Deutscher Dirigentenpreis

October 11 to 18, 2019

During its long history, the Gürzenich Orchestra has always offered a podium for young conductors. Artists such as Gustavo Dudamel, music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, or Lahav Shani, chief conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, enchanted audiences in Cologne even before their international breakthrough. Thus, it was a matter of course for the Gürzenich Orchestra to join the German Music Council, Cologne’s Philharmonie, the Cologne Opera and the WDR Symphony Orchestra in 2017 in launching the German Conductors’ Award: an international competition enabling twelve young conductors to demonstrate their abilities in working with leading orchestras and renowned singers in the opera and concert genres. This year, the competition takes place for the second time.

The German Conductors’ Award is unique in its requirements, because it takes both the genres of opera and concert into consideration in the repertoire. Furthermore, the orchestra musicians contribute their vote to the jury’s decision. With these unique features, the German Conductors‘ Award sets new standards; taking place every two years, it helps to launch great conducting careers.

The Prizes

In addition to cash prizes of up to 30,000 €, awards also include concert engagements and assistant positions with German orchestras and opera houses. As a special award, the Gürzenich Orchestra offers an assistant position for the seasons 2020/21 and 2021/22 to the winner of the First Prize.

The Jury

Lothar Zagrosek Chairman of the jury, conductor
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Peter Gülke Honorary chairman of the jury, conductor and musicologist
Prof. Lioba Braun Mezzo-soprano
Siegwald Bütow Manager and producer of the WDR Symphony Orchestra
Louwrens Langevoort Artistic director of Cologne’s Philharmonie, managing director of KölnMusik GmbH
Dr. Birgit Meyer Artistic director of the Cologne Opera
Prof. Dr. Stephan Mösch Musicologist and theatre scholar, journalist


The German Conductors‘ Award is supported financially by the City of Cologne, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media.

Cooperating Partners

Public Rounds and Final

Public Rounds at Cologne Philharmonie on October 16, 10 am, and October 17, at 10 am and 2 pm, free entrance.

Final concert on October 18, 8 pm, Cologne Philharmonie

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