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Conducting contest finalists revealed

Tuesday 22 June, 2021

The four conductors who will compete in the final of the Brass Band Conductors’ Association competition have been revealed.

The 2021 event is being held in an online format, with entrants submitting videos of themselves conducting before the final shortlist was revealed. Showcasing their skills with the baton will be Alexander Webb, CJ Wu, Denis Salvini and Gaddiel Dombrowner.

Alan Duguid, BBCA panel member, said: “The field of 33 entrants has been of an exceptionally high standard, with videos demonstrating great conducting skills across a wide range of ensembles and musical genres. The entries were so strong we could not limit the final to just three so we have selected four exceptional candidates to go through to the final round.”

Alexander is the assistant conductor for BBC Philharmonic and RLPO and the current music director at Poulton-Le-Fylde Band. He has previously won the Best Conductor award at UniBrass.

CJ has conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra and many others including the Bucharest Royal Camerata Orchestra, South Bohemian Orchestra, Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra and Brasov Philharmonic. She has been invited to an international masterclass led by Riccardo Muti, Daniele Gatti and Marin Alsop.

Meanwhile, Denis is the principal conductor of Orchestra Fiati di Valle Camonica. He has achieved success in competitions with many bands and ensembles across Europe and is a founder and board member of DIBA (Italian Band Directors Association).

Gaddiel has held posts including that of principal guest conductor of the Kunming International Philharmonic (China), and the Music Fest Perugia (Italy) conducting faculty. He has achieved success in conducting competitions and has conducted season concerts with a number of national orchestras, most recently the Ashdod Symphony Orchestra.

The final will be judged by a panel that includes Paul Holland, BBCA south west regional representative and musical director of the Flowers Band, and Brendan Breslin, former winner of the competition and current BBCA Irish representative. Special guest adjudicator Bjarte Engeset is a conductor of international acclaim and is music director of the Royal Norwegian Navy Orchestra. In the brass band world Bjarte has worked with both Bjørsvik Brass and Eikanger-Bjørsvik Musikklag.

The winner will take home a cash prize of £500 and a year’s free BBCA membership. The three top finalists will each receive a glass plaque to keep. The adjudication of the final will be broadcast on Sunday, June 27 at 2pm on the BBCA Facebook page.