Samuel Seungwon Lee wins Malko Competition 2024

Samuel Seungwon Lee © Malko Competition | Danish National Symphony Orchestra

The 34-year-old South Korean conductor and Eisler graduate Samuel Seungwon Lee has been awarded first prize at this year's Nikolai Malko International Competition for Young Conductors in Copenhagen. The prize is endowed with €20,000 and also includes numerous engagements with renowned international orchestras.

Samuel Seungwon Lee initially studied viola with Prof Tabea Zimmermann at the Eisler, graduating in 2013 with a Konzertexamen. He went on to study orchestral conducting with Prof. Christian Ehwald at the Eisler, in the Bachelor's and Master's programmes. In 2019, he passed a further Konzertexamen in conducting at the University of Music and Theatre in Hamburg.

He has conducted the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, the Frankfurt Oder State Orchestra, the Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Bucharest Symphony, the Tokyo Philharmonic and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. In Berlin, he conducted the symphony orchestra of the Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach Music High School affiliated to the Eisler and taught as a professor of viola at the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Academy of Music in Leipzig. Most recently, he held a position as assistant conductor with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in the USA.

The Nikolai Malko Competition is organised by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra every three years. As the winner of the competition, Samuel Seungwon Lee receives prize money as well as the opportunity to play with a total of 24 leading international symphony orchestras and is mentored by the chief conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Fabio Luisi.