Esa-Pekka Salonen, the jury's chair and the competition's artistic director, announced to the competition's audience that "the level of the competition was a disappointment. Not one finalist conducted the symphony by Sibelius in a way that would entitle him to any of the first three prizes in a Sibelius Conductors' Competition."
He added, "I hope that the finalists understand the jury's decision and realize that being a finalist in such a competition alone is an accomplishment that will certainly promote their careers." Salonen noted that five very promising conductors had withdrawn from the competition, which he regretted.
Other members of the jury included conductors Neeme J‹rvi and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and composer-conductor Oliver Knussen.
Instead of first-, second-, and third-place awards, which would have carried prizes of 15,000, 12,000, and 10,000 euros, the jury created new award categories, including an "incentive prize" of 7,500 euros granted to Andreas Tselikas and awards of 1,500 euros each to Jan S‹derblom and Shuntaro Sato, who made it to the final round. Jani Teleranta was awarded 1,000 euros for the best interpretation of contemporary composer Uljas Pulkkis's Trial, which was commissioned for the competition.
The jury used only a portion of the 37,000 euros intended for prizes; the rest of the money will go to the Young Conductors' Development and Support Association, which organizes the competition.
The competition, which took place in Helsinki September 12-15, with competitors conducting the Helsinki Philharmonic and the Finnish Radio Orchestra, is held every five years.