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Maria Talbert
IU School of Music

Laura Baich
IU School of Music

Last modified: Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Maazel/Vilar Conductors' Competition to be at IU

The Indiana University School of Music will host the North American round of the Maazel/Vilar Conductors' Competition, an international program created to cultivate young conducting talent. The auditions will take place Dec. 4-7 at 4 p.m. in the Musical Arts Center and are free and open to the public.

Eight conductors will participate in this round, leading the IU Philharmonic Orchestra. Candidates were chosen from an overall field of 362 applicants representing 43 countries. Lorin Maazel selected those candidates who he felt demonstrated the most potential for a major conducting career. The conductors, listed with ages and nationalities, include:

Mikhail Agrest (26), United States/Russia (IU alumnus)

Alpaslan Ertungealp (32), Turkey/Hungary/United States

Michael Haigler (28), United States

Nizan Leibovich (32), Israel

Scott Parkman (28), United States

Awadagin Pratt (35), United States

Danail Rachev (31), Bulgaria

Julian Wachner (32), United States

Maazel will be joined by two other distinguished conductors, David Effron and Jorge Mester, to form the jury for this round. Effron serves on the IU conducting faculty and has been artistic director of the Brevard Music Festival since 1997. He was previously head of the orchestra program at the Eastman School of Music, and he has been an active guest conductor with orchestras and opera companies internationally. Mester, music director of the Mexico City Philharmonic and of the Pasadena Symphony, is also noted for his work as a teacher of a number of today's gifted young conductors. He has had very successful tenures as music director of the Aspen Music Festival for 21 years and of the Louisville Orchestra for 12 years.

The Maazel/Vilar Conductors' Competition, launched in January 2001 by Maazel and arts philanthropist Alberto Vilar, aims to address a critical need largely unserved by other music competitions: the training of the future artistic leadership of the world's great symphony orchestras and opera houses. Any or all of the finalists may be awarded the Competitions prize, which includes an intensive conducting fellowship with Maazel and other distinguished artists over a two- to three-year period, a cash award of $45,000, and select professional engagements. For more information about the regional rounds and participants, visit


Lorin Maazel, music director designate of the New York Philharmonic, has appeared regularly over the last half-century at the most prestigious concert halls and opera houses around the world, conducting more than 150 orchestras in over 5,000 opera and concert performances. He has held the positions of artistic director of the Deustche Oper Berlin (1965-71), music director of the Cleveland Orchestra (1972-82), general manager of the Vienna State Opera (1982-84), and music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (1988-96). In 1994, he became music director of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich, a position he will hold through 2002. The year 2000 saw worldwide celebrations of Maazel's 70th birthday in such cities as London, Berlin, Vienna, New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Madrid, Rome, Milan, Munich and Paris. Many of these special concerts honored his musical achievements not only as a conductor, but also as a respected composer and violin virtuoso.

Alberto Vilar is the founder and president of Amerindo Investment Advisors Inc., a leading technology investment firm. He is today's leading philanthropist of the performing arts and a major benefactor in the fields of health care and education. As part of his commitment to providing for the legacy of opera, classical music and ballet, he has a special interest in nurturing tomorrow's major artists by ensuring that they have the training and opportunities to realize their potential. In addition to being the principal benefactor of the Maazel/Vilar Conductors' Competition, he is the founder of the Vilar Young Artists Program at the Royal Opera House in London, the lead sponsor of the Metropolitan Opera's Young Artist Development Program in New York, and the founding supporter of young artists' programs at the Los Angeles Opera and the Mariinsky (Kirov) Opera and Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2001, he created the Alberto Vilar Global Fellows in the Performing Arts at New York University, modeled on the Rhodes scholarships, and made a major gift to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in part to establish the Vilar Institute for Arts Management.