8 Apr – 13 Apr 2019
In 2016 the Russian baritone Tigriy Bazhakin finished his music education at the State Conservatory in St. Petersburg, continued his studies at the St. Petersburg Herzen State University and in 2018 completed his post-graduate study at the Elena Obraztsova International Music Academy. He studied under vocal teachers Nikolai Okhotnikov, Evgeny Akimov, Tatiana Smelkova, Evdomikov Vadim. He collaborated with renowned conductors like Fabio Mastrangelo, Sergei Stadler, Mikhail Sinkevich, Pavel Smelkov, Larisa Gabitova and others. Besides the character of Robert in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta he has taken up the role of Almaviva in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, role of Figaro in Rossini’s Barber of Seville, then nobleman Marullo in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Dancairo in Bizet’s Carmen, Marcello in Puccini’s Bohème, as well as Malatesto in Donizetti’s opera title Don Pasquale. From his awards at domestic and foreign competitions let us mention the first place at the International Competition New Opera World in Moscow (2016), 1st prize at Dmitri Kabalevsky International Music Competition in St. Petersburg (2017), 1st prize at the Mikuláš Schneider-Trnavský International Vocal Competition in Trnava (2017), victory at the Jean Sibelius International Vocal Competition in Turku, Finland (2017), 1st prize at the International Competition Città di Pesaro in Italy (2018), 1st prize at the Boris Shtokolov International Vocal Competition in St. Petersburg (2018) and victory at the Grand Opera Competition in St. Petersburg (2018). Since 2016 he has been engaged as a soloist in St. Petersburg Music Hall theatre, where in last December he acquired the Youth Prize for the contribution to music creativeness for 2018 awarded by the vice-governor of St. Petersburg. He has appeared in many performances in opera houses in Russia, Italy and Estonia.
Despite her young age Anna Egholm is one of the most distinctive talents of Denmark. From her childhood she had many interests which she pursued on a high level including figure skating and acting. She grew up in a family of professional musicians and started to dedicate herself to violin playing at the age of five. As a twelve-year-old girl she debuted with a symphonic orchestra and since then she has appeared as a soloist of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, Malmö Symphony Orchestra and Filarmonica de Stat Transilvania. After two years of study at the Danish Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen, where she was a pupil of the Ukrainian violinist and legendary teacher Alexandre Zapolski who had taught her since her childhood, she moved to Switzerland in 2016, where she continues her studies in the class of Svetlana Makarova at the University of Music Lausanne. Anna Egholm is an extremely gifted person and her astounding musicality was awarded at many international violin competitions, e.g. Concours International de Violon d’Avignon “Ginette Neveu” in France and Ysaÿe International Violin Competition in Belgium. The Danish violinist is also a holder of the Copenhagen Summer Festival Talent Prize, Jacob Gades Talent Award and Léonie Sonning Talent Prize. She won two American Protégé International Competitions. As a laureate of the latter one in 2014 she performed at two concerts in Carnegie Hall in New York. Anna Egholm’s zeal for music and curiosity have pushed her to concentrate not only on solo recitals but she also devotes her strength to chamber music. Recently she appeared side by side with such artists as Sergey Malov, Enrico Pace, Andrej Bielow, Anastasia Kobekina and Elisabeth Brauß. In 2018 she was selected to participate in the festival Chamber Music Connects the World at the Kronberg Academy, where she performed together with Steven Isserlis and Gidon Kremer. Her repertory is extremely wide. As a soloist she has featured in many violin concertos by the composers Carl Nielsen, Ludwig van Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Max Bruch, Maurice Ravel. Presently she has been playing a Gagliano violin made in 1763 lent to her by Augustinus Foundation.
Since her childhood Eszter Farkas has had a close relationship with music. As a four-year-old girl she played the piano, and has formed an attachment to cimbalom because of her father, an active cimbalom player. The Hungarian performer studied cimbalom playing at the respected Béla Bartók Music High School in Budapest in the period 2007–2012. She completed her studies in 2018 graduating from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. Since 2016 she has been a teacher at the Conservatory and Saint Stephen Secondary School of Music. Despite her youth Eszter Farkas is an extremely versatile artist, her repertory is very wide including both Baroque masters and contemporary composers. Besides her soloist activities she is a member of several chamber ensembles. The most popular of them is the harp and cimbalom duo in which she plays with her older sister Mira Farkas. During her early student years she performed as a soloist with Symphony Orchestra of the Béla Bartók Conservatory of Music, toured with Tokyo Musashino Academia Musicae Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Kálmán Berkes, debuted with Budapest Festival Orchestra. She gave concerts in miscellaneous concert halls in Hungary like Festetics Palace, Benczúr House, Barabás Mansion, House of Arts in Gödöllő, in Óbudai Társaskör and Párbeszéd Háza. Last year she performed in Tel Aviv. The young cimbalom player recorded her first CD album in 2017, with works originally intended for violin or cello, which she had transcribed for her instrument herself. The CD recording features works by Franz Liszt, Pablo de Sarasate, Johann Sebastian Bach, Béla Bartók, György Kurtág, Domenico Scarlatti and Henryk Wieniawski. She has acquired a number of awards at domestic and international competitions. Year by year since 2015 she has been a holder of the Young Talent Scholarship designated for young emerging talents. Simultaneously she has received the Bank of China Scholarship and support from the Erste for the Best scholarship programme. In 2013 she won 2nd prize at the International Cimbalom Competition in the Czech Republic, a year later she was the 3rd one.
