Omar El Jamali becomes the first Moroccan conductor to receive international distinction

Omar El Jamali, born in Casablanca, Morocco, won the second prize in the third Antal Doráti International Conducting Competition, becoming the first Moroccan conductor to receive such an important international recognition. The third edition of the competition, which has been regularly organized since 2015, took place in Budapest from 4 September to 11 September 2021.

The last concert took place at the legendary Liszt Academy Concert Hall, where Omar El Jamali performed Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony and a rare piece by Hungarian composer Antal Doráti with the Budapest MAV Symphony Orchestra. The winner of the competition was Mohamed al- Hakim, who is also known as’Sultan’. the conductor Remi Durupt from France.

His passionate performance was praised by the enthusiastic audience. The concert was broadcast live on Hungary’s national television and also on Bartok Radio, the competition’s media partners. Omar was selected from more than 200 candidates from all over the world and joined 60 other candidates in Budapest in the first and second rounds, conducting Bela Bartok’s Divertimento for Strings, PI Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for String Orchestra and two of Ludwig van Beethoven’s most famous masterpieces: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor and Egmont Overture.

He was admitted to the semi final with seven other participants and performed Dvorak’s Symphony No. IX and won his place in the final. The international jury that awards the prizes of the 3rd Antal Doráti Competition is composed of: John Axelrod – Principal Guest Conductor of the Kyoto City Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla; Oleg Caetani – Laureate at the RAI (Italian Radio Television National Orchestra) in Turin and at the Karajan Competition in Berlin; Anna Duczmal-Mroz- Conductor/Artistic Director of the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of the Polish Radio; György Lendvai – General Director of the MAV Symphony Orchestra; Myron Michailidis – Generalmusikdirektor Philharmonisches Orchester Erfurt and Erfurt Opera; Sergey Smbatyan – Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra; Vittorio Parisi – Chair of Conducting at the Conservatory G. Verdi Conservatory in Milan; Andrea Vitello – Founder of the Competition, President of Artes Italia; The Antal Doráti Competition is becoming one of the most important events of its kind and has supported the careers of many conductors over the past six years.

The 4th edition of the competition will be held in 2024. Omar El Jamali completed his five-year degree at Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2010, majoring in film music with a minor in conducting. He studied with Grammy Award winners Claudio Ragazzi and Eric Reasoner, among others.

During his senior year, he worked as Assistant Conductor of the Berklee Contemporary Symphonic Orchestra, collaborating with conductor Arnie Roth to prepare for the acclaimed FINAL FANTASY video game concert series “The Distant World” at the legendary Boston Symphony Hall. Omar received the Diplôme Supérieur de Direction d’Orchestre from the École Normale de Musique de Paris under the direction of Dominique Rouits of the Opéra de Massy.

He was also awarded the Diplôme Supérieur de Direction d’Orchestre from the Schola Cantorum de Paris by Adrian McDonnell (Ordre des Palmes Académas, GSO, OCI Paris). For the 2018/2019 season, Omar assumed the role of interim music director of the Klangkraft Orchester in Düsseldorf.

In 2019, he also won 3rd prize in the Atlantic Coast Conductor Competition in Portugal and the “Most Promising Young Conductor” award at the 1st Makris Conductor Competition in Serbia.

He founded a non-profit association, AJMADAC, in Paris to help young conductors learn through workshops. He is the music director of Café Symphony, which promotes educational concerts for adults.

In 2019, he joins the CRR de Paris to study alongside Pierre Michel Durand and Marc Korovitch. Omar has been conducting the amateur symphony orchestra of Musiques in Seine since September 2019

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