How did you prepare for the Competition, both musically and mentally?
I remember studying the scores very well. I had never done a conducting competition before and I had never before worked with an orchestra of the level of the LSO – so the experience was hard to prepare for. I think the only way to prepare is to have a strong musical vision, to really make music in the moment and to trust these fantastic musicians!
How would you describe your experience of the Competition and what were the main things you learned from the DFCC?
The Competition gave me the opportunity to learn new repertoire and to learn from my colleagues. But what is more important is the experience of music making with these wonderful musicians. To feel how they react, listen, breathe and sound together – this experience goes very deep into your soul. It is something you cannot learn, you really have to feel and experience it with your heart, mind and soul!
How did you feel on the day of the final round?
I felt very happy and of course, I was nervous as well but as I never expected to be in the final round, I really could let myself fall into the music and enjoy my time with the LSO.
How did it feel having only one short rehearsal on the day with the LSO?
For me it felt very good. The LSO is such a great orchestra – you don’t need to talk very much, they react on everything that you show them so you really can focus on making music!
What advice would you give to future DFCC candidates?
Always make music! Be well prepared but you have to trust the musicians and make music with them!