Results from the Arturo Toscanini intl. Conducting Competition

Parma´s operatic public has a reputation as particularly demanding and famous for being unforgiving of any singer not in good voice, notes American soprano Carol Plantamura, and accordingly, the city´s famous Teatro Regio has seen some of Italian opera´s finest artists. Fondazione Toscanini, the presenter of the Arturo Toscanini Intl. Conducting Competition, has thus made its 2021 edition a special contest focussing on opera conductors. While keeping performances in concert style, there were still over 100 musicians on stage including multiple soloists, a 56-member chorus, and the full-size Toscanini Philharmonic. Competitors had to conduct repertoire solely by Verdi and Rossini. From 240 applications, 12 were selected to take part in a two-week workshop with 14 instructors including jury president Fabio Luisi. 6 advanced to the semifinals, 3 went to the finals and were to conduct an entire act of a Verdi opera on stage at Teatro Regio, in front of an illustrious jury: Fabio Luisi as the only conductor, along with seven opera directors from Milan, Dresden, New York, London, Valencia, Buenos Aires and Parma.

Among the three candidates, Vitali Alekseenok (29, Belarus) clearly stood out with his lively performance of Macbeth. He was followed by Sasha Yankevych (29, Ukraine) and Felix Hornbacher (28, Austria).

Program, posters, and moderation were solely in Italian, but the musical efforts and results were truly commendable.


Prizes awarded:

First Prize and Grand Toscanini Prize: Vitali Alekseenok, Belarus

Second Prize: Sasha Yankevych, Ukraine

Third Prize: Felix Hornbacher, Austria

Audience Prize: Vitali Alekseenok

Orchestra Prize: Sasha Yankevych