First Prize – Igor Manasherov (Russia)
Igor Manasherov was born in 1974 in St. Petersburg and studied at the Glinka Choir School. He graduated summa cum laude from the St. Petersburg State Conservatory, where he has been studied choral conducting under Prof. Tatiana Khitrova and Symphonic and Operatic conducting under Prof. Ravil Martynov. During his studies he also participated in International Master Courses for conductors of Prof. Yuri Simonov in Budapest. In season 2006/2007 he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of Saratov Philharmonic Orchestra. With the Orchestra he toured to Spain and Italy. The same season Igor Manasherov went on tour to Norway with Murmansk Philharmonic Orchestra. As a guest conductor he works with philharmonic orchestras all over Russia. He is currently a conductor of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra.
Second Prize – Adrian Slywotzky (USA)
Adrian Slywotzky serves as Associate Conductor of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras and Teaching Fellow for the Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra. In the last year he won 2nd Prize in the Atlantic Coast International Conducting Competition in Portugal and was a semifinalist in the Felix Mendelssohn Conducting Competition in Greece. He has been Music Director of the University of Michigan Life Sciences Orchestra, Yale Medical Symphony Orchestra, and New Haven Chamber Orchestra. An avid exponent of contemporary music, he has premiered numerous compositions by young composers, and he directed the world premiere of Hugo Kauder’s magnum opus, the opera Merlin. Adrian recently completed a doctoral degree at the University of Michigan, where he studied with Kenneth Kiesler. He also holds degrees in conducting, violin performance, and architecture from Yale.
Third Prize & Orchestra Prize – Naoyuki Hayashi (Japan)
Naoyuki Hayashi started his professional conducting career before graduation from Tokyo University of the Arts, Faculty of Music, Department of Conducting on March 2011. In 2016 October, he participated in the 1st Edition of the Nino Rota International Conducting Competition held in Matera, Italy. He was reached the semi-final, being one of the last six from 143 applicants. Soon after the competition, he appeared in the introductory concert of the prize winners held in Taranto, Italy, and conducted the Orchestra ICO della Magna Grecia. At the concert he was awarded the Audience Prize.
Yuri Simonov Prize –
Sebastien Thomas Bagnoud (Switzerland)
Sebastien Bagnoud has conducted orchestras in Switzerland for over a decade. He is credited with founding the Sedunum String Orchestra. In 2014 he was engaged by the international festival Les Sommets du Classique in Crans-Montana CH with assembling and conducting its orchestra in residence. He made his opera debut in 2014 in Lausanne, with The Turn of the Screw of Britten. In 2015 he replaced the musical director of Opéra du Rhône CH, production of Rossini´s Guillaume Tell. In 2015 he was also named the assistant conductor at the Plzeň opera CZ. This season, he regularly conducted Onegin and Freischütz. He also collaborated with the following orchestras: Palermo Mediterranea Orchestra, Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia PKF, Akademičtí Komorní AKS Prague. He holds Bachelor and Master degrees in orchestra conducting from the HEMU Lausanne, and diploma DAS in conducting from the HKB Bern. He is currently completing a 2nd Master’s degree in orchestra and opera conducting in Prague HAMU.
Finalist – Daiki Michihata (Japan)
Daiki Michihata was awarded the honorary prize at the black sea opera competition 2015. He has worked as the assistant conductor at the New National Theatre Tokyo since 2014. After graduation from the Tokyo University of the Arts with the Ataka Award, he has mainly studied under and assisted with maestro Kurt Masur at Leipzig and Berlin as a recipient of the Mendelssohn Scholarship. At the same time he studied at the European Conducting Academy and obtained a diploma with distinction. He has conducted the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, the Central Aichi Symphony Orchestra, the Osaka Symphony Orchestra, the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Leipzig Symphony Orchestra, the Constanta Symphony Orchestra among others. He has worked as conductor and repetitor at various theatres in Japan such as Nissay Theatre, Niki-kai, Kanagawa Art Theatre and Biwako Hall.
Finalist – Kris Stroobants (Belgium)
Kris Stroobants started as a 14 year old at the Lemmensinstituut in Leuvenwhere he gained a first prize in harmony and studied trumpet and Baroque trumpet with Leon Pétré. He graduated at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels with a Masters’ degree in music, with an option in Musical Theory, Musical Notation; he also has a teaching certificate. Following this he studied orchestral conducting at the Royal Conservatory of Maastricht under the supervision of Jan Stulen. As a conductor, Kris directed opera, operetta, musical and theater productions. He has been involved in several productions and ensembles: VMT (Vlaams Muziek Theater), “Ceci n’est pas Carmen”, “Tegenlied”, 30CC Leuven, “Grenzeloos” (VLAMO and Koor; Stem en Danspunt), “OPERA/ een werkstuk”, (VLAMO and fABULEUS). He also conducted at the Conservatory Maastricht and lead several fanfares, wind bands and symphonic orchestras in Belgium and abroad with which he won several prizes.