Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition

The Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition is one of the most important music competitions of its kind worldwide and is held in Bamberg, Germany.[1] Conductors no older than 35 years may enter.


The competition was founded by the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, with the idea of helping young conductors at the start of their conducting careers. The first prize includes a cash prize and engagements with several orchestras.[2]

It started in 2004 with Gustavo Dudamel’s decisive win[3] and since then has taken place every three years.


Year1st prize2nd prize3rd prize4th prize
2004 Gustavo Dudamel Ivo Venkov Oksana Lyniv
Toshihiko Matsunuma
Not awarded
2007Not awarded Shi-Yeon Sung Benjamin Shwartz Ewa Strusinska
2010 Ainars Rubikis Aziz Shokhakhimov Yordan KamdzhalovNot awarded
2013 Lahav Shani David Danzmayr
Tung-Chieh Chuang
Not awardedNot awarded
2016 Kahchun Wong Sergey Neller Valentin UryupinNot awarded


The 3rd competition took place in Bamberg, Germany, from February 26 to March 7, 2010.

  • Competitors
    • Elizabeth Askren
    • Cornelius Heine
    • Seokwon Hong
    • Yordan Kamdzhalov
    • Francesco Lanzillotta
    • Alexander Prior
    • Ainars Rubikis
    • Scott Seaton
    • Aziz Shokakimov
    • Lam Tran
    • Kosuke Tsunoda
    • Xenia Zharko


From 6 to 13 May 2016 the Bamberg Symphony held The Mahler Competition for the fifth time.

Out of 381 applicants from 64 countries, 14 candidates were invited to Bamberg, 11 male and 3 female.[4]

The members of the Jury were Jonathan Nott, President of the Jury and former Principal Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, Marina Mahler, the composer’s granddaughter and Honorary Member, Marcus Rudolf Axt, Chief Executive of the Bamberg Symphony, the conductors Jiří Bělohlávek, John Carewe and Sir Neville Marriner, the conductor and singer Barbara Hannigan, the conductor and composer Jörg Widmann, the President and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Deborah Borda, the artist consultant Martin Campbell-White, the Provost and Dean of The Juilliard School Ara Guzelimian and Boris-Alexander Jusa, a member of the Bamberg Symphony.

The Competition’s repertoire consisted of works by Gustav Mahler, Joseph Haydn, Henri Dutilleux, Anton Webern, Jörg Widmann and Georg Friedrich Haas.[5]


  1. "Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition". Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  2. "Bamberger symphoniker:International Gustav Mahler Conducting Prize Competition". Archived from the original on 2009-06-10. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  3. Klobes, Ulrike (24 April 2015). "Der junge Wilde, Gustavo Dudamel". rbb Kultur. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  4. "14 Candidates At The Mahler Competition 2016". Pizzicato. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  5. "The Mahler Competition starts on 6 May 2016". Mundoclasico. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
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