In Wednesday’s (2/16) Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee), Jon W. Sparks writes, “The Memphis Symphony Orchestra will host in May an international conducting competition that offers $9,000 in prizes and an opportunity for winners to conduct the orchestra next season. It’s a first for the MSO and unusual for any American orchestra. But music director Mei-Ann Chen championed the idea based on her own experience coming up through the ranks in the highly competitive world of symphony conducting. … In addition to Chen, the competition jury will include Robert Spano, music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; Anthony Fogg, artistic administrator of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and another guest not yet confirmed. Ryan Fleur, president and CEO of the MSO, is also a juror, and the orchestra musicians will have a collective vote. … Ten contestants and two alternates will be selected to compete in three rounds to be held May 25-28 at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. … The first-, second- and third-place winners will receive $5,000, $3,000 and $1,000 respectively. They may also share conducting duties in a Masterworks performance in October.”

Posted February 17, 2011