Mihhail Gerts debuted with orchestras like NHK Symphony Orchestra, Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra and Staatskapelle Weimar; in the season 2017/2018 he played with Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava for the first time. Then Richard Wagner’s Flying Dutchman followed in Estonian National Opera and concerts with the National Philharmonic of Russia. He has collaborated on various artistic projects with Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Bremen Philharmonic, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Orchestre Régional de Cannes, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie Herford, Philharmonie Südwestfalen and Göttinger Symphonieorchester, and many others. Mihhail Gerts opened the latest concert season 2018/2019 in Estonia conducting Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, worked for the first time with Taipei Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the French pianist Hélène Grimaud, and with the orchestra Oulu Sinfonia he realized the rarely played Symphony No. 1 of the Austrian composer Hans Rott. At present he is finishing a new production of opera Dante by the French composer Benjamin Godard in the Opera Saint-Étienne. He regularly collaborates with Orchestre National de Lille, Estonian National Symphonic Orchestra and National Philharmonic of Russia. Besides rich concert activity the Estonian conductor has a long-time experience with the opera repertory. In the period 2007–2014 he was the resident conductor of the Estonian National Opera and in 2015–2017 he became the deputy general music director of the Theatre Hagen (Germany). During this period he realized forty different opera and ballet productions. He studied conducting at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” in Berlin. In 2011 he acquired the title philosophiae doctor. In the period 2013–2017 he was a scholarship holder of the prestigious German programme Dirigentenforum, bestowed by the German Music Council, which supports top conductors of the emerging generation. His extraordinary successes mirror his conducting art. In 2014 he became the finalist of Donatella Flick Conducting Competition and Evgeny Svetlanov International Conducting Competition. A remarkable fact is that Mihhail Gerts speaks fluently seven languages (English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Estonian) and he likes to make contact with an audience in their native language.
The German conductor Niklas Benjamin Hoffmann is one of the most attractive conductors of his generation. In November 2016 he won the prestigious 14th Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition in the London Barbican Centre and later he was appointed the assistant conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. Since then he has become a sought-after guest conductor in the whole of Europe. His ardour and creative approach to music beguiles both the audience and musicians. Hoffmann graduated from the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar in 2016, where he had studied with the teachers Nicolás Pasquet, Gunter Kahlert, Martin Hoff and Markus Frank. During his studies he worked with professional orchestras like Jenaer Philharmonie, MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra and Staatskapelle Weimar. He was the music director of the Akademische Orchestervereinigung Göttingen and holder of the renowned scholarship of the German programme Dirigentenforum, awarded by the German Music Council supporting the emerging generation of gifted conductors. He had a public debut with the London Symphony Orchestra in March 2017 in Vietnam. The concert took place outdoors in front of over 60,000 spectators. Since then he has been invited as a guest conductor by famous orchestras like Haydn Orchestra of Bolzanoand Trento (Italy), Aarhus Symphony Orchestra (Denmark), St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra (Russia), Folkwang Chamber Orchestra (Germany), Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland Pfalz (Germany) and Orchestra della Toscana (Italy). In London he has collaborated with world-known conductors like Sir Simon Rattle and guest conductors Valery Gergiev and Bernard Haitink. Besides his interest in Classical repertory the young conductor is a keen advocate of performance of contemporary tonal music. Niklas Benjamin Hoffmann is also an active composer. His goal as a conductor and composer is to create a fruitful interaction between the musicans and the audience. In the running season he will be conducting Orchestra I Pomeriggi Musicali in Milan and Orchestra della Toscana in Florence.
