Grand Prix awarded in Besançon!

©️Yves Petit – Festival international de musique de Besançon

On Saturday September 23, the 58ᵉ edition of the Besançon International Competition crowned Swann Van Rechem , ahead of Hae Lee, and Chao Dong. The twenty-five-year-old conductor won the Grand Prix, the Prix Coup de Coeur du Public and the Prix Coup de Coeur de l'Orchestre National d'Île-de-France. The jury also decided to award Chao Dong a special mention, presented by composer Alexandros Markeas, in recognition of the young conductor's career and his interpretation of the work premiered during the final, "Living happily during the war".

A total of 280 candidates entered this year's competition. "It's a real marathon that these candidates have followed during auditions organized all over the world since last April", explains Jean-Michel Mathé, Festival and Competition Director.

"A jury with two pianists travelled to Berlin, Tokyo, Montreal and Paris," he explained. Some twenty candidates were finally shortlisted. They were invited to Besançon to compete for the Grand Prix.

Born in 1998, Swann Van Rechem initially studied piano at the Lille conservatory, before turning to percussion, like his parents. He went on to study conducting at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris and the Amsterdam Conservatory, and is currently perfecting his master's degree with Nicolás Pasquet and Ekhart Wycik at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar.

Photo: ©️Yves Petit – Festival international de musique de Besançon

Swann van Rechem, Grand Prix ©️Yves Petit – Festival international de musique de Besançon

Finalists and Jury ©️Yves Petit – Festival international de musique de Besançon

Created in 1951, the Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors is now held every two years, and the Grand Prix was not awarded in 2021. Past winners include Seiji Ozawa (1959), Michel Plasson (1962), Jacques Mercier (1972), Kazuki Yamada (2009) and Ben Glassberg (2017).


Grand Prix de Direction 2023: Swann van Rechem

Special Mention: Chao Dong


Jury: Yutaka Sado (chair); Hans Graf; Juliette Kang; Yulia Kopylova; Alexandros Markeas; Jean-François Verdier; Deborah Waldman

Artists: Orchestre National d'Ile-de-France; Orchestre Victor Hugo; Orchestre Dijon Bourgogne; Iryna Kyshliaruk, soprano;
Diego Gonzalo Godoy, ténor