The Korea Herald


US conductor wins top prize at inaugural KSO International Conducting Competition

By Im Eun-byel

Published : Nov. 15, 2021 - 17:10

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US conductor Elias Peter Brown (KSO) US conductor Elias Peter Brown (KSO)
US conductor Elias Peter Brown won the top prize at the first KSO International Conducting Competition organized by the Korean Symphony Orchestra.

Brown, 26, clinched the win with his performance of Debussy’s “La Mer” (The Sea), L. 109, CD. 111 at the finals of the competition held Sunday at the Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul.

A graduate of Yale University and the Royal Academy of Music in England, he won third place at the Khachaturian International Conducting Competition and took the second prize at the Lake Como Conducting Competition earlier this year.

Brown also received the orchestra prize Sunday, which was given in memory of the 20th anniversary of the passing of KSO’s inaugural director Hong Yeon-taek.

Korean conductor Yoon Han-kyeol, 27, and Chinese conductor Linhan Cui, 27, came in second and third, respectively. Yoon also received the audience prize.

The three winners will receive prize money totaling 80 million won ($67,739).

The awardees will be given opportunities to conduct at national and international concerts held by the KSO, Seoul Arts Center, Arts Center Incheon, Tongyeong International Music Foundation and more. One of the awardees will also get the chance to become an associate conductor of the KSO.

A total of 166 contestants from 42 countries applied for the competition. Some 12 contestants from six countries made it to the main rounds and competed against each other, taking the baton for performances of contemporary music works, concertos and symphonies.

The KSO International Conducting Competition, launched this year to discover and support young talents, will be held every three years.