The Korean pianist Su Yeon Kim has been labeled as one of the most sensitive and most respected musicians of the young generation. She acquired an enormous attention as a semifinalist of the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (2015) and at the Queen Elisabeth International Piano Competition in Brussels (2016). Su Yeon Kim was born in South Korea, where she started playing the piano at the age of five with Eunjoo Heo. She studied at the Yewon School for the Arts and preparational school of the Korean National University of Arts. Her teachers were Choong-Mo Kang at the Seoul Institute of Arts and Chong-Pil Lim at the University (2012–2013). From 2013 she continued her studies with Pavel Gililov at the Mozarteum University Salzburg, where she graduated as Master of Arts. She participated in masterclasses of Paul Gulda, Arie Vardi, Jacques Rouvier and Boris Petrushansky. Su Yeon Kim is a holder of numerous awards from national and international competitions: 1st prize at the Chopin International Piano Competition in Asia (2005, 2008), 2nd prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians (2009), 3rd prize at the International Piano Junior Competition in Minnesota (2001), 2nd prize at the International Piano Academic Competition (2013) and in 2014 she became the semifinalist of the 30th “Alessandro Casagrande” International Piano Competition. Then the 1st prize and a special prize of the Fundación Internacional Gómez-Martínez at the Compositores de España International Piano Competition in Madrid followed (2014), 1st place at J. N. Hummel International Piano Competition in Bratislava (2014), 2nd prize at Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition (2018) and 3rd place at Alaska International Piano-e-Competition (2018). Su Yeon Kim has performed at a number of recitals in Korea, Japan and Europe, including debut recitals in Hercules Hall in Munich, Vienna Konzerthaus, Großer Saal Mozarteum in Salzburg, Bartok Memorial Hause in Budapest, Slovak Philharmonic, Hamarikyu Asahi Hall in Tokio and at concerts as a guest of the Kawai Piano company. She has played with the Kraków Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Hamarikyu Asahi Hall in Tokyo, Youth Orchestra of the Korean National University of Arts, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of the University Mozarteum and with Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra.
Besides her professional singing career the young opera singer Zoya Petrova from Moscow dedicates her strength to piano playing and composing. In 2014 she finished her music education at the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music and subsequently has developed her gift at the Schnittke Moscow State Institute of Music under the Russian soprano Irina Rubtsova. In the season 2017/2018 Zoya Petrova performed as a soloist of the Samara Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre. She has acquired many awards from both domestic and foreign competitions. As a 14-year-old she won 1st prize at the 2nd Elena Obraztsova International Young Vocalists Contest, she was successful at the Jan Kiepur International Vocal Competition (Poland), won the International B. T. Shtokolov Vocal Competition (Russia), she was awarded Grand Prix at the 5th International Music Competition The Night in Madrid (Spain). She got to the finale of the Antonin Dvorak International Singing Competition in the Czech Republic and took part in the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium. Moreover, she was awarded at several composition competitions in Slovenia and Russia. She has been composing pieces for voice and piano setting her own lyrics to music, and lyrics by Russian poets: Anna Akhmatova, Valery Bryusov, Vera Polozkova, etc. Zoya Petrova has acquired a scholarship from the Yuri Rozum International Charity Foundation and she is a holder of the scholarship awarded by the governor of the Moscow region Boris Gromov. In 2018 she appeared at some music festivals such as Musica Maxima (Croatia), and Pro Musica Nostra Nitriensis (Slovakia) side by side with Gustáv Beláček. She gave concerts in France, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Austria. Zoya Petrova is both an opera and concert chamber singer, her repertory comprises Handel, Pergolesi, Mozart, Bellini, Gounod, Verdi, Puccini, Prokofiev, up to song cycles of Franz Schubert, Richard Strauss, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, and others. Zoya Petrova features also in vocal works by young composers and collaborates with famous Russian composers like Alexander Zhurbin and Alexey Rybnikov. In the season 2016/2017 she successfully premiered vocal cycles Poet, op. 56 and Marina, op. 45 composed by Alexander Zhurbin on verses by Marina Cvetayeva. As an opera singer she likes to experiment with various genres and combine apparently incompatible matters: art of variety and academic vocal technique. In each new piece Zoya Petrova transforms the vocal part by way of elaborating the texture, which enables the listener to hear the work in a new, nontraditional semblance.
