Welcome to the Siemens Hallé International Conductors Competition 2020



The inaugural Siemens Hallé International Conductors Competition seeks to provide a talented and emerging conductor with a platform to develop their skills on an international level.

In addition to a cash prize of £15,000, the Winner of the competition will become Assistant Conductor of the Hallé, with the opportunity to work alongside the Hallé’s Music Director, Sir Mark Elder CH CBE, for a minimum 2-year period in a meaningful and varied role which represents an invaluable chance for an emerging conductor to build a career and establish themselves on the world stage. It will be, quite literally, a life changing opportunity.

The competition also celebrates the innovative partnership between the Hallé and Siemens, building on the success of a number of joint projects; this will be encapsulated in the process of the competition with a Digital Challenge for candidates in the Semi-Finals.




The inaugural Siemens Hallé International Conductors Competition will take place in Manchester Thursday 20th – Saturday 22nd February 2020. Applications are invited by Monday 1st July 2019 at 13:00 GMT, and Semi-Finalists will be announced in September 2019.

Semi-Finalists will attend the entirety of the Competition in Manchester Thursday 20th – Saturday 22nd February 2020. All Semi-Finalists will work with the Hallé Youth Orchestra on Thursday 20th February, before completing a Digital Challenge on Friday 21st February.

Finalists will be selected by the end of Friday 21st February. Finalists will be interviewed on Saturday 22nd February morning before working with the Hallé in the Final.

The Winner of the Competition will be announced on the evening of Saturday 22nd February 2020.


First Prize


Cash prize and Hallé Assistant Conductor role for a minimum of 2 years.


Assistant Conductor Role

The Assistant Conductor role will include a guaranteed number of conducting engagements, with a phased programme of concerts with the Hallé in Manchester and elsewhere over the following 2 years, and with engagements with Orchestras on an international level. They will be an outstanding musician, a confident communicator and a flexible team worker, eager to learn from those around them.

Key tasks of the Assistant Conductor are:

  • To shadow the Hallé’s Music Director and visiting conductors, and assist them in matters of balance, off stage conducting, pre-rehearsals, and/or sectionals 

  • To conduct a minimum of five public concerts with the Hallé each year 

  • To become Music Director of the Hallé Youth Orchestra 

  • To direct the Youth Orchestra’s regular weekly term-time rehearsals on Sunday afternoons and public concerts (approximately 4-5 per year)  

  • To lead the Youth Orchestra’s  artistic planning process and auditions  

  • To study scores associated with the above, reading all scores of new music sent to the Music Director and Head of artistic planning and providing advice on their suitability for performance 

  • To sit in on Hallé rehearsals and performances (including touring) in and outside Manchester, and be ready to stand in if appropriate 

  • To play a part in the Hallé’s artistic planning team, attending meetings as and when required, and participate in the Hallé’s education programme where appropriate 



Second Prize


The winner of the second place in the Competition will receive a £3,000 cash prize.


Third Prize


The winner of the third place in the Competition will receive a £2,000 cash prize.


The Panel reserves the right to award any additional prizes as it sees fit.


Since its founding in 2002, the Hallé’s Assistant Conductorship has developed a track record for impacting the lives of rising stars, many of whom have gone on to great commercial and critical success. We are delighted to be working with Siemens to extend this opportunity to global audiences, bringing the very best and brightest musical talent to Manchester.
— John Summers, Chief Executive of the Hallé

Founded in 2002 alongside the Hallé Youth Orchestra, the position of Hallé Assistant Conductor is a prestigious role for emerging talented conductors. The unique opportunity of this role is to receive ongoing mentoring from Sir Mark Elder and the opportunity to learn and develop in a nurturing environment, supported by professional Hallé players and administrative staff from all Hallé departments. Previous incumbents of the post include Edward Gardner, Andrew Gourlay, Ewa Strusinska and Jamie Phillips, and the current Assistant Conductor is Jonathon Heyward.



