Alumna reaches finals of international conducting competitions

Catz alumna Chloe Rooke (2015, Music) has competed in three international conducting competitions in recent weeks, securing the Audience Prize in one and reaching the grand finals of another.

Donatella Flick Conducting Competition

Chloe started her season of competing with the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition, which is run in collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra. Chloe reached the final three and received the most votes from the audience, winning the Audience Prize.

You can watch the final, featuring Chloe, on for free (simple registration required).

International Conducting Competition Rotterdam

Chloe has also secured a place as one of six Designate Winner in the finals of the International Conducting Competition Rotterdam (ICCR), beating off stiff competition from 23 others during two elimination rounds.

You can watch both of Chloe’s performances on YouTube – view the first elimination round here (from 1:04:50), and the second can be seen below (from 3:31:55):

The final of the ICCR will take place in 2022.


Chloe’s final competition this month was in Copenhagen at the Malko Competition for Young Conductors. She reached the second of three rounds – a great result as the youngest entrant of the competition at just 24

While she didn’t reach the final, Chloe’s performances at Malko definitely turned heads, with Gramaphone magazine’s Andrew Mellor commenting: ‘Many will leave Copenhagen this weekend with memories of Chloe Rooke, the young British conductor who lit the competition up with her sense of music’s joy and communicative potential.’

Both first and second round performances can be viewed on the Malko website (search for Chloe’s name).

‘We will be hearing still more from her in years to come’

Chloe conducting the London Symphony Orchestra

Speaking of her successes, Chloe said: ‘I have had a brilliant few weeks working with some of the best orchestras and musicians in the world, learning from them, and immersing myself in a truly astonishing sound.

‘I was honoured to have been selected as one of the three finalists in the Donatella Flick Competition – my first professional concert and I was able to work with the London Symphony Orchestra! A life-changing experience for me. (Pictured)

‘I am looking forward to the finals of the ICCR next year and in the meantime will be busy completing my Dutch National Master in Orchestral Conducting.’

Catz Fellow Professor Laura Tunbridge, who tutored Chloe during her studies, recalls her days here: ‘Chloe’s many achievements are impressive and testament to her talent and drive, as well as reflecting her commitment to making music with others, in all kinds of ways.

‘She was already unstoppable as an undergraduate, as her interest in conducting developed. Among many other things – including getting a first-class degree – she was a Catz Répétiteur Scholar (performances included Stravinsky’s Rake’s Progress in the Sheldonian as well as taking on the college orchestra), organised a University Wind Orchestra tour of the East Coast of the USA, and was music director for award-winning new musical STOP, workshopped with then Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre, Claude-Michel Schönberg.

‘It’s a pleasure to see each new step she takes on her career as a conductor and I am sure we will be hearing still more from her in years to come.’

Chloe was Highly Commended in the 2017 Women of the Future Awards and is currently undertaking the Dutch National Master in Orchestral Conducting.

Find out more about studying Music at St Catz.