Despite his young age the French cellist Bruno Philippe has already released several CDs on which he plays in a chamber duo with the pianist Tanguy de Williencourt; the first one with Brahms and Schumann music (Evidence Classics, 2015), while the second CD immerses the listener in the world of Beethoven’s and Schubert’s musical poetics (Harmonica Nova, 2017). Already in the past Philippe participated as a guest in a recording of his former teacher, the cellist Raphaël Pidoux, playing in Jacques Offenbach’s piece (Integral Classic, 2009). His latest CD album was released in February 2019 by Harmonia Mundi with cello sonatas by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Nikolai Miaskovsky, in which he was accompanied by the pianist Jérôme Ducros. His beginnings of cello playing study are joined with Marie-Madeleine Mille and Paris Conservatoire National de Région; simultaneously he perfected his skills with Raphaël Pidoux. In 2009 he was accepted to the prestigious Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, where he studied in a cello class with Jérôme Pernoo and chamber music with Claire Désert. He took part in masterclasses led by Yvan Chiffoleau, David Geringas, Steven Isserliss, Gary Hoffman, Pieter Wispelwey and Clemens Hagen at the University Mozarteum in Salzburg. Since 2014 he has been studying in Germany at the Kronberg Academy with Frans Helmerson. His study is supported by Christa Verhein Stiftung. In the past he acquired many scholarships from the Safran Foundation for Music, Raynaud-Zurfluh Foundation, Rheingold Foundation, AMOPA, Banque Populaire Foundation. The young cellist has acquired a number of awards: 1st prize at the 3rd Grand Prix and Prize for the best recital at the André Navarra International Competition (November 2011), Prix Nicolas Firmenich de Violoncelle at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland (August 2014), 3rd prize and Audience Prize at the International Competition of the ARD in Munich (September 2014, special prize as a recognition of his excellent performance at Grand Prix Emmanuel Feuermann in Berlin (November 2014), and special prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition (June 2015). In 2015 Philippe was awarded the Révélations classique de l’Adami, one year later the Prix pour la musique of the Safran Foundation. In 2017 he became the laureate of the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Competition in Bruxelles. Last year he acquired Grand Prix at the Allegretto festival in Žilina. Bruno Philippe debuted in Berlin Philharmonic Kammersaal, played in La Cité de la Musique, Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Salle Gaveau and Salle Pleyel in Paris, Halle aux Grains in Toulous, Kursaal in Besançone, Alte Oper in Frankfurt, and soon he will perform in Berlin Konzerthaus, in Paris halls such as Auditorium du Louvre, Salle Cortota and Auditorium de Radio-France. As a cellist he had an opportunity to collaborate with excellent artists (Gary Hoffman, Tabea Zimmermann, Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, David Kadouch, Alexandra Conounova, Renaud Capuçon, Jérôme Ducros, Antoine Tamestit, Sarah Nemtanu, Lise Berthaud and others) and orchestras (Bayerischer Rundfunk, Münchener Kammerorchester, Orchestre Philarmonique de Monte-Carlo, Orchestre National du Capitole in Toulouse). He appeared at various events: Festival Pablo Casals in Prades, Festival de Pâques in Aix-en-Provence, La Folle Journée de Nantes, Rheingau Musik Festival, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, La Roque-d’Anthéron, Amsterdam Cello Biennale, Mozartfest Würzburg, Schwetzinger SWR-Festspiele, Rheingau Musik Festival and many others. In the recent months he could be seen playing with Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt and academic orchestra of Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach, with Orchestre Dijon-Bourgogne led by the conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy, with Orchestre de la Garde Républicaine and Junges Sinfonieorchester Münster.
Born in Banská Bystrica, Karol Samuelčík began his study at Ján Cikker Elementary Arts School with the teacher Zuzana Meleková. In the years 2007–2011 he attended the Žilina Conservatory in the class of Ján Labant. In 2011 he started to study at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava led by Jozef Zsapka, and graduated in 2016 with distinction and the Rector’s Prize. He increased his music education during an exchange study stay at Conservatorio Superior de Música in Vigo (Spain) as a student of the guitarist Margarita Escarpa and at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya in Barcelona with the teacher Álex Garrobé. Presently he continues his post-graduate study at the Bratislava Academy with Jozef Zsapka. Samuelčík has played at many Slovak festivals: J. K. Mertz International Guitar Festival in Bratislava, Sunday Matinées in Bratislava City Gallery, international festival of classical guitar music Cithara Aediculae in Nitra, Prešov Musical Spring and others. He has also performed in Spain, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, Greece, China, etc. As a soloist he has collaborated with the Slovak Philharmonic, Slovak State Philharmonic Košice, Cappella Istropolitana, Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina, and Hong Kong Metropolitan Pop Orchestra. In 2016 he recorded his debut CD with the works by Isaac Albéniz, Johann Sebastian Bach and Vicente Asencio for the Diskant label. He has participated in a number of masterclasses led by Leo Brouwer, Sérgio Assad, Pavel Steidl, Carlo Domeniconi, Marco Socías, Raphaella Smits, Marcin Dylla, Álvaro Pierri, Carlo Marchione, Roland Dyens and others. He acquired the 1st prize at the J. K. Mertz International Guitar Competition (2012), Thailand International Guitar Competition (2016), Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Scholarship Program (2012/2013), 1st place at the Ivan Ballo Music Festival in Dolný Kubín (2009), at the Slovak Conservatories’ Students Competition (2009). In 2013 he won the prize for the best performance of a piece by an Italian composer at the international competition in Udine. In 2015 he became one of the laureates of the prestigious competition Forum Gitarre Wien. In the academic year 2016/2017 he received the award the Student Personality of Slovakia in the category Culture and Art. Since 2013 he has been a member of the organization council of the J. K. Mertz International Guitar Festival in Bratislava. Karol Samuelčík plays a guitar of the Japan master Masaki Sakurai, model Maestro RF.
