Besançon International Competition for young conductors Established in 1951 by the Besançon International Music Festival, the Besançon Competition soon became the most prestigious event of its kind. Open to all artists whatever their training or experience; no previous diploma is required.

The competition is open to all artists who wish to become professional conductor, regardless of their career, training or experience, no prior diploma is required.
After the preselection that take place around the world, only 20 candidates are admitted to the rounds with orchestra Besançon in September. Only one will win the Grand Prize !


The preselection rounds are without public or restricted to a limited public (schools, students…).

In 2015, they take place in April and May in front of two jury members, Dante Anzolini and Jorge Rotter, conductors.
Each candidate is called directing two pianists playing on two pianos symphonic works (transcribed for piano four hands). The candidate has a few minutes to convince the jury. The jury may request a non-stop running, or that the candidate work pianists.

Preselection program

  • Beethoven : 2nd symphonie in D major (opus 36)
  • Stravinsky : Le Sacre du Printemps 

Transcriptions for piano 4 hands, 2 pianos played.
It is recommended to use the transcribed scores and not the original symphonic works.

Dates of the preselections

The Competition reserves the right to reduce the number of days of trial in case of insufficient applications and limit nominations to 270 people.
To ensure good hearing conditions for each candidate, the Competition set up quotas in each city.

We recommend that you register as soon as possible. Registration are open until 29th January, 2015 according to availability.
A count will be set up on the website and updated two times a week.

Rounds with orchestra

From 14th to 20thSeptember, 2015 in Besançon

All the rounds with orchestra is open to the public. The rounds are conducted in the same way as the Festival concerts (reservations, concerts or the Kursaal, Theatre Besançon).

All candidates run the same orchestras, in the presence of all members of the jury.
Apart from the final round, the sessions are working sessions with the orchestra ; Candidates will therefore be taken to stop the orchestra and soloists to make them work certain passages. The works of the final round will be played in full and without interruption, like a concert.


Rounds Dates With Numbers of conductors
Welcome meeting (compulsory) Monday, Sept. 14th

1/8 final : Symphonic Tuesday, Sept.15th Orchestre Victor Hugo Franche-Comté 20 candidates max
1/4 final : Opera Wednesday, Sept. 16th Orchestre Victor Hugo Franche-Comté and soloist of the Atelier lyrique of the Opéra Bastille 12 candidates max
1/2 final : Concerto Thursday, Sept 17th Sinfonieorchester Basel et a soloist 6 candidates max
1/2 final : Oratorio Thursday, Sept 17th Sinfonieorchester Basel and theChoeur Sequenza 9.3
Final : Symphonic and creation Sunday, Sept 20th Sinfonieorchester Basel 3 candidates max


The program of the final rounds will be available in January, 2015.

Jury 2015

  •  Dennis Russel Davies (jury Chairman)
  • Guillaume Connesson (composer)
  • Jean-François Verdier (conductor)
  • Steven Sloane (conductor)
  • Jorge Rutter (conductor)
  • Dante  Anzolini (conductor)
  • Catherine Simonpietri (conductor)
  • TBD

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