Applications Open

Wednesday 1st May 2019 at 13:00 GMT

Applications Close

Monday 1st July 2019 at 13:00 GMT

Semi-Finalists Announced

Applicants informed August 2019

Public Announcement September 2019

Semi-Finals with the Hallé Youth Orchestra

Thursday 20th February 2020

Digital Challenge at Hallé St. Peters

Friday 21st February 2020

Finalists Announced

Friday 21st February 2020

Interviews and Finals

with the Hallé Orchestra at Hallé St. Peters, following which the Winner of the Competition will be announced.

Saturday 22nd February 2020


Rules and Regulations


The Panel’s decision is final.

  • Applications need to be submitted online or via email by Monday 1st July 13.00 GMT. Late applications will not be considered.

  • The Hallé and Siemens are committed to the principles of Equal Opportunities and welcome applicants from all backgrounds. However no direct relations of Hallé or Siemens employees are eligible to apply.

  • All selected Semi-finalists will need to be available for the entirety of the Competition in Manchester Thursday 20th – Saturday 22nd February 2020. Any applicants who are unable to attend the Competition will be seen to have withdrawn their application.

  • All applicants agree to participate in media and promotional activities for the Competition.

  • The first prize award of the Hallé Assistant Conductor role will be subject to an enhanced successful Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for working with children and young people.

If you have any further queries, please contact or telephone 0161 237 7023.




The Winner of the Competition will be an emerging talented conductor with relevant postgraduate study qualifications and experience of conducting professional orchestras. Applicants from any country are welcome to apply. Applications for the competition are now closed.


All Semi-Finalists must be available and in Manchester for the entirety of the Competition without exception. Semi-Finalists must be on time for their respective audition and interview slots as informed by the Competition Administrator. Failure to appear on time may result in disqualification.


Any Semi-Finalists required to travel to Manchester for the Competition will be provided with:

  • Free accommodation in Manchester from the evening of Wednesday 19th February until the morning of Sunday 22nd February 2020.

  • A contribution towards travel expenses from their place of residence of:

    • £200 within Europe

    • £400 beyond Europe


Applicants are invited to submit a video to support their application. To ensure all videos are playable in different formats, please provide a web link to any videos where prompted in the application form.

Application Form

Applications for the competition are now closed.


The Panel



Sir Mark Elder CH CBE

Mark Elder has been Music Director of the Hallé since September 2000. He was Music Director of English National Opera (1979–93), Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (1992–5) and Music Director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (1989–94). He has also held positions as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and London Mozart Players.

He has worked with many of the world’s leading symphony orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw and Munich Philharmonic. He is a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and works regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared annually at the BBC Proms for many years, including the internationally televised Last Night of the Proms in 1987 and 2006, and from 2003 with the Hallé.

Mark Elder was knighted in 2008 and was awarded the CBE in 1989. He won an Olivier Award in 1991 for his outstanding work at ENO and in 2006 was named Conductor of the Year by the Royal Philharmonic Society, of which he was awarded Honorary Membership in 2011. And in 2017, Sir Mark Elder was awarded the Companion of Honour for services to music.



Professor Dr. Stephan Frucht

Stephan Frucht heads Siemens' culture and sponsoring programs and is the Artistic Director of Siemens' Arts Program. He studied music in Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media, and Violin at Berlin University of the Arts whilst studying human medicine at the Humboldt University Berlin, receiving his doctorate in 2002. He worked as a cultural officer in the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, after which he was managing director in the culture circle of the German economy in the BDI, until joining Siemens in 2015.

Stephan Frucht has received several awards, including the Chamber Music Prize of the Berlin Broadcasting Company and prizes at Jugend musiziert (Youth makes music). Working as a conductor, he has released numerous CD recordings for Sony music and Haenssler Classics and has worked with orchestras including Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic, the German Symphony Orchestra and the Deutsche Opera Berlin and Bavarian State Orchestra. He is Honorary Professor at the University of Music in Karlsruhe and Chairman of the Society of University of Music in Munich.


