Friday (3/5) on the Gramophone website David Threasher reports, “The Bamberg Symphony Orchestra’s International Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition has been won by 31-year-old Latvian, Ainars Rubikis. He takes home a prize of €20,000 and conducts the orchestra in a public concert featuring the competition repertoire on Friday evening. Rubikis was one of two finalists in the competition, along with Aziz Shokhakimov, a 21-year-old from Uzbekistan, who was awarded the second prize of €10,000. Third prize (€5000) went to semi-finalist Yordan Kamdzhalov, a 29-year-old from Bulgaria. … This is the third time the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition has been held. Since its launch only six years ago it has become one of Europe’s most important conducting competitions. Gustavo Dudamel was the winner of that first competition in 2004, a coup that instantly focused the attention of the classical music world on this small Bavarian city and its orchestra.”

Posted March 9, 2010