Apor Szüts was born in 1993 in Budapest. Currently he is a director of the Virtuosos Chamber Group in Hungary. He was a pianist student of Balázs Kecskés and László Baranyay at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. Apor comes from a family of musicians, his great-grandfather was the pianist Imre Ungár, who had won Kossuth and Franz Liszt Prizes and had been a professor at Franz Liszt Academy of Music. Szüts works in three areas: he is primarily a pianist and a composer; he completed his studies as a composer at Béla Bartók Conservatory of Music with Miklós Csemiczky and Miklós Kocsár. In addition, he is actively engaged in conducting; in 2012 he together with 50 other musicians founded the ApOrchestra where he has been the conductor to this day. As a pianist, he has taken part in many national and international competitions, e. g. the Aci Bertoncejl International Piano Competition in Velenje, Slovenia (2012), where he won the second prize. In 2014 he was a semi-finalist of the MTVA's “Virtuosos” classical music talent show. In this show he managed to present both his composing and conducting skills. Szüts has featured as a pianist in a number of concerts in almost every city in the country, as well as abroad (Romania, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Brazil and twice in the Carnegie Hall, New York). He has performed also with the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra, Miskolc, Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, Hungarian National Radio Orchestra, Ernő Dohnányi Symphony Orchestra, Budafok. In 2014 he won the Talent Prize in the opera composition competition of the Miskolc Opera Festival. He won the Concorde-prize in 2017. His opera's premiere took place in 2017 in Debrecen, where Apor Szüts appeared also as a conductor. He conducted several operas, e.g. Mozart's Don Giovanni and Kodály's Spinning Room (Székelyfonó). His Mozart opera arrangement, Rock Giovanni, was premiered in June 2018 at Opera Festival in Miskolc. He toured Brazil in autumn 2018 with Már Beke trombonist, the absolute winner of Virtuosos Season 4. Several illustrious representatives of music life have expressed their favourable opinions about Szüts the composer and conductor, e.g. Máté Hollós, composer, János Mácsai, music historian, Gergely Kesselyák, conductor, and Plácido Domingo, among others.
Filip Štrauch belongs to an enormously gifted generation of Slovak pianists. He began to play the piano as a child taught by his father the pianist. As a 10-year-old boy he recorded for the Slovak Radio. In 2005 he was accepted to the Academy of Performing Arts as a pupil of Ivan Gajan, later of Marian Lapšanský. During his studies he represented his school all over Europe. Graduating successfully from the Academy in Bratislava in 2012, he gained an entrance to the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen as the only pianist, for a postgraduate study in the class of the renowned Swedish pianist Niklas Sivelöv. At the same time he started his special study at one of the most world renowned piano schools, Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, where he has studied with famous pianists such as Sergey Maltsev and Vladimir Shakin. In 2016 this Žilina-born pianist successfully finished his postgrad study at the Royal Danish Academy of Music with a graduation concert which was broadcast on the Danish radio. Since September 2017 the young pianist has been working as a teacher and piano accompanist of the cello class at this prestigious academy. In masterclasses he has collaborated with many renowned teachers: Ferenc Rados, Josef Kluson, András Keller, Avedis Kouyoumdjian, Dmitri Bashkirov, Christian Zacharias, Robert Levin, Catherine Brown, Juhani Lagerspetz, Steven Mayer, Liisa Pohjola, Jens Elvekjær and Boris Berman. In January 2014 he performed with the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he played Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major Op. 58. In June 2014 he won 1st prize at the piano competition Royal Danish Academy of Music Soloist Competition and simultaneously the prize for the best instrumentalist of the Academy, what resulted in the opportunity to perform Listz’s Piano Concerto No. 2 A major S. 125 with the Royal Danish Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra led by Giancarlo Adretto at the biggest Scandinavian festival of Classical music Tivoli Festival in Copenhagen. Besides solo appearances he has collaborated regularly in chamber music projects and presented also contemporary music. Filip Štrauch has acquired a number of awards as the best chamber partner. He has been a member of several chamber ensembles. In 2013 he established two trios: Trio BNS together with the cellist Petr Nouzovský (Czech Republic) and clarinettist Jan Jakub Bokun (Poland), and the other in which his partners are cellist Jonathan Swensen (Denmark) and clarinettist Natalie Harris (New Zealand). He has collaborated with the Radio and Television of Slovakia and Danish Television and Radio many times. The Slovak pianist has recently released his second CD album for the Danish label DANACORD featuring works by Franz Schubert and Sergei Rachmaninoff, on which he accompanies the excellent Danish cellist Jonathan Swensen. The CD is distributed worldwide.
