bamberger symphoniker

extraordinary city.
extraordinary orchestra.

What does the Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and Honorary Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra have in common with the Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic and designated Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra? For both of them our conducting competition ‘The Mahler Competition’ was the starting point for their amazing careers

Remember: Venezuelan Gustavo Dudamel was the winner of our new competition in 2004, and the other, Lahav Shani of Israel, followed nine years later. But also a whole series of other competition and award winners have taken considerable careers from Bamberg and achieved significant positions. All this proves why ‘The Mahler Competition’ was immediately ranked among the most important conductor competitions internationally. We also expect about 500 applications from all over the world for the upcoming sixth edition of the competition. We offer conditions that no other competition can match: participation is free and all travel and subsistence expenses are covered. Our orchestra is available to everyone from the first round to longer than anywhere else - and in full cast!

Even those who cannot make it to the finals are invited to stay until the final concert and to take individual advice and lasting experiences from Bamberg through discussions with members of the jury and the orchestra. The winner will also enjoy multi-year career coaching. All this is possible only thanks to generous financial support, which we were allowed to experience from the beginning, especially from the Friends of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Brose Fahrzeugteile GmbH & Co. Kommanditgesellschaft in Hallstadt and the Oberfrankenstiftung.

29 June - 5 July 2020

Registration closed


Marina Mahler, Jakub Hrůša, Bertrand de Billy, Juanjo Mena, Barbara Hannigan, Helmut Lachenmann, Deborah Borda, Martin Campbell-White, John Carewe, Ara Guzelimian, Marcus Rudolf Axt, Martin Timphus.


  • Gustav Mahler
    Symphony No. 4 G Major for soprano and orchestra 
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Symphony No. 26 in E flat Major K. 184
  • Anton Webern
    Variations for Orchestra op. 30
  • Helmut Lachenmann
    »Tableau« und »Marche fatale«
  • Miroslav Srnka
    World Premiere of a work, commissioned by the Bamberg Symphony


  • 1st Price € 30.000,-
  • 2nd Price € 20.000,-
  • 3rd Price € 10.000,-

Price winners and jury members since 2004