2015 17th Winners / Archives
The final round of the 17th Tokyo International Music Competition for Conducting, the first since the Competition became a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions, was held at the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall on October 18, the anniversary of founding of the Min-On Concert Association.
The 17th Competition for conducting received the most applications of any competition in recent years, with applications submitted by 239 individuals in 40 countries and regions, of which fifteen applicants from seven countries were selected for participation in the elimination rounds based on document and video screening. The elimination rounds were held from October 12 to October 15, and out of the contestants in that round, four were selected to advance to the final round: Ondřej Vrabec (Czech Republic), Diego Martin Etxebarria (Spain), Gen Ota (Japan) and Corinna Niemeyer (Germany).
The final round consisted for performances by the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra of Brahms' Variations on a Theme by Haydn (a required piece) and two compositions that were selected by the individual contestants, allowing the four contestants to display baton work to their own best advantage.
At the awards ceremony held following completion of the final round, Judges Panel Chairman Yuzo Toyama commented on the high level of the participants in the 17th Competition, saying, "the extraordinary level of expertise displayed by the participants made work really hard for the judges."
During the announcement of results, 1st prize was awarded to Diego Martin Etxebarria, 2nd prize to Gen Ota, and 3rd prize to Corinna Niemeyer. the "Special Hideo Saito Award" was granted to 1st place winner Diego Martin Etxebarria, and the "Audience Award" (determined by audience vote) was granted to 2nd place winner Gen Ota. Ondřej Vrabec received an Honorable Mention.
The 17th Competition saw the first award of 1st prize since the prize was awarded to Tatsuya Shimono during the Competition held in the year 2000, and it was the first time all three prizes from 1st through 3rd were awarded since the 1994 Competition, twenty one years ago. Thus this Competition proved in many ways to be a new start, bringing to light young talents for the onset of a new age.