Conductors' Academy 2022/23 – These Are the Candidates
Music Director Paavo Järvi has selected six candidates from six countries from among 278 applicants.
They are between 27 and 33 years old - and dream of a career as a conductor. They have already realized part of their dream; they have completed their studies, received prizes and scholarships, and gained experience with a wide variety of orchestras. And now they have been selected for Paavo Järvi's annual Conductors' Academy: another important step on a long journey.
The audience can accompany them, the master classes are open to the public. And there is no doubt that this year, too, we will see how differently the young conductors approach their task. For all those who want to know more about them already: Here we present the candidates of this year's Conductors' Academy.
Jaehyuck Choi lives as a conductor and composer in Berlin as well as Seoul. Winning First Prize at the Concours de Genève in 2017 and conducting the London Symphony Orchestra at the Lucerne Festival with Sir Simon Rattle in 2018 brought him international recognition. His recent highlights include a conducting fellowship at the Lucerne Festival and conducting invitations with Ensemble intercontemporain, Trondheim Symfoniorkester, and Baltic Sea Philharmonic, among others. He is artistic director of ensemble blank. Represented by Universal Edition in Vienna, his works are published and distributed worldwide.
Mirian Khukhunaishvili is co-founder and Artistic Director of the Tbilisi Youth Orchestra. In the 2022/23 season he will make his debut at the Konzerthaus Berlin with the orchestra there and Christoph Eschenbach, Iddo Bar-Shai, Valeryi Sokolov as well as Aleksey Shadrin as soloists, at the Musikverein Vienna with the orchestra of the Vienna Concert Association and at the Polish Baltic Philharmonic with the orchestra there. He will return to the Berlin Konzerthaus with the Tbilisi Youth Orchestra for the «Young Euro Classics» in August 2023. Since 2021, he has led conducting classes and the university choir at the Iceland University of the Arts. In 2020, he received his PhD in conducting from the Academy of Music in Krakow.
Eleni Kotsmanidou completed her conducting studies at the Athens Conservatory with Lukas Karytinos. In 2022, she was selected as a young artist for the Transylvanian Opera Academy. So far she has worked with the Orchestra of the Greek National Opera, the Greek National Radio Orchestra, the Greek Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Athens Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of the City of Athens, the Theatre Orchestra of the St. Petersburg Conservatory and the Romanian Chamber Orchestra. Her personal highlight was her conducting debut in a production of Franz Lehár's «The Merry Widow» in Athens in 2019.
Coming from a family of musicians, Mauro Mariani learned to play the cello and clarinet at a young age in Montepulciano near Siena. At the age of 16 he moved to Basel, where he attended a remedial class at the Basel Music Academy. After graduating from high school, he worked in Managua (Nicaragua), among others in the project «Musica en los barrios». Afterwards he studied violoncello at the Lucerne University of Music in the class of Guido Schiefen. Currently he is studying conducting at the Hochschule für Musik «Franz Liszt» in Weimar with Nicolás Pasquet and Ekhart Wycik. He is the conductor of the Academic Orchestra at the University of Magdeburg and Artistic and Musical Director of the Orchestre Universitaire de Strasbourg.
Sasha Yankevych graduated with honors from the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in orchestral conducting at the Royal Swedish Academy of Music with Alan Gilbert. Since 2018, he has been working at the Royal Opera in Stockholm. He is a laureate of several international competitions, for example in 2021 he was awarded the 2nd prize and the orchestra prize at the Arturo Toscanini Competition in Parma. He has conducted renowned orchestras, including the Musikkollegium Winterthur and the Orchestre National de Bordeaux in a gala with Bernjamin Bernheim for a CD release by Deutsche Grammophon.
Agata Zając studied conducting at the Academy of Music in Poznań. She is currently a doctoral student at the Academy of Music in Kraków with Łukasz Borowicz. In the 2022/23 season she is Mills Williams Junior Fellow in Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. She is a former resident conductor of the Toruń Symphony Orchestra (2020/21) and the Sudeten Philharmonic (2021/22). Since 2018, she has worked as an assistant conductor with the Warsaw Chamber Opera, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Greek National Radio Orchestra and Athens Philharmonia Orchestra. She has received numerous awards and honors, including a 2018 scholarship from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
The four masterclasses and the closing concert will be livestreamed from 16 to 18 November. After the closing concert, the audience will have the opportunity to vote for the audience winner.
Supported by the Freundeskreis Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich – exclusive project partner
Board and lodging for the academy members supported by Ruth Burkhalter