New Malko Academy for young conducting talents opens in DR Koncerthuset

DR Koncerthuset in Copenhagen is now presenting a two-year educational programme for classical talents from the whole of Europe, offering masterclasses with a.o. Fabio Luisi, Chief Conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra.

  • Chief conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Fabio Luisi, at a masterclass for the Danish Malko Conductor School in 2021. (Foto: Per Morten Abrahamsen Per Morten Abrahamsen)
  • Chief conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Fabio Luisi, has an important role at the Malko Academy for Young Conductors. (Foto: Per Morten Abrahamsen Per Morten Abrahamsen)
  • Chief conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Fabio Luisi, at a masterclass for the Danish Malko Conductor School in 2021. (Foto: Per Morten Abrahamsen Per Morten Abrahamsen)
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Many young conductors all over the world have a special rapport with DR Koncerthuset. For it is here that the major Malko Competition for Young Conductors is held every third year, bringing together some of the world’s leading talents on their way towards an international breakthrough – in front of hundreds of thousands of concert-goers, listeners and watchers.

In the coming years, even more young classical talents will turn their gaze towards DR Koncerthuset for their future aspirations. For in autumn 2022 DR will open a new, international school for young talented musicians who are 18-25 years of age and really would like to stand on a conductor’s podium, but as yet have not had the opportunity to do so.

The new school is to be called the Malko Academy for Young Conductors, and it is a fresh, ambitious venture in DR Koncerthuset’s strategy to develop a strong new generation of young conductors. The house already has the Danish Malko School of Conducting for a slightly younger age group of Danish students, who each week receive teaching and gain inspiration from its professional artists, choirs and orchestras.

Earlier up onto the podium

According to the manager of the future Malko Academy for Young Conductors, Dominik Falenski, the idea behind the new international school of conducting is to discover exceptional musical talents earlier who possess the ‘conductor gene’, but have not yet had time, opportunity or financing to really give the profession a try.

‘We know from the Malko Competition that most young conductors come from a academy of music background where they have been busy honing their skills on their respective instruments, and who only late on have enough extra energy to take on the field of conducting. With the new Malko Academy we would like to help such young people get up onto the conductor’s podium much earlier – possibly while they are still studying an instrument in their home country.’

Fabio Luisi as front figure

The curriculum at the new Malko Academy for Young Conductors will include such classical subjects as aural training, piano and musical theory. But the most important thing is that the young people will have the chance of conducting proper, professional musicians. This is the opinion of who is looking forward to giving the younger generation some of the opportunities he himself never had as a young conductor.

‘It is absolutely crucial to the future of classical music that we gain a new generation of proficient young conductors who can carry the music further,’ Fabio Luisi says. ‘When I was young, I really had to struggle to get proper teaching and the opportunity to test my abilities in front of a real orchestra. So I feel a truly great responsibility for forming and raising a new generation – via the Malko Competition, the Danish Malko School of Conducting and the new international Malko Academy for Young Conductors.’

New co-operation behind the initiative

This new and ambitious initiative, building on DR Koncerthuset’s efforts to support young talented future conductors, has been made possible by forging a partnership with the Swiss cultural foundation Fondation Caris. The cooperation with Fondation Caris enables the international Malko students to have the very best opportunity to complete a two-year educational programme in Copenhagen by covering tuition, travel and accommodation.

Kim Bohr, Head of DR Koncerthuset, Living Music & DR P2, says the following about the new cooperation:

‘With an initiative like the Malko Academy for Young Conductors we at DR Koncerthuset seek to support the most promising musical talents from all of Europe who are on their way to becoming conductors. So it is absolutely vital that it is not the financial situation of the applicants that decides whether or not they are able to participate in the educational programme in Copenhagen. We are only able to realise such high ambitions via external funding, and therefore we are extremely grateful that Fondation Caris has entered whole-heartedly into the cooperation to create a new opportunity for talented young musicians, one that is completely unique in the world.’

The Malko Academy for Young Conductors will open on 2 September 2022 at DR Koncerthuset. Applications may be made from 3 March.