Besancon (AFP)

Nodoka Okisawa, 32, of Japan, on Saturday won the 56th International Competition for Young Conductors of the Besançon Music Festival, one of the most prestigious in the world, announced the organizers.

She is the first woman to win the Grand Prix of Besançon since the Italian Silvia Massarelli tied in 1993.

In addition to the 2019 Grand Prix Direction, awarded by the jury chaired by the French conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier, Nodoka Okisawa, also won the prize of the public's heart and the coup de coeur of the orchestra.

Conductor delicate and precise, it preceded in the final the French Victor Jacob, 28, and the Chinese Li Haoran, 33 years.

Victor Jacob, already semi-finalist in 2017, has been awarded a "special mention of the jury" awarded for the first time by the festival, to "salute his magnificent work".

The three young conductors competed in the direction of the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern performing "Constellations" on Saturday, a world premiere of the French composer Eric Tanguy, written especially for the competition, and the symphonic poem "Death and Transfiguration" (op.24 ) by Richard Strauss.

Nodoka Okisawa has distinguished herself in the past by winning the 1st prize and the special prize at the Tokyo International Music Competition and the 3rd prize at the Jeunesses Musicales International Competition in Bucharest.

She studied at the Tokyo University of the Arts, the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin and the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Foundation.

The Grand Prix Besançon competition is endowed with 12,000 euros, a three-month artistic accompaniment to begin his career and possible engagements with partner orchestras of the contest.

Twenty candidates, selected from 270 contenders in Beijing, Montreal, Berlin and Besançon, took part in the final events of the competition from 16 to 21 September.

Founded in 1951 and organized every two years, the Besançon Executive Competition is "the most complete and varied in the world with, in four days, symphonic, opera, concerto, oratorio and a contemporary contemporary world ", says the director of the festival, festival president Jean-Michel Mathé.

Gerd Albrecht, Seiji Ozawa, Michel Plasson, Zdenek Macal and Lionel Bringuier are some of the most outstanding laureates.

© 2019 AFP