The triennial Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition was held in April in Bamberg, Germany. 2004’s winner, Gustavo Dudamel, was recently appointed misc director of the LA Philharmonic, marking out the competition as an event which identifies the future stars.
The 2007 competition featured 12 competitors from Germany, Egypt, Russia, USA, Britain. And Busan-born Sung Shi-yeon flew the flag for South Korea. The hopefuls had to rehearse and perform Mahler and Schubert, as well as recent commissions from Mark-Anthony Turnage, Bruno Mantovani and Benedict Mason.
Similar to the recent Maria Callas awards, however, no first prize was awarded. Sung Shi-yeon received second prize, worth 10,000 Euros. The next stage in her career is already set, as she joins James Levine at the Boston Symphony Orchestra this autumn.