What was the application process for the DFCC like for you?
Best thing: I didn’t miss the deadline.
How did you prepare for the Competition, both musically and mentally?
I memorised every round and had a good teacher who supported me a lot. I tried to see it as an experience for me rather than a competition.
How would you describe your experience of the Competition and what were the main things you learned from the DFCC?
I learned that no matter how much pressure you feel, in the moment of music making with the orchestra I could forget the fact that there is a jury watching your every motion. The atmosphere was friendly and so were the participants. The Guildhall Orchestra were very committed and well prepared.
How did you feel on the day of the final round?
Very nervous, although at the same time full of anticipation for the sound of the orchestra, who inspire me.
How did it feel having only one short rehearsal on the day with the LSO?
The orchestra played at its highest standard during the first run through. It was all about the details, so the short rehearsal time wasn’t a problem.
How did you approach this to use your time to best effect?
I quickly realised how accurately and sensitively the musicians responded to my looks and gestures. But still the time flew by too quickly!
What might you do differently now, with more experience?
I think that I would listen more carefully to the orchestra.
What advice regarding the application process would you give to future DFCC candidates?
Send in your application with plenty of time!
How has winning the DFCC helped you to advance your conducting career?
My current agent was sitting in the hall at the final and to this day we are a good team. In addition, the year as an assistant at the LSO was a great learning experience.
What has been your greatest achievement since winning the DFCC?
After a few years I had a stable career as a conductor- that is the greatest gift for me.
What advice would you give to future DFCC candidates?
Should you get to the final, relish the sound and the energy of the LSO!