CCM alum Avishay Shalom wins first prize at the Nikisch Competition

The international conducting competition is known for its wide-ranging and challenging repertoire

Conductor, arranger and CCM alumnus Avishay Shalom (MM Orchestral Conducting, ‘16) received first prize at the second edition of the Arthur Nikisch International Conducting Competition, which was held from June 6-11, 2022, in Bulgaria.

A promotional image announcing Avishay Shalom as the first prize winner of 2022's Nikisch Competition.

The competition – which is held live and presented in cooperation with Sofia Philharmonic, Pleven Philharmonic, Opéra Grand Avignon, Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania, and Nizhny Novgorod Opera and Ballet – is designed to help emerging conductors develop their careers. The repertoire of the competition, ranging from vocal to symphonic music, is intended to deeply test the knowledge and the artistry of the admitted conductors.

The Nikisch Competition’s prizes consist of professional opportunities with some of the most prestigious institutions of the countries involved, including Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra and Pleven Philharmonic Orchestra in Bulgaria, Opéra Grand Avignon in France, Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania in Italy and Nizhny Novgorod Academic Theatre in Russia. The members of the jury are well known musicians from Europe, Russia and the US.

Shalom was one of three conductors invited to participate in the Nikisch Competition’s Final Concert at Bulgaria Hall on June 11. In a statement announcing Shalom’s first prize win, the Nikisch Competition organizers declared, “With an extraordinary professionalism, solid preparation and deep sensitivity, Avishay has demonstrated a continuous growth during the competition and has been awarded the first prize with a unanimous decision! We are wishing you the best for all your commitments and we look forward to meeting you again soon in Bulgaria for your future concerts with Sofia Philharmonic and Pleven Philharmonic!”

The competition is named after Arthur Nikisch, who is celebrated as one of the founders of modern conducting, with deep analysis of the score, a simple beat, and a charisma that let him bring out the full sonority of the orchestra and plumb the depths of the music. Nikisch was considered an outstanding interpreter of the music of Bruckner, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Liszt. Johannes Brahms praised Nikisch’s performance of his Fourth Symphony as “quite exemplary, it’s impossible to hear it any better.”

About Avishay Shalom

Currently based in the German city of Mönchengladbach, Israeli conductor Avishay Shalom is a DMA student in orchestral conducting CCM. He completed his Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting at CCM after earning a bachelor’s degree at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. Between the years 2015-17 Shalom was the conductor of the graduate studio opera at CCM, where he conducted Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea, Rossini’s Il Signor Bruschino and Conrad Susa’s Transformations. In Summer 2017 he was an assistant for Marcus Bosch in the Festival in Heidenheim in Verdi's Opera Un Giorno di Regno. From 2017-18, he was part of the exchange program at the Munich School of Music, where he conducted orchestras such as the Munich Symphony Orchestra, the Hofkapelle Munich and the Georgian Chamber Orchestra Ingolstadt.

Shalom was the musical director of Chamber Choir Consortium Musicum Berlin and in July 2019 he served as the Kapellmeister of the Berlin Opera Academy production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Shalom is supported by the REC Music Foundation, he was a semi-finalist in the Luigi Mancinelli Conducting Competition in Orvieto, Italy, and he is a recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation award for orchestral conductors between the years 2014-16.

Since 2020-21 Shalom has served as the repetiteur and conductor of the Opernstudio Niederrhein, where he has conducted Donizetti's Don Pasquale, Wagner's first act of Die Walküre and Welttheater Mozart.

About CCM Orchestral Studies

CCM offers graduate degrees in orchestral conducting at the masters (MM) and doctoral (DMA) levels. Under the tutelage of CCM Professor Mark Gibson, director of orchestral studies, student conductors learn the craft in a high-profile program at one of the finest conservatories in the country.

Graduates of CCM’s conducting programs go on to conduct and administrate highly successful professional, collegiate, community and children’s ensembles throughout the world. Conducting majors are led by some of academia’s greatest conductors in their respective fields of choral, orchestral and wind conducting. Conducting students receive extensive hands-on experience with a wide variety of CCM’s world-class student ensembles, as well as opportunities to lead other student musicians in staged productions and special musical events.

Featured image at top: CCM alum Avishay Shalom conducting during the 2022 edition of the Arthur Nikisch International Conducting Competition. Photo/Vasilka Balevska

Additional Contacts

Rebecca Butts | Assistant Public Information Officer

| 513-556-2675

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