CJ Wu from Taiwan has won the 2021 Brass Band Conductors' Association (BBCA) Conducting Competition.
The 36-year-old (above) studies on the Master of Orchestra Conducting course under Clark Rundell and Mark Heron at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
She will receive a first prize of £500, plus a year's free BBCA membership and a glass commemorative plaque.
In a high-quality Zoom platform final, featuring orchestral and wind and brass band performances, the runner-up was Gaddiel Dombrowner, who has held posts including that of principal guest conductor of the Kunming International Philharmonic (China) and the Music Fest Perugia (Italy).
Third place was claimed by Denis Salvini, the principal conductor of Orchestra Fiati di Valle Camonica, whilst the final runner-up was Alexander Webb, an Assistant Conductor for BBC Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and the current MD at Poulton-Le-Fylde Band.
CJ Wu made her conducting debut with the West Bohemian Symphony Orchestra in 2017 and has since conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra, Savaria Symphony, Ruse Philharmonic, Orchestra Giovanile Italiana, Pazardzhik Symphony, Bucharest Royal Camerata, South Bohemian, Moravian Philharmonic and Brasov Philharmonic Orchestras.
She has also been invited to international masterclass led by Riccardo Muti, Daniele Gatti and Marin Alsop.
Speaking about the winner, the panel, which was made up of Paul Holland, MD of the Flowers Band, Brendan Breslin, a former winner of the competition and Bjarte Engeset said: "It was a really interesting experience to adjudicate over Zoom.
We had a thoroughly pleasurable evening listening to the finalist's performances as there was such a wide selection of music and genres on show.
It was a really hard decision but we think we have found an outstanding winner in CJ and look forward to seeing her in action in the future."
It was a really hard decision but we think we have found an outstanding winner in CJ and look forward to seeing her in action in the futureBBCA Panel
The BBCA also took the opportunity to extend its thanks to guest adjudicator Bjarte Engeset as well as the support team at Brass Bands England.
The adjudication of the final was broadcast on Sunday 27th June and is available on the BBCA Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/BrassBandCA