No Top Prize Awarded at Besançon Conducting Competition

For the first time since 2003, the jury unanimously decided not to award first prize, on account of the finalists' performances being too diverse



The final rounds of the Besançon Conducting Competition were held in eastern France from September 13 to 18, 2021.

While the jury was impressed by the three finalists, it nonetheless unanimously concluded that it was impossible to differentiate between them, because their performances were so markedly different from one another.

Instead, each of the three finalists has been awarded a special mention, which comes with a prize of 3,000 Euros. The Grand Prix was to be worth 12,000 Euros, however.

The French candidate, 29-year-old Chloé Dufresne, scooped both of the "Coup de Coeur" prizes, one voted for by the orchestra and the other voted for by the public.

The President of the Jury, Paul Daniel, outlined each finalist's strengths as follows:

  • "Jong-Jie Yin, the youngest of the Finalists, had a very good mastery of the music, considering his young age of 21.

  • Deun Lee’s enthusiasm and communication with the artists — especially during the singing rounds — in addition to his regularity throughout the competition.

  • The originality and freshness of Chloé Dufresne’s conducting intentions, and especially her very good understanding of Camille Pépin’s work in creation."


The three finalists conducted the Orchestre National de Lyon in a performance of Aux confins de l’Orage, a work by the French composer Camille Pépin that was commissioned especially for the competition. Each candidate also presented an interpretation of Sibelius's Fifth Symphony.

You can view the entire final, as well as the awards ceremony, below: