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From left to right: Toby C Thatcher, Alvin Ho, and Junping Qian (Image courtesy: Princess Astrid International Music Competition/Facebook)

Princess Astrid International Music Competition 2022 Announces Winners

The conducting competition of the Trondheim Symfoniorkester & Opera has named 29-year-old Alvin Ho as first-prize winner

Named for its patron, Princess Astrid Mrs. Ferner of Norway, and hosted by the Trondheim Symfoniorkester & Opera (TSO), the Princess Astrid International Music Competition is a biennial event for under-35s that alternates between violin and conducting. 

The 22nd edition selected three conducting prizewinners from 12 candidates. Hong Kong-born British conductor Alvin Ho, 29, received first place and a cash prize of 160,000 NOK (approx. €15,000), as well as a future concert engagement with the TSO.

Described by the late Bernard Haitink as “a thoughtful musician, extremely well prepared and meticulous in his approach,” Ho serves as Assistant Conductor of Florida’s Naples Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2018, he was selected by Riccardo Muti as a student and is regularly invited to observe Muti’s rehearsals with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Second place and 50,000 NOK went to 33-year-old Australian British conductor Toby C Thatcher, while third place with 25,000 NOK was awarded to 32-year-old Junping Qian from China.

Chaired by Han-Na Chang, TSO’s chief conductor, the jury comprised Jasper Parrott, Peter Szilvay, Daniel Turcina, Anna-Maria Helsing, Anna Clyne, and Elise Båtnes. 



The Princess Astrid International Music Competition was created by former TSO chief conductor, Finn Audun Oftedal, to provide young musicians the opportunity to show their talent. Past winners of the event have become internationally acclaimed musicians and soloists.

In 2012, two significant changes to the competition were made — the rotating of each competition between solo instruments to between only violin and conducting only, and the change from national to international. However, to honor the national perspective of its founder, the competition awards the “Finn Audun Oftedal Memorial Scholarship” to the best Norwegian candidate. 

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