In accord with the orchestraWith a dynamic stage presence and great passion, Delyana Lazarova captivated the public at a concert held in the nave of the former St. Peter's Church in Manchester. From Brahms Symphony No. 1 to Verdi's overture from The Force of Destiny, she created a musical happening which enthralled audience and musicians alike.
Delyana Lazarova wins the international Siemens-Hallé Conductors Competition 2020
"Winning this competition is an unbelievable feeling, I am extremely happy and feel very honored. It is a great privilege to work with Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra," said Delyana as she was presented with the award.
Last year, 287 talented conductors from 55 countries around the globe applied for this prestigious position. In addition to a cash prize of 15,000 GBP, Lazarova will also have the unique opportunity to fulfil a two-year engagement as Assistant to Hallé's principal conductor Sir Mark Elder, which also includes becoming the Music Director of the Hallé Youth Orchestra – a dream come true for any up-and-coming conductor!
Hosting this competition in cooperation with the Hallé Orchestra means we can give new talents a platform to demonstrate their many years of hard work and musical skills on an international stage.Stephan Frucht, Artistic Director of the Siemens Arts Program.
It's my job to inspire
Her role as Music Director of the Hallé Youth Orchestra is an important part of Delyana's new appointment. But what are the main differences between working with young musicians and a professional orchestra?
Delyana, who was born in Bulgaria, has this to say about the subject:
"I don't think working with a youth orchestra is much different to working with a professional orchestra. Part of my task as a conductor is to be a source of inspiration, no matter who is in front of me. And I find it really rewarding to work with young people, with young souls and young minds, and inspire them with music. It basically is an inspiration, but on a slightly purer level than with professional musicians."
When asked about her sense of the competition process itself, Delyana replied: "This competition was definitely special. Not least because of the reception I was met with: the Hallé and the Siemens Team were all very welcoming. I immediately felt at home."
The highlight of a long partnership
The collaboration between Siemens and the Hallé has a long tradition. We have already been working for two decades with this renowned orchestra, one of the best symphonic ensembles in Great Britain. The Siemens Hallé International Conductors Competition is the culmination of a series of successful projects initiated during years of cooperation.
The commitment of the Siemens Arts Program has now raised the profile of this alliance to an international standard with considerably more global coverage.
Our association with the Hallé Orchestra is a remarkable one: Not only do they share our dedication to excellence, they also represent an important part of our involvement in the community of Manchester. This competition with its novel digital challenge is a wonderful example of how technology and art can work together and profit from each other to create something original with a cutting edge.Carl Ennis, CEO of Siemens UK.
Conducting via avatar
In keeping with Siemens' reputation as a leading technology company, there was also an innovative component in the form of a "digital challenge". Candidates had to successfully complete this task in order to move into the finals. It was designed to test above all their ability to work with new, unknown elements – not least because the focus on digitalization is not only at Siemens, but is a phenomenon which is also crossing over into the world of opera.
And never was there a conductor's competition as digital as this one, even attracting the attention of the Times newspaper in London. David Sanderson, Arts Correspondent, wrote that "the jerky conducting of the Siemens Avatar in front of the Hallé Orchestra could be the future, much as Stravinsky once was."
The event location was also extraordinary, namely the recently renovated Anglican church of Hallé St. Peter's, now fully restored and equipped with the latest Siemens technology. This is where historic charm meets modern infrastructure, the best requisite for an outstanding concert with an excellent audio experience.
At one with the music – the real prize
"Today's performance has given me immense joy," said Delyana after her performance in the final. "Making music with the Hallé Orchestra - that's a very special thing. For me, that final moment when we finished the concert, was such a rewarding experience that I didn’t need anything else. Winning is great but making music at such a high level and feel at one with the musicians in perfect harmony – that's what’s truly special for me."