The 19-year-old Ukrainian violinist Dmytro Udovychenko has dedicated himself to music since he was five. Being just six he started to study at the Kharkov Specialized Secondary Music Boarding School, where he attended the violin classes with the teacher Ludmila Varenina. He participated in masterclasses with the exponents of violin art Boris Barlitsky (Paris), Dmitry Sitkovetsky (London), Sergey Ostrovsky (Geneva,Neuchâtel), Natalia Boyarskaya (London), Olga Parkhomenko (Helsinki) and others. At present he is studying under the Russian violinist Boris Garlitski at the Folkwang University of the Artsin Essen, Germany. The young performer is a holder of numerous awards from domestic and international competitions. He acquired 1st prize at the public competition in violin playing within the 15th international festival Music is our Common Home, moderated by the Russian national artist Tatiana Grindenko. In April 2009 he was awarded 1st prize at the international competition for young performers Art of the 21st Century in Kiev. His successes include also the 2nd place at the 8th International M. G. Erdenko Violin Competition in 2010 and 1st place at the 10th international competition Accords of Khortytsa, which he won in March 2010 in the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia. In July 2011 he was awarded the Grand Prix at the 8th international music festival Visiting Aivazovsky in Feodosia. In October 2015 it was the 1st prize at the 3rd International Leopold Auer Violin and String Quartet Competition in St. Petersburg. In March 2016 he won Grand Prix at the 3rd Leonid Kogan Violin and Cello Competition. He can also boast the 2nd place and EMCY Prize from the 5th International Jascha Heifetz Competition for Violinists in Vilnius. Udovychenko debuted with renowned ensembles like Moscow Virtuosi under the baton of Vladimir Spivakov, Kharkov Philharmonic Orchestra, Kharkov Youth Symphonic Orchestra and other orchestras from Ukraine, Germany and Lithuania. In 2014 he was invited by a Russian conductor and violinist Yury Bashmet to perform at the international festival Elba Isola Musicale D’Europa. In 2012 and 2014 he accepted the invitation of the conductor Vladimir Spivakov to play in the Grand Hall of the Moscow International House of Music during the opening ceremony of the Moscow Welcomes Friends international festival with the accompanying orchestra Moscow Virtuosi led by Spivakov himself. The Ukrainian violinist has recorded several concert performances for the National Recording House in Kiev.
Peter Valentovič began his career as a pianist and piano accompanist. He studied at the Conservatory in Bratislava (Eva Pappová – piano, Július Karaba – conducting). He improved his piano playing skills in masterclasses led by Marian Lapšanský and Eugen Indjić. As a soloist he debuted in the Slovak Philharmonic Hall with the Bratislava Conservatory Symphony Orchestra playing the Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, op. 35 by Dmitry Shostakovich. He continued his studies at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna (Leopold Hager – conducting, Konrad Leitner – opera accompaniment, Günther Theuring – choral conducting), where he acquired a special Viktor Bunzl scholarship for his excellent artistic gifts. He widened his education with the expert on contemporary music Zoltán Nagy at the Paris Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse. As a pianist he has collaborated with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, with which he participated also in prestigious events like Salzburger Festspiele, Wien Modern and Wiener Festwochen. He has also worked as a piano accompanist and assistant to Erwin Ortner in the famous Arnold Schoenberg Chor. In Paris he accompanied in Opéra Bastille and Théâtre du Châtelet, where he had an opportunity to collaborate with the world-known expert on historically informed performance John Eliot Gardiner. He was the chief piano accompanist at summer festivals in Klosterneuburg (The Bartered Bride) and Gars am Kamp (Tosca), where he collaborated with legendary singers Mara Zampieri and Peter Dvorský. He was an assistant to Gustav Kuhn at Tirol Festival Erl where he premiered the opera The Wedding by Ernst Leitner, conducted the opening concert featuring contemporary works, and participated in the study of several of Wagner’s operas. As an assistant to Zoltán Nagy he conducted the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava at the new music festival Ostrava Days. He was awarded special prizes as a piano accompanist for the best performance of a Czech aria at international vocal competitions of Emmy Destinn (2002) and Antonin Dvorak (2002, 2015). His accompanying and conducting collaboration with the Slovak opera diva Edita Gruberova is worth mentioning, thanks to which he has appeared in La Scala in Milano, in Vienna State Opera, Zürich Opera House, Bavarian State Opera, Frankfurt Opera, at Festspielhaus Baden Baden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Hungarian State Opera House and Tokyo Opera. An important part of