Congratulations to this year’s Finalists: Alexandre Bloch, Ben Gernon and Stamatia Karampini. Here’s a little background information:
Driven by communicative enthusiasm and energy, Alexandre Bloch is the founding musical director of Orchestre Antipodes, which he created in 2011. Gathering young talented artists, this orchestra aims at renewing the dialogue between the audience and performers.
This summer, Alexandre participated to the Tanglewood Music Center (USA) where he had the opportunity to work with great conductors such as Charles Dutoit, André Prévin, Raphaël de Burgos, benefited from the presence of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and performed with famous artists as Emmanuel Ax.
Alexandre Bloch’s conducting was revealed as one of “2012′s Talents” by the ADAMI (French society for the collective administration of performer’s rights). Alexandre Bloch has also drawn the attention of great figures of orchestral conducting, among whom Michael Tilson Thomas, Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, Sir Marc Elder, Esa-Pekka Salonen.
He has been selected to take part in numerous international competitions (Solti competition – sept 2012, Panula Competition – Nov. 2012, Prokofiev Competition – 2013). In addition, Alexandre Bloch has been invited by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Mariss Jansons to be the conducting assistant of an upcoming production in October 2012.
In March 2012, Alexandre Bloch was awarded the two-year position of Junior Fellow in Conducting at the prestigious Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, which will allow him to spend two musical seasons working with orchestras such as the Hallé, the BBC Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Manchester Camerata.
Born in 1985, Alexandre Bloch first graduated with a diploma in cello performance in Orléans. He entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris in 2006, taking the writing and then the conducting classes. Between 2007 and 2010, he graduated from Thierry Escaich’s class with a Degree of Harmony and 20th Century Writing, as well as a Degree of Fugue and Form. He is currently completing his Master of Conducting in Zsolt Nagy’s class.
Alexandre Bloch is an elected Laureate of the SYLFF Tokyo Foundation (Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund), and his performance already includes venues in prestigious concert halls such as the Tchaïkovski Concert Hall in Moscow and the Salle Pleyel in Paris.
He has also conducted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Porto, the Festival String Lucerne Orchestra, the Orchestre de Bretagne, the Orchestre des Pays de Savoie, the Orchestre d’Auvergne, the Orchestre de la Hongrie du Nord (Miskolc), the Janacek Philharmony (Ostrava), the Orchestre des Lauréats du Conservatoire de Paris, the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Orchestra, as well as the Royal College of Music Orchestra.
Ben held the Conducting Fellowship at the Guildhall School and is studying with Sian Edwards, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Peebles and Martyn Brabbins. He made his BBC Proms debut in 2009 conducting Tansy Davies’ Composer’s Portrait Concert for BBC Radio 3 and made his debut with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in the St Magnus Festival, Orkney (2011). He has been invited to return to Orkney to conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 2013 as well as receiving an invitation to conduct another SCO concert in Aberdeen, October 2012. Ben also recently made his debut with the London Sinfonietta in their Nancarrow Portrait concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall (February 2011) and will be conducting them on tour in Malmo.
He has conducted extensively for LSO Discovery including LSO On Track orchestral projects and workshops and covering rehearsals for the LSO Youth Choir. He also engages with the Young Person’s Concert Foundation conducting their school’s concerts and was invited to conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra rehearsal for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee flotilla concert.
Ben has been shadowing LSO conductors for the past two years, including Valery Gergiev for whom he will conduct Brahms 2 in October with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis and Sir Mark Elder and was selected for the LSO’s conducting masterclass with Sir Colin Davis in 2011. He also received a scholarship to study at the Dartington International Summer School 2012 with Ilan Volkov, Nicholas Kraemer and Pierre-André Valade, with whom he studied at the London Sinfonietta Academy in 2011.
Ben is the principal conductor of the Southwark Youth Orchestra conducting projects with the Philharmonia, Southbank Sinfonia and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Barbican and Guildhall Staff Chorus and Arnold Camerata, with whom he will make his Bath International Music Festival debut in 2014.
Stamatia Karampini was born in Greece, where she studied the piano and cello. Even though she comes from a family of civil engineers, her strong proclivity towards classical music was obvious when she started conducting youth orchestras and choirs at the early age of 13.
Karampini studied conducting under Hermann Michael at Munich’s Hochschule für Musik, where she graduated as youngest in her class with high honors specializing in opera conducting. She went on to receive a Master’s degree from the same institution. After two more years as a master’s student of Prof. Jorma Panula at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, she received the postgraduate Diploma of conducting, specializing in 20th and 21st century music. Amongst her teachers also: Yuri Termikanov, Valery Gergiev, Esa Pekka Salonen, Andrey Boreyko and Zubin Mehta.
As part of St Petersburg’s 300th anniversary celebrations in 2003, Karampini received an honorary degree from the Prokofiev Organization for her exceptional performances of this composer with the St Petersburg Philharmonic. She is recipient of various awards and distinctions in international conducting competitions including the Nikolai Malko competition, the Prokofieff competition, the Mitropoulos competition and the Pedrotti competition. At the age of 19 she won the 1st Prize at the National conducting competition Alexandra Trianti in Athens, Greece. Most recently in 2011 she was awarded the “prix du public” as finalist at the “52. Concours international de jeunes chefs d´orchestre à Besancon”.
During the last 10 years, Stamatia Karampini has held the baton for a variety of leading European orchestras, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra in Sweden, the Orquesta Simfonica de Barcelona, Komische Oper Berlin, Orchestra and Choir Giuseppe Verdi in Milan, the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre National de France. In these and many other venues, she has proven her remarkable range, which extends from the German and Viennese Schools of Mahler, Brahms and R. Strauss to Bartók, Liszt, Debussy, Sibelius, the Russian composers: Stravinsky, Prokofieff, Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich, and first time performances of contemporary music. In addition, Stamatia Karampini´s operatic repertoire is also extensive. In May-June 2013 she will be in charge of the Frankfurt State Opera Production of Verdi´s “Un Ballo in Maschera” with Joseph Calleja in the main role.