir Mark Elver, Hallé Music Director, said:
“It has been a week of huge excitement for us all to meet, and work with, these wonderful young conductors at the start of their careers. With so much extraordinary talent on display, choosing the winner was very difficult, but I am delighted to welcome Delyana as the new young conductor of the Hallé, and look forward enormously to our work together.’
Header photo: Delyana Lazarova with members of the competition jury © The Hallé