Peter Valentovič’s conducting career is his cooperation with foreign opera houses and guest appearances at world stages: Tonhalle Zürich, Theater an der Wien, Wiener Konzerthaus, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Berlin, Prinzregententheater and Gasteig in Munich, Staatsoper Hannover, Konzerthaus in Dortmund and in Essen, Prague National Theatre and Hungarian State Opera House. Besides his role as an opera conductor Peter Valentovič is often invited to conduct also eminent symphonic orchestras in Europe and overseas (BBC National Orchestra of Wales, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden, Munich Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Slovak Philharmonic, Slovak State Philharmonic Košice, Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg, Staatskapelle Berlin, Philharmonie Essen, Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, FOK Prague Symphony Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Hungarian National Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic, Osaka Symphony Orchestra, Sapporo Symphony Orchestra and others). He was the principal choirmaster and conductor in the Cape Town Opera (South Africa) and principal conductor of the Turkish State Opera in Istanbul. He worked as a guest music assistant and language expert on Russian and Czech repertory in the Vienna State Opera. In 2018 Peter Valentovič became the new music director of the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra. The same year he recorded lesser known works by Tchaikovsky for the British label Decca, conducting the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra.
The winner of the prestigious Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Brussels in May 2016, the pianist Lukáš Vondráček is enjoying an interesting concert season 2018/2019. He will cooperate with renowned orchestras like hr-Sinfonieorchester, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conducted by Juraj Valčuha, he will have concerts with BBC National Orchestra of Wales led by the conductor Xian Zhang, Orchestre national de Lorraine, with Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava and Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo. His piano recitals will take place in concert halls in Flagey in Belgium, Società Filarmonica di Trento, Vancouver Chopin Society, Philharmonie Haarlem, Casa da Música in Porto and in Deutschlandfunk Cologne. The most recent and important events of Vondráček’s concert life include his performances with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra in Suntory Hall, with Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra in Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Oslo Philharmonic, and collaboration with the Belgian National Orchestra and others. He debuted in Wiener Konzerthaus, Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg), Louvre (Paris), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam) and at the festival PianoEspoo in Finland. Lukáš Vondráček was only four years old when he had his first public performance. In 2002, as a 15-year-old boy, he debuted with the Czech Philharmonic in Rudolfinum (Prague) with the conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy. In 2003 he started his American tour and performed in Carnegie Hall in New York. His natural, self-confident musicality and remarkable technical dispositions reveal in him a gifted and mature musician. He has given concerts collaborating with the famous conductors Paavo Järvi, Gianandrea Noseda, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Marin Alsop, Christoph Eschenbach, Pietari Inkinen, Vasily Petrenko, Jakub Hrůša, Anu Tali, Xian Zhang, Krzysztof Urbański, Stéphane Denève and Elim Chan. His collaboration with the Philadelphia Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and performances in prestigious halls like Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Flagey in Brussels, and at the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad belong to significant moments of his pianistic career, joined also by recitals in the cities of Mumbai and Singapore. His successes include many international awards, like 1st place at Hilton Head International Piano Competition (USA), San Marino International Piano Competition (San Marino) and Unisa International Piano Competition in Pretoria (South Africa). In 2009 he acquired also the Jury’s Prize at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Texas. Finishing his studies at the Vienna Conservatory and at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice he continued his education led by Hung-Kuan Chen at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where is living presently, and graduated in 2012. In 2004 the label Octavia Records released his first commercial recording with the pieces by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Franz Liszt, Leoš Janáček and Ernő Dohnányi. His next CD featuring his recital was released in 2012. So far his latest CD (2013) with works by Johannes Brahms waspublished by the music publishing house ORF Label.
