CCM alumna wins second prize at Felix Mendelssohn International Conducting Competition

Three out of the 36 quarterfinalists at the prestigious competition have connections to CCM

Story by CCM Graduate Assistant Lucy Evans

University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music alumna Chaowen Ting (MM Orchestral Conducting, ‘11) recently won second prize at the Felix Mendelssohn Conducting Competition. Held annually Karlovy Vary, in the Czech Republic, the Mendelssohn Competition draws talent from all over the world, and past awardees hold posts at major symphonies and operas in Europe, America and Asia. 

Out of 260 competitors, 36 were invited to the quarterfinal round in Karlovy Vary — including two CCM alumni, Ting and Isaac Selya (DMA Orchestra Conducting, ‘14), and current CCM graduate student conductor Xiao Geng, according to Mark Gibson, Director of Orchestral Studies at CCM.

The competition focuses on the music of Felix Mendelssohn, and competitors were asked to conduct his Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture, his “Scottish” and “Italian” Symphonies, as well as Weber’s Oberon Overture, Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra and Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 over the course of the four rounds.

Chaowin Ting. Photo/Provided.

Chaowen Ting. Photo/Provided.

Ting, who was one of only two competitors to reach the finals, won second place with her performance of Symphony No. 3 (“Scottish”). In addition to a cash prize, Ting’s win included a performance of the “Scottish” Symphony on a subscription concert with the Karlovy Vary Symphony.

For young conductors, the opportunity to compete internationally is invaluable. “Competitions like [the Mendelssohn International Conducting Competition] help emerging conductors from around the globe get connected and bridge the gap between conservatory training and professional life,” remarks Ting.

Since graduating from CCM, Ting has been busy building a career throughout the United States. Upcoming performances include conducting the world premiere of Forsyth County is Flooding at the Atlanta Opera this summer and serving as assistant conductor for the Verdi Requiem at the Philharmonie Berlin. She has previously led ensembles including the BBC Concert Orchestra, Augusta Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Opera Philadelphia and Opera Orlando.

Off the podium, Ting is the founder of Girls Who Conduct, an organization which supports the training of women and non-binary conductors, and hosts The Conductors Podcast, which has been downloaded more than 11 thousand times.

Ting says her time at CCM prepared her for the Mendelssohn Competition. “The most important part of my conducting training at CCM was the amount and wide range of repertoire we were exposed to, which made my preparation for [the Mendelssohn Competition] a bit easier as I had learned most of the pieces during my time at CCM.” The repertoire for the concert presented a full-circle moment for the conductor. “I still have notes written by my teacher Professor Mark Gibson in my Weber score,” she says.

“CCM has such an abundance of conducting opportunities,” she continues. “During my time there, I conducted two fully-staged operas, conducted on Philharmonia and Concert Orchestra concerts, and organized my own chamber orchestra.”

For Ting, the rigor and collaborative spirit of CCM proved invaluable. “The ability to work with many highly-talented colleagues was such a blessing and an important part of a conductor’s training.”

Featured image at the top: Chaowen Ting conducting an orchestra on stage. Photo/Provided.

Headshot of Lucy Evans

Lucy Evans

CCM Graduate Assistant, Marketing + Communications

Lucy Evans is an artist diploma student studying Opera-Vocal Performance at CCM. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, and was recently an Apprentice Artist with the Santa Fe Opera.

Additional Contacts

Curt Whitacre | Director of Marketing/Communications | UC College-Conservatory of Music

| 513-556-2683

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