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Arna Kristín Einarsdóttir

Arna Kristin Einarsdottir was appointed Managing Director of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra in late 2018. Formed in 1969, the Orchestra gives about 100 performances a year in Ottawa across Canada and around the globe, working with diverse artists of international renown under the inspiring leadership of Music Director, Alexander Shelley.

Ms. Einarsdottir spent 12 years at the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, initially serving as the orchestra’s concerts director and then Managing Director of the orchestra in 2013. In that role, she was responsible for meeting all its overall artistic and financial goals and managed a successful financial turnaround during her time as a manager. Arna led the search process and signed a three-year contract with the world-renowned conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier as Chief Conductor in 2015.

Ms. Einarsdottir further strengthened the ISO’s artistic team by creating an assistant conductor position, as well as a composer-in-residence, signing Daniel Bjarnason and Anna Thorvaldsdottir, two of Iceland’s most prominent composers. In 2011, the orchestra moved into a new concert hall, Harpa, which has become one of Reykjavík’s landmarks and has more than two million visitors a year. In addition, the Orchestra took part in the BBC Proms in 2014, and was invited to perform in the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra’s subscription series in 2017.

Before moving into management, Ms. Einarsdottir played second flute with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra from 2000–2004 and had a successful career as a flautist, in both Iceland and England.



John Summers

Chief Executive of the Hallé since 1999, John Summers was formerly Chief Executive of the Northern Sinfonia. He studied the cello at Trinity College of Music and after graduation worked in Scotland.  While working as a freelance cellist with the Northern Sinfonia he was appointed to the management, culminating in his appointment as Chief Executive in 1989. He was actively involved in the planning of the Sage, Gateshead before moving to manage the Hallé in Manchester.  

Since joining the Hallé he has been responsible for a number of new initiatives, including a significant expansion of the Orchestra’s Education and Ensemble Programme, and the setting up of the Hallé’s own recording label. He was a member of the Board of the Association of British Orchestras from 1991 with a special interest in Education and Outreach matters, and in 1995 was appointed Chairman through until 1998. John was Lead Adviser for Music to the Arts Council of England from 2003 – 2005 and is currently President of the Lakeland Concerts Society.



Carola Reul

Carola Reul is Managing Director of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, an orchestra that prepares selected students from German-speaking Music Conservatoires aged 18 to 28 for the life of professional orchestra musicians. Prior to this role, which she took up in May 2019, she was Senior Project Manager at the Orchestral Department of the Konzertdirektion Schmid from 2013, where she continued the long standing relationship between the Hallé Orchestra and KD Schmid with her touring activities for the orchestra.

She studied music at the University of Würzburg, trained as a music teacher for secondary education and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Management at City University, London. During her time at City University she worked as an intern at the BBC Symphony Orchestra, where she gained first insights in the operations of a professional orchestra. She held positions in both the Artist and Touring Departments at the classical music agency Harrison Parrott UK, before moving to KD Schmid in 2007. From 2012 until the end of 2018 she served as an elected board member of the International Artist Manager’s Association (IAMA).



Geoffrey Owen

Geoffrey Owen took over the Artistic Planning of the Hallé Concerts Society in 2001, and since then has worked alongside Sir Mark Elder and John Summers planning the work of the Orchestra and Choir, securing touring engagements, guest artists, negotiating their repertoire and controlling the artistic budget.  

On graduation from Bristol University with a degree in music in 1975, he spent two years as a violinist with the Academy of the BBC, before joining the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera.  In 1983 he moved to London, where he ran a small concert agency before joining Van Walsum Management, serving latterly as a director of the company. Between 1985 and 2001 his brief included the company’s many orchestral concert promotions, festivals and series at London’s Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican and in Luzern, as well as many orchestra tours throughout Europe and the UK.  



