Australia’s Daniel Smith wins ‘Golden Baton’
PR dla Zagranicy
The Grzegorz Fitelberg Competition for Conductors in Katowice has been won by Daniel Smith from Australia.
Daniel Smith: photo - konkursfitelberg.pl
Along with the ‘Golden Baton’ Daniel Smith received a cash award of 25, 000 euros and invitations to conduct several Polish symphony orchestras during the next season.
He was among the audience favourites and his victory was greeted with enthusiasm, all the more so that he qualified to the second stage of the competition only after another entrant had to withdraw due to family problems.
Born in 1981, Daniel Smith is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatory. Two years ago he won a prize at the Witold Lutosławski Conducting Competition in Białystok.
Smith has already worked with orchestras in Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Bulgaria and Spain. Second Prize winner is Poland’s Marzena Diakun, one of three women among the six finalists.
The other entrants – Poland’s Maja Metelska was placed fifth and Zoi Tsokanou from Greece - sixth.
The remaining two finalists were Andrew Koehler from the United States and Azis Sadikovic from Austria. Commenting on the list of finalists, jury chairman Antoni Wit said jokingly that the principle of gender parity was not taken into consideration.
‘”Having more women scoring successes on the conductor’s podium is simply the sign of our times,” he said.
The programme of the last two stages of the competition included, among other pieces, works by Polish composers - Szymanowski, Karłowicz and Lutosławski, one of the central goals of the event being the promotion of Polish music.
The Grzegorz Fitelberg Competition for Conductors in Katowice was launched in 1979 and is one of the most prestigious events of its kind. It is a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions in Geneva, which affiliates 129 competitions in Europe, the two Americas, Asia and Australia.
The award is named after Grzegorz Fitelberg, a prominent conductor and composer, the founder, in 1935, of the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice. He died in 1953. (mk/pg)