News - 23 June 2021

Gramophone Magazine reports: "Carl Nielsen International Competition unveils 2022 plans"

A new strand – called Espansiva! – to offer mentoring and coaching for all participants

The Carl Nielsen International Competition’s track record of shining a spotlight on leading young artists is an impressive one. The most recent edition – 2019 – saw wins for violinist Johan Dalene, flautist Joséphine Olech and clarinetist Blaz Sparovec, all of whom have since featured in Gramophone‘s One to Watch column ahead of their debut albums. Both Dalene’s debut release of the Barber and Tchaikovsky’ Violin Concertos, and his recent chamber recital Nordic Rhapsody (see video, below), were named Editor’s Choices.

Johan Dalene, en route to winning the 2019 Carl Nielsen International Competition (photo: Aaron Traub)

Plans have now been unveiled for the 2022 edition which, aside from the competition itself, will feature an expanded and integrated programme of mentoring and coaching, including offering advice in areas including mental and physical health, and networking opportunities. Called Espansiva! – taking the name from Nielsen’s third symphony – this extra element is designed to better equip artists for the reality of a career in the modern musical world.

‘The world has changed and this means that as competition organisers we should also adapt,’ said Competition President, violinist Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider. ‘While our priority is of course to find the brightest and most talented young musicians of today, we also feel it is vital to create an off-stage experience that benefits all the participants who come to Odense.’

As well as private accommodation for the entire period enabling all participants to engage with Espansiva!, that off-stage experience also includes the opportunity to eat and drink every evening alongside leading industry professionals in a Carl Nielsen Pop-Up Pub, accompanied by informal music-making.

Szeps-Znaider is handing over the post of head of the jury this year, freeing him to be fully active in the mentoring and coaching, as well as to conduct the final round of the violin competition. Instead, the three competition juries will be headed by Noah Bendix-Balgley (violin), Karl-Heinz Schütz (flute) and Yehuda Gilad (clarinet). Artistic Advisors Emmanuel Pahud (flute) and Martin Fröst (clarinet) will be involved in the selection process. The violin jury wil feature concertmasters from leading orchestras, as well as soloist Tasmin Little.

Applications for violinists, clarinetists and flautists, who must be under the age of 30, will open on August 15 and close on October 30, with the competition itself taking place March 31-April 10. First Prizes winners will receive €12.000 and a recording with the Odense Symphony Orchestra on Orchid Classics.

Gramophone is a media partner of the 2022 Carl Nielsen Competition