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Prizewinners Announced at the Besançon Conducting Competition

The 25-year-old French conductor Swann Van Rechem was named the Grand Prix winner


The 58th edition of France's Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors has recently come to a close. Following an extensive pre-selection round, twenty candidates were chosen to appear in the live rounds.

Three candidates then proceeded to the Grand Final: Hae Lee (Korea, 32), Chao Dong (China, 25), and Swann Van Rechem (France, 25).

Swann Van Rechem was named the overall winner of the Grand Prix, and will receive €12,000 in prize money — as well as three months' artistic coaching from artistic adviser Aimée Paret, performance opportunities with the festival's partner orchestras, and the gift of a watch made by the French brand LIP.

Van Rechem also received the two "Coup de Coeur" prizes, which were voted for by the festival's orchestra and the public respectively.

Swann van Rechem studied percussion at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and conducting at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. He is currently completing a master's degree with Nicolás Pasquet and Ekhart Wycik at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar.

In 2023, the jury at Besançon comprised Yutaka Sado, Hans Graf, Juliette Kang, Yulia Kopylova, Alexandros Markeas, Jean-François Verdier, Débora Waldman, and Jacques Mercier.

"We are so focused on the music during the week of the competition that we almost forget why we are there!" Van Rechem said. "And when we can advance to the next round, we are especially happy to finally be able to lead what we have been preparing for months. Obviously, this Grand Prix gives me enormous pleasure and the rest will be important."

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