The young Swiss conductor Lorenzo Viotti has won the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Awards, an award made at the weekend after he conducted the Camerata Salzburg. The jury, headed by Dennis Russell Davies, selected Viotti after a contest that had seen 65 entrants. The winner, who must be under 35, receives a cash prize of €15,000 and will also have the opportunity to conduct the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra at a concert, in Salzburg’s Felsenreitschule, in August next year.
‘It was a privilege to observe three young gifted conductors at work this week. All three have a brilliant future in front of them. But it was the feeling of the jury that the winner – Lorenzo Viotti – is at this moment in his development a few steps ahead of the others in being ready to launch what we all feel it is going to be an important career,’ commented Davies. Viotti himself said that ‘it is an incredible joy and an honour to be at the Festival this week with this fantastic orchestra. I felt a special relationship with the Camerata Salzburg from the very first moment. That is why I did not feel any pressure during the competition. I am very proud, and I will not forget this experience.’
Viotti comes from a musical Italian-Swiss family – his father was the conductor Marcello Viotti. He studied in Lyon and later in Vienna where he performed as a percussionist in the Vienna Philharmonic. He made his conducting debut two years ago and has conducting dates this coming season with the Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona, the BBC Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de France. He will also conduct a new production of La belle Hélène by Jacques Offenbach at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.
Viotti also won the Cadaques International Conducting Competittion in 2013.
[Photo: Salzburg Festival / Marco Borrelli]