International Conducting Competition Rotterdam – Competition

  • Vacancy Data

  • Institution
    International Conducting Competition Rotterdam
  • Full description
    International Conducting Competition Rotterdam – Competition
  • Type
  • Application deadline
    July 1, 2020
  • Additional notes

    Please download and read the "Rules & Regulations" and "Repertoire" documents before applying.

    About the International Conducting Competition Rotterdam

    Summer 2021 an exciting new international event will see the light of day: the International Conducting Competition Rotterdam (ICCR). Presenting a completely new format with multiple rounds during which young conductors get a chance to work with numerous orchestras. By focusing on different genres and stylistic periods, participants can present themselves both as a specialist or as an all-rounder.

    Unique Structure

    ICCR introduces a complete new formula by using multiple well-known orchestras with strong artistic profiles. Each round highlights a different genre, ranging from romantic to contemporary music, as well as opera and oratorio.


    The ICCR presents a new format for the judging, in which a winner will be determined for each round. Next to these six ‘specialist awards’ also a Grand Prix will be awarded for the best all-round conductor.

    The international jury will consist of a fixed core of four members extended with three rotating ‘specialists’ for each round. The jury 2021 will include the conductors: Iván Fischer, Jane Glover, Wayne Marshall, Frank Ollu, Lahav Shani, Anja Bihlmaier, Ed Spanjaard, and Xian Zhang, alongside the composers Michel van der Aa, Anna Thorvaldsdottir and James MacMillan, musicians Roberta Alexander and Ton Koopman and managers Deborah Borda (CEO New York Philharmonic), Ara Guzelimian (former Senior Director and Artistic Advisor Carnegie Hall), Sophie de Lint (director Dutch National Opera) and Elmar Weingarten (former intendant of Berlin Philharmoniker).

    *(Subject to changes)

    You can learn more about the ICCR here:

    Selection Rounds

    The selection rounds will consist of two rounds, during which a number of pre-selected participants will get the chance to work with two orchestra’s Sinfonia Rotterdam and the Codarts Symphony Orchestra. Eventually six conductors will be selected for the actual competition, which takes place half a year later.

    The Competition

    The competition consists of six rounds, each with a different specialism. Each round will consist of rehearsals and a final concert performance, both will be judged by the jury, and will be open to the public. Participants will get a chance to work with a number of renowned orchestras including:

    • Budapest Festival Orchestra
    • De Doelen Ensemble
    • Orchestra of the 18th Century
    • Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
    • Rotterdam Symphony Chorus
    • Sinfonia Rotterdam


    ICCR distinguishes the following prizes:

    1. Six specialist prizes, one for each of the competition rounds: a sum of 7,500 Euro
    2. Grand Prix: a sum of 15,000 Euro
    3. Kersjes fonds Audience Award: a sum of 10,000 Euro
    4. Career Development Programme for all Prize Winners, including:
    • Concert management services, with engagements around the globe;
    • Mentorship, with coaching and training opportunities;
    • Publicist services (website, cds, etc.)
  • Short bio

    Candidates are required to write a short bio when confirming participation for use in programs or booklets.

    A short resume describing education and experience

  • Prerequisites
    • Maximum age on May 21, 2021: 35
    • Minimum age on May 21, 2021: 23
  • Required document(s)
    • Reference letter: Two letters of recommendation, specifically written for participation in the ICCR.
    • Scan of passport or ID card
    • Portrait photo: Two recent, high-quality photographs in JPEG format. One ‘portrait’ and one ‘action photo’ (while conducting). These images should be suitable for publication and free of copyright.
    • Program proposal: 4 sample programs + short explanation behind the concept and motivation why you'd like to perform these: 1 program without restrictions, 2 programs for max orchestration 3333-4331-timp+2-hp-str+max 4 pp, 1 program for max 2222-2200-timp+2-str+max 2pp
    • Repertoire: List of repertoire, mentioning all performed and studied works
  • Video

    Video(s) required for pre-selection purposes only (details below). Does not replace the live audition.

    Candidates must present 3 videos:

    1. One short ‘selfie video’ (maximum 3 minutes) in which you introduce yourself and explain your reasons for being a conductor.
    2. Two performance videos demonstrating performances of contrasting repertoire with an orchestra or large ensemble. Each video should apply to the following criteria:
    • Recording of a rehearsal or concert
    • 3 to 15 minutes in length. Videos may be shortened, but should not be edited in any other way.
    • Showing you from the front (perspective from the orchestra)
    • Audio quality should be of acceptable quality