We are thrilled to announce that CCM student Olivier Ochanine has returned home from Budapest with first prize in hand from the inaugural Antal Doráti International Conducting Competition. Ochanine is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in orchestral conducting under the tutelage of CCM Professor Mark Gibson.
In addition to a cash prize of €1.500, Ochanine has been offered a career-advancing contract proposal with Contempoars International Artists Agency.
This exciting new competition for conductors is open to all ages and nationalities. Over the course of six days competitors advanced through five rounds in total. While the eliminatory round welcomed an unlimited number of applicants, jurors only advanced 30 people to the first round. By the end of the competition, jurors eliminated all but three outstanding contestants who advanced to the final round.
In the final round, contestants rehearsed for 60 minutes with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra MÁV. Each rehearsed two pieces, Béla Bartók’s Hungarian Peasant Songs Sz.100, and either Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 movement I, Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 movement IV or Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l’après midi d’un faune. Directly following the rehearsal each contestant performed a work from their assigned repertoire in concert for a public audience.
The competition was judged by some of Europe’s finest conductors:
- Tamás Vásáry (Hungary), president of the jury
- György Lendvai, managing director of Budapest Symphony Orchestra MÁV
- Pietro Borgonovo (Italy), artistic director of Giovine Orchestra Genovese and chief conductor of Orchestra Sinfonica di Savona
- Vittorio Parisi, teacher of orchestra conducting at the Conservatorio G. Verdi in Milan
- Márton Rácz (Hungary), conductor, music director, Eszterháza Centre of Culture, Research and Festivals, Esterházy Castle; Szigligeti Theatre, Szolnok
About Olivier Ochanine
Regularly praised for his charisma on and off the podium as well as for his breadth of orchestral repertoire, Olivier Ochanine is the youngest music director of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra in the orchestra’s history.
A native of Paris, Ochanine began music studies in France. He continued his studies in the US, and expanded his focus to orchestral conducting, taking up graduate studies and attending master classes with some of the best conducting mentors, including Mark Gibson, Gustav Meier, Marin Alsop, Larry Livingston, Robert Baldwin, John Barnett, John Farrer and Achim Holub. He obtained his Master of Music degree in Conducting from the University of Southern California (USC), where he was given the Conducting Department Award in 2003. In 2009, he began his doctoral studies in orchestral conducting at CCM.
A flutist and bassist, Ochanine earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Kentucky. He has also played as bassist for the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra.
Ochanine has been invited to the California Conductors Institute several times. In 2009, Ochanine was among a handful of conductors nationally to be invited by Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop to conduct in the Cabrillo Music Festival in Santa Cruz, California and to participate in a conducting workshop. He has also been a participant in CCM’s prestigious conducting workshops.
Ochanine’s term with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, the nation’s leading orchestra, started with the 2010-11 performance season. Under his leadership, the orchestra has performed numerous Philippine premieres. In the Philippines, Ochanine is an active clinician, leading chamber music master classes at schools; he has also led conducting master classes for the Cultural Center of the Philippines. As part of his outreach mission, Ochanine serves as head visiting conductor for the Orchestra of the Filipino Youth, a program geared toward talented youth that stem from severely unfortunate financial backgrounds. Ochanine is a strong believer in advocacy and heritage, and recently won a campaign he spearheaded to save the best performance hall in Manila – the Philamlife Theater – from demolishment by a large commercial developer.
Olivier is second prizewinner in the 2015 London Classical Soloists International Conducting Competition, where he conducted the orchestra in various Beethoven symphonies. He was also selected as semi-finalist for the American Prize (2015) in the Professional Orchestra Conducting division. Finalists are announced later in the year.
Guest conducting appearances have led him to the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, CCM orchestras and regular engagements with the Sichuan Philharmonic Orchestra. Upcoming engagements include a return to the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra and a Russian debut with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra.
Learn more about Olivier Ochanine by visiting www.olivierochanine.com.
Learn more about CCM’s Department of Orchestral Studies by visiting ccm.uc.edu/music/orchestra.