First event of its kind in the UK launches to discover young talent, encourage inclusive choral collaboration, and promote music making of the highest quality
The LONDON INTERNATIONAL CHORAL CONDUCTING COMPETITION (LICCC), to be hosted at the Royal Academy of Music, will have its inaugural edition this autumn from 20th to 21st October 2018. Curated by Chantage and Coro, two of London's premier chamber choirs, the biennial festival will turn the spotlight on the next generation of choral conductors and provide a new platform for collaboration in the choral community. This ground-breaking initiative will lend a significant boost to exceptional choral conductors in the early stages of their career, aged from 18 to 32 years old, and will attract entries from an international field. Celebrating the bright future of choral music and giving much-needed opportunities to talented and motivated conductors starting out in the profession, the competition will enrich the United Kingdom’s reputation as a centre for choral music.
Alongside the competitive element, the festival will feature conducting masterclasses and, on Saturday October 20th, a Gala Concert which will see the two resident choirs joined by this year’s international guest choir: Chamber Choir FREIA, conducted by Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi.
Simon Halsey, Chorus Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, Chorus Director of the London Symphony Chorus, and Artistic Director of the Berlin Philharmonic Youth Choral Programme, commented:
“This fantastic new conducting competition is long overdue for a country with such an immensely strong choral tradition. I am delighted that three such inspirational choirs and choral directors have taken the initiative to broaden the reach of choral music in the UK and reinforce its global reputation in the process."
The impetus for the foundation of the Competition is a shared desire to engender international co-operation in choral music. The founding committee includes Chantage director, James Davey, Coro director, Mark Griffiths, and Director of Training for the Association of British Choral Directors, Amy Bebbington. Between them they have conducted choirs of all abilities, coached conductors at different levels of experience, directed the Young Conductors' Course at the ABCD's annual Convention, and adjudicated choral competitions at international and national levels. The partner choirs themselves have garnered many prizes whilst representing London and the UK at international choral competitions.
The procedures of the competition are intended to be transparent and thorough: all applicants will be judged by an initial video round, after which the best six will be invited to compete over the course of the weekend. Those six competitors will take multiple rehearsals with Chantage, Coro and FREIA, conducting from a repertoire which has been carefully selected by the committee to challenge competitors and allow them to demonstrate their rounded musical personality. A Grand Final will take place on the evening of Sunday 21st October, in front of a public audience. The winner, chosen by a distinguished international jury and the choirs themselves, will receive a £5,000 cash prize and the opportunity to attend rehearsal observation sessions with Simon Halsey at the CBSC and LSC and with Ben Parry at the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. The runner-up receives £1,000 plus a weekend pass and accommodation at the ABCD’s annual convention at the Birmingham Conservatoire in 2019.
Applications open on 23 February 2018, closing on 25 May 2018. Click here for full competition rules.