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Euan Shields has Won the Siemens-Hallé International Conducting Competition

Upon winning the competition, the Japanese-American conductor has been appointed as the new Assistant Conductor to Sir Mark Elder at the Hallé


Conductor Euan Shields, aged 24, has emerged triumphant from a field of 200 candidates to be named the winner of the 2023 Siemens-Hallé International Conducting Competition. He receives a two-year engagement as the Assistant Conductor to Sir Mark Elder at the Hallé Orchestra, the directorship of the Hallé Youth Orchestra, and a number of guest appearances with other orchestras.

The Second Prize was won by Agata Zając, while Pablo Urbina took Third Prize. In the final round, the three candidates conducted the Hallé in a program of works by Sibelius, Mozart, Elgar, and Stravinsky.

Born in Osaka, Japan, Euan Shields divided his childhood between Japan and San Francisco. Originally a cellist, he studied at UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music with Antonio Lysy. Shields recently received his master's degree from The Juilliard School, where he studied with David Robertson.

He has worked with ensembles including the Juilliard Lab Orchestra, Juilliard’s AXIOM Ensemble, the Hallé Orchestra, and the South Denmark Philharmonic, and has worked as the assistant conductor to John Adams, Xian Zhang, Jeffrey Milarsky, and Jonathon Heyward.

The jury of the competition was chaired by Sir Mark Elder and Stephan Frucht, the artistic director of the Siemens Arts Program. The rest of the jury comprised David Butcher, Anna Hirst, Angela Dixon, Sergey Smbatyan, and Carola Reul.

"It was a wonderful experience to participate in this competition, and I am honored to receive the opportunity to work with Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra in the future," Shields said. "Over the three days of intense music making, I was able to bond with and learn from so many fantastic musicians from the Hallé Orchestra and Hallé Youth Orchestra, as well as the seven other candidates from across the globe."

"I’m very grateful to Siemens and the Hallé Orchestra for creating such a supportive atmosphere which empowered every candidate to be able to fully express themselves personally and musically."

"It has been an enthralling three days and a privilege to observe such wonderful talent,” said Elder. "Choosing the winner was very difficult, but I’m delighted to welcome Euan Shields as the new Assistant Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra and look forward to working with him."

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