Julia Albrecht

Julia Albrecht grew up in a family of musicians. She completed her  law degree in Berlin by successfully passing the German First State Examination. In 1995, she started working at KD SCHMID as an artists manager. Ten years later, she took a break to start a family and her own business in Hanover, working on local classical music projects, fundraising and public relations. One of her major clients was the “Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition 2012”, for which she held the position of managing director.

In March 2013, she returned to Konzertdirektion Schmid as the Director of the Artist Management Department. She was a jury member of the “Gundlach Music Prize” for the Hanover University of Music and Drama for many years and for the International Telekom Beethoven Competition Bonn in 2017.


About Us


The Hallé has a reputation for artistic excellence, ranking it amongst the world’s top symphonic ensembles. Now in its 161st season, the Hallé continues to seek ways to enhance and refresh what it undertakes, with aspirations to provide leadership through performance standards, education, understanding and training.

Founded by Sir Charles Hallé in Manchester, the Hallé gave its first concert in the city’s Free Trade Hall on 30 January 1858. Following the death of Sir Charles, the orchestra continued to develop under the guidance of such distinguished figures as Dr Hans Richter, Sir Hamilton Harty and Sir John Barbirolli. Mark Elder CBE became Music Director in 2000.

The Hallé has received many awards, notably from the Royal Philharmonic Society and the South Bank Awards, for its work in the concert hall and celebrated collaborations with other orchestras and Manchester organisations. As well as taking to the stage for around 70 concerts a year at The Bridgewater Hall, its Manchester home, the Hallé places great pride in giving over 40 concerts annually throughout the rest of Britain. Its distinguished history of acclaimed performances also includes televised concerts, frequent radio broadcasts and international tours.

Since the Hallé launched its own recording label in 2003, a number of its recordings have won prestigious awards including five Gramophone Awards and a Diapason d’Or. A further Gramophone Award was given for one of an ongoing series of recordings made for the acclaimed contemporary music label, NMC. In 2013, the Hallé and Sir Mark Elder’s recording of Elgar’s The Apostles was honoured with both the ‘Choral Award’ and ‘Recording of the Year’ (BBC Music Magazine) as well as the ‘Choral Award’ (Gramophone).

Hallé St Peter’s provides a home for the Hallé’s rehearsals and recordings, its choirs and Youth Orchestra, as well as a space for education workshops and small performances. Opened by the Hallé’s Patron, HRH The Countess of Wessex in 2013, it is a restored church in the Ancoats area of Manchester. In Autumn 2019, Hallé St Peter’s will reopen with a new extension including expanded rehearsal facilities and a café.

Established in 2002, the Hallé Youth Orchestra offers outstanding young instrumentalists aged 13-19 years, who love orchestral music and the buzz of contributing to a large orchestra, the chance to experience playing in a full symphony orchestra supported by professional musicians.

The Hallé Youth Orchestra meets regularly on Sunday afternoons during autumn and spring terms. Each summer, members enjoy a residential course and tour, alternating between UK and Europe, with visits in recent years to Italy, Dublin, Prague, Germany and Scotland. The latest tour took the Youth Orchestra to Lake Garda in Italy. Their busy schedule allowed them to enjoy the sights of this beautiful part of Italy (from taking a cable car up Monte Baldo to seeing Verdi’s opera Aida in Verona’s world famous Roman Arena) as well as performing 3 concerts in Garda, Verona and as part of the prestigious young musician’s festival Musica Riva.

Since its creation the Youth Orchestra has participated in many exciting projects, including a three-year ‘Stage Players’ project and performance at the Royal Opera House in London, performing in the Manchester International Festival for Victoria Wood’s comedy musical, That Day We Sang in 2011 at the Manchester Opera House, and joining the Hallé’s collaboration with the Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra and Choir in September 2014.

