Cantelli Award. An international award for young conductors

The history of the award founded in 1961 and is now in its 13th edition

Guido Cantelli

«A truly talented young man with that indescribable and genuine quality that brings an artist the greatest success» (Arturo Toscanini)

The award dedicated to Guido Cantelli by his city is intended as an invitation to the younger generation to make their dreams come true by following the example of a maestro who transcended his limits to follow his vocation and talent through study, tenacity, perseverance and determination.

After the difficult war years, from the age of 25 Guido Cantelli travelled the world, met great artists and conducted the most important orchestras.

He thus created a space to make his dreams come true.
His story is the greatest legacy he left to young people.


Guido Cantelli was a podium meteor, who shone a light on the world’s most important concert halls and theatres with his smile, professionalism and genius qualities for just over ten years.

Born in Novara on 27 April 1920, he made his debut at the Coccia Theatre in his hometown in 1943: and it was in the same theatre, on 17 November 1956, that he conducted his last concert, with the Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala of which he had been appointed permanent conductor the previous day. A week later, on 23 November, the plane that should have taken him to New York once again, crashed to the ground immediately after take-off from Paris’s Orly Airport. Acknowledged by Arturo Toscanini as his most authentic heir, Cantelli represented for Italy the link between the late Romantic school of conducting and a modern conductor, whose repertoire also ranged from early music to contemporary.


The “Guido Cantelli” International Conducting Award was born in 1961 to honour the memory of Guido Cantelli.

Established by the Provincial Tourism Board of Novara, the Award for young conductors immediately became an international benchmark and awarded young conductors who then became famous and even celebrated worldwide, such as Riccardo Muti, Eliahu Inbal, Ádám Fischer, Hubert Soudant and Donato Renzetti.

After a 40-year hiatus, thanks to the efforts of the director of the Coccia Theatre in Novara, Corinne Baroni, in 2020 the Cantelli Award resumed its path. The last two editions (in 2020 with Donato Renzetti Jury President and in 2022 with Sebastian F. Schwarz as Jury President) confirmed the award’s history by presenting among selected participants several talents who are now pursuing a rising career such as Tianyi Lu (winner of the 11th edition), Bertie Baigent, Diego Ceretta, Dmitry Matvienko, Cristian Spătaru and Toby Thatcher.


1st edition 1961
Hermann Michael
2nd edition 1963
Eliahu Inbal
3rd edition 1965
Walter Gillessen
4th edition 1967
Riccardo Muti
5th edition 1969
James Frazier
6th edition 1971
Michiyoshi Inoue
7th edition 1973
Ádám Fischer e Lothar Zagrosek (ex aequo)
8th edition 1975
Hubert Soudant
9th edition 1977
Wojciech Michniewski
10th edition 1980
Donato Renzetti
11th edition 2020
Tianyi Lu
12th edition 2022
Non assegnato


If you are a young conductor aged 18 to 35, register for the Cantelli Award and complete the registration procedure by 11.59 p.m. on Monday 22 April 2024.


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