30-year-old British conductor Finnegan Downie Dear has been awarded 1st prize at the 2020 Mahler International Conducting Competition – in Bamberg, Germany.
A graduate of the University of Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music, Finnegan has previously led performance with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Resonanz, BBC Concert Orchestra, RTÉ Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the Slovak State Philharmonic.
He will receive € 30,000 - plus a number of performance opportunities with the Bamberg Symphony.
"Finnegan Downie Dear shows a very rare combination of an open heart and a brilliant mind in his excellent music making ... " this year's jury chair has said.
"He is able to evoke truly magical moments in Mahler as well as in the works of contemporary music, as if there can be nothing more natural to do ... at this time we need such beautiful art, made with authenticity and sincerity, more than ever before."
Second prize has been awarded to German conductor Thomas Jung.
Joint-3rd prize was awarded to: Wilson Ng, Harry Ogg and Katharina Wincor.
Open to international conductors 35 years of age and younger, this year’s competition continued as planned – but in strict compliance with Germany’s COVID-19 social distancing and hygiene regulations.
The 2020 jury comprises: Marina Mahler, Jakub Hrusa, Pamela Rosenberg, John Carewe, Martin Campbell-White, Ara Guzelimian, Barbara Hannigan, Lahav Shani, Juanjo Mena, Mark Stringer, Miroslav Srnka, Marcus Axt and Martin Timphus.
Previous 1st prize winners include: Gustavo Dudamel, Ainārs Rubiķis, Lahav Shani and Kahchun Wong.