The Youth Orchestra works regularly with Hallé players as section tutors, and annually sits ‘side-by-side’ with the professionals to perform challenging works. In February 2019, the joint orchestra performed De Falla’s Three Cornered Hat Suite with Carlos Miguel Prieto and West Side Story: Symphonic Dances with Jonathan Heyward.

The Hallé Youth Orchestra is very grateful to the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Oglesby Charitable Trust, The Radcliffe Trust, The Zochonis Charitable Trust, Pilkington General Charity and many individual benefactors for their continued support of the Youth Orchestra.


Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 170 years.

The company is active around the globe, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of efficient power generation and power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry. With its publicly listed subsidiary Siemens Healthineers AG, the company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT. In the financial year of 2018, which ended on September 30, 2018, Siemens generated revenue of €83.0 billion and net income of €6.1 billion. At the end of September 2018, the company had around 379,000 employees worldwide.

Siemens in the UK have sponsored the Hallé for over 20 years and have recently stepped up their engagement with the Orchestra from Major Sponsor to Diamond Sponsor.  During this time the partnership has created a remarkable alliance. Driven by passion on both sides it has delivered real and tangible benefits for both organisations.  The partnership with Siemens is varied and dynamic, and the two organisations work closely together to find new and innovative ways of developing projects that present the links between engineering and music.

Siemens has a long and positive relationship with Manchester and aligning ourselves to the city’s premiere cultural organisation is a natural partnership for us. However, most significantly our on-going work with the Hallé musicians also creates the opportunity to genuinely enhance our work and our staff skills base and we understand acutely the tangible value of our association.
— Juergen Maier, Chief Executive, Siemens UK


The core relationship includes sponsored concerts and joint events each season as well as social and educational projects), the creation of a Siemens Corporate Choir as well as engagement in the Hallé’s schools concerts Hallé for Youth. Most recently the Hallé have partnered with staff at Siemens to develop technology to support the Hallé’s work with dementia sufferers. The wider partnership is continually evolving providing mutual moral support, inter-organisational events, staff wellbeing and training.



As is the case with many other companies that get involved in the promotion of art and culture today, the altruism of the founding family was at the start of it all for Siemens. Beyond this, Siemens also takes part in numerous prestigious cultural events as a sponsor and source of inspiration in the arts, including as the main sponsor of the Salzburg Festival and the ARD Music Competition, but also of the Orchestra Academy of the Bavarian State Opera and the Hallé with the Siemens Hallé International Conductor Competition in Manchester.  

A further element of the commitment of Siemens AG to the sponsorship of the arts is the Siemens Arts Program, which was established in 1987 with the intention of developing the company's own, specific cultural program. In this way, Siemens emphasises the special status that art and culture assume in society. 

The Siemens Arts Program has a long tradition in promoting artistic excellence in the fields of classical music, fine arts and intercultural education. We have extensive experience in combining expertise, talent, quality and innovation in very different areas. Thus, together with the Hallé we will start the Siemens Hallé Conductors Competition in Manchester to support the best conducting talents at a decisive point of their career.
— Stephan Frucht, Head of Siemens’ culture and sponsoring programs and Artistic Director of Siemen’s Arts Program.

Siemens have been instrumental in developing some of the Hallé’s most innovative projects including supporting the development of the Hallé’s Arts Based Training programme. In 2018 the relationship was further developed when discussions with Siemens Arts Program helped to form the plans for the Siemens Hallé International Conductors Competition.  We are very proud of the partnership as a whole and the huge, positive, impact it has had on both organisations. We believe that the Hallé / Siemens alliance is one of the most innovative partnerships between culture and industry that exists in the world of music today. 

Our former Assistant Conductors are:

Edward Gardner 2001-2004

André de Ridder 2004-2006

Rory Macdonald 2006-2008

Ewa Strusinska 2008-2010

Andrew Gourlay 2010-2012

Jamie Phillips 2012-2016

Jonathon Heyward 2016-2019