Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition

The Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition is one of the most important music competitions of its kind worldwide and is held in Bamberg, Germany. Conductors no older than 35 years may enter.


The competition was founded by the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, with the idea of helping young conductors at the start of their conducting careers. The first prize includes a cash prize and engagements with several orchestras.

It started in 2004 with Gustavo Dudamel’s decisive win and since then has taken place every three years.



The 3rd competition took place in Bamberg, Germany, from February 26 to March 7, 2010.

  • Jury
  • Marina Fistoulari-Mahler (honorary juror)
  • Jonathan Nott (president)
  • Herbert Blomstedt
  • John Carewe
  • Wolfgang Fink
  • Jonathan Mills
  • Jan Nast
  • Matthias Pintscher
  • A member of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra

  • Competitors
  • Elizabeth Askren
  • Cornelius Heine
  • Seokwon Hong
  • Yordan Kamdzhalov
  • Francesco Lanzillotta
  • Alexander Prior
  • Ainars Rubikis
  • Scott Seaton
  • Aziz Shokakimov
  • Lam Tran
  • Kosuke Tsunoda
  • Xenia Zharko

  • Repertoire
  • Joseph Haydn - Symphony No. 104
  • Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 4
  • Gustav Mahler - A selection from his lieder cycles
  • Matthias Pintscher - Towards Osiris
  • Anton Webern - Five pieces for orchestra, op.10
  • Jörg Widmann - Con brio


    From 6 to 13 May 2016 the Bamberg Symphony held The Mahler Competition for the fifth time.

    Out of 381 applicants from 64 countries, 14 candidates were invited to Bamberg, 11 male and 3 female.

    The members of the Jury were Jonathan Nott, President of the Jury and former Principal Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, Marina Mahler, the composer’s granddaughter and Honorary Member, Marcus Rudolf Axt, Chief Executive of the Bamberg Symphony, the conductors Jiří Bělohlávek, John Carewe and Sir Neville Marriner, the conductor and singer Barbara Hannigan, the conductor and composer Jörg Widmann, the President and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Deborah Borda, the artist consultant Martin Campbell-White, the Provost and Dean of The Juilliard School Ara Guzelimian and Boris-Alexander Jusa, a member of the Bamberg Symphony.

    The Competition’s repertoire consisted of works by Gustav Mahler, Joseph Haydn, Henri Dutilleux, Anton Webern, Jörg Widmann and Georg Friedrich Haas.