The last two years of Mahler celebrations with huge interest in performances of his works all over the world proved once again how right he was when he anticipated that his time was still to come. The Bamberg Symphony Orchestra with its concerts, its Mahler-cycle on CD and its Biennale »The late Mahler« were excellent exponents of his music - not just a focus on his composition but also his merits as a conductor with contemporary understanding shining through his work. We have seen in a recent poll of international conductors that Gustav Mahler is identified as one of the most important interpreters on the podium - which is even more significant as we judge his legacy only from hearsay.
The innovative power of Gustav Mahler as a composer and conductor, the truth of his esthetic principles and his openness to the »world« in all its facets are missionary statements for the International Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, which has proved to be an experience of immeasurable value for young conductors, both male and female, on their path to a career as an artist. Just as Mahler reflected the tensions between the past and the future, so great tradition, classic modernity and contemporary avantgarde are demanded in the competition’s repertoire. What a wonderful challenge for aspiring talents to develop this choice of works together with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in deep communication with the jury, musicians and other participants!
As in years past it is a great pleasure for me to follow this competition in such an inspiring atmosphere. I thank the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra heartily and wish all those interested in this competition good luck with their application!