YOUNG AUSTRALIAN CONDUCTOR WINS MAJOR INTERNATIONAL PRIZE
27 May 2011
Australian conductor, Daniel Smith, has won a prestigious prize in the 5th Witold Lutosławski International Competition for Young Conductors, held in Białystok, Poland once every 5 years.
After 3 elimination rounds, competing against 184 conductors from 43 countries, Daniel was awarded the Orchestra's Choice Prize for the Best Conductor, decided after a vote by all the musicians in the Orchestra.
Daniel was presented with a one-metre-high prize statue and an honorary Diploma of Music with Distinction and, as a result of his performance, he has been invited to conduct several European orchestras.
Originally a flautist and Principal Flute with the SBS Radio & Television Orchestra, Daniel studied conducting and took a Master of Music degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2005-6 with Professor Imre Palló, who says:
"I've kept in touch with Daniel ever since he left The Con and I saw him in Sydney just before he left for this competition. He has a fine musical talent and he has also the vital ability to manage and build up his future career as a conductor."
The Dean & Principal of the Conservatorium, Professor Kim Walker, said: "I take great pride in knowing that The Con is producing such fine musicians, who are beginning to achieve well-deserved recognition on the international stage."
The following is an extract from the review of Daniel's performance in the final round of the Lutoslawski Competition.
"Leading the orchestra, listening attentively, he tries to be present in every note, he strengthens and becomes the image of each phrase, from time to time he moderates, he makes direct contact with the musicians when he is satisfied, giving them to know that he is pleased with their work. When someone's phrase or note is out of tune, you cannot hide - Daniel Smith points to his ear, smiling at the same time - you immediately know that he wants attention to intonation. He speaks little, and if he does, you want to listen to him, because his words are to the point, not to discharge the tension. He never gives lectures, rather gives a parable. For example, sensing inattention in one of the most important solo parts of the funeral march in "Eroica", the melody in the trio, he changed the mood instantly. He stopped the orchestra and said: "this part is the only moment of hope, when all faults in life ... are forgotten." Prior to the finale - in a brief announcement of the mood: "Here is completely different, here is something fun for children." And indeed, all the musicians expressed joy - lightness, elasticity of sound, tempo."
Contact: Mick Le Moignan
Phone: 02 9351 1385