The French pianist Tanguy de Williencourt is not only a respected soloist but also a sought-after chamber player. A holder of four master diplomas, he studied at the prestigious Paris Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse led by the teachers Roger Muraro, Claire Désert and Jean-Frédéric Neuburger. Moreover he is supported by the exponents of the musical milieu Maria João Pires, Christoph Eschenbach, Stephen Kovacevich and Paul Badura-Skoda, who significantly influenced his creative performing development. In 2016 he was awarded the Jury Prize and Public Prize by the Swiss Société des Artsde Genève. His qualities were confirmed by the title Révélation classique de l’Adami and the prize awarded by the French union protecting the artists’ copyrights, the so-called SPEDIDAM Award. In 2018 he acquired the Paris Chamber Orchestra Prize at the Paris Play-Direct Competition organized by the Philharmonie de Paris. He was awarded also by the foundationBlüthner et Banque Populaire. He performed in prestigious concert halls such as St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Philharmonie de Paris. He played at renowned festivals: Chopin Festival in the French village of Nohant, Radio France Festival in Montpellier, Pablo Casals Festival in Prades, festival in La Chaise-Dieu, festival Les Chorégies d’Orange, participated in delivery of prizes at Les Victoires de la Musique, at festival Les Pages Musicales in Lagrasse, Yehudi Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, Switzerland and many others. As a pianist he has had an opportunity to collaborate with artists like Olivier Charlier, Pierre Fouchenneret, Guillaume Chilemme, Adrien Boisseau, Bruno Philippe, Jérôme Pernoo, Paul Meyer, Philippe Bernold, as well as with reputable singers Mireille Delunsch and Vincent le Texier together with excellent conductors Jean-Christophe Spinosi and Raphael Pichon. He has recorded four CD albums. His long-lasting prolific co-operation with the cellist Bruno Philippe resulted in a recording of cello-piano works by Johannes Brahms and Robert Schumann (Evidence Classics, 2015) and an album with a performance of Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata Op. 47 arranged for cello and piano, as well as Schubert’s Sonata Arpeggione D. 821 in a version for cello and piano (Harmonia Nova, October 2017). In October 2017 the young pianist released a solo recording Wagner/Liszt in the publishing house Mirare Records, featuring Liszt’s piano transcriptions of Wagner’s operas. The most recent CD (October 2018) brings late works by the French composer Claude Debussy (Harmonia Mundi Records).
Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava became one of the leading Czech symphony orchestras shortly after its foundation in 1954. Since its first tour in 1956, the orchestra toured almost all Europe, USA, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and thanks to the financial support of the town of Ostrava and the ArcelorMittal company, it became in 2006 the second Czech orchestra after Czech Philharmonic to perform in Australia. Also with the support of the town of Ostrava, the orchestra accomplished a successful tour comprising 19 concerts in 19 towns in the U. S. in 2009. Janáček Philharmonic regularly performs at prominent Czech music festivals (The Prague Spring, Janáček’s May, Smetana’s Litomyšl et al.) The artistic profile of the orchestra, characterized by a rich and full-bodied sound, musicality and technical prowess, was formed by conductors Václav Neumann, Václav Smetáček, Jiří Bělohlávek, Libor Pešek, Zdeněk Mácal, Sir Charles Mackerras, Serge Baudo, Helmuth Rilling, Christian Arming, Petr Vronský, David Porcelijn, Mariss Jansons, Theodore Kuchar and most recently also by Antoni Wit, Mikhail Jurowski, Jakub Hrůša and Juraj Valčuha. The orchestra also collaborated with renowned soloists, among others with J. Carreras, P. Domingo, D. Ross, M. Caballé, J. Calleja, T. Lisnic, P. Burchuladze, D. Pecková, E. Urbanová, N. Kennedy, J. Suk, A. Navarra, L. Vondráček, J. Boušková, P. Šporcl, J. Buswell, S. Babayan and D. Ishizaka. In the repertoire of the Janáček Philharmonic the works by significant Czech composers occur: L. Janáček, A. Dvořák, B. Smetana, B. Martinů, as well as by the world authors – L. van Beethoven, G. Bizet, H. Berlioz, G. Mahler, F. Schubert, R. Strauss, B. Bartók, R. Schumann, M. Ravel, M. Bruch, A. Bruckner, A. Copland, W. Walton, L. Bernstein and others. Recently, the orchestra also accompanied Anna Netrebko and Jonas Kaufmann, it appeared at the Warsaw Autumn festival, Arts Centre Seoul, Konzerthaus Wien, Tonhalle Zürich or in Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. Since 1990s, the Janáček Philharmonic regularly perfoms contemporary music as well, due to the activites of composer and conductor Petr Kotík. The orchestra gained reputation as a medium for contemporary music at new music festivals in Ostrava, Prague, Warsaw and Berlin. The wide range of the orchestra’s repertoire is reflected in its abundant discography. It has recorded for numerous labels, e. g. Naxos, Brilliant Classics, Joan Records, Cybelle Records, CPO Records, Phaedra, Centaur, New World Records, Stradivari Classics and Supraphon. In 2014, the orchestra started a four-year project of live recordings of the complete works by Leoš Janáček. Heiko Mathias Förster is currently the chief conductor of Janáček Philharmonic; his collaboration with the orchestra dates back to 2004. At his inauguration, he stated, “Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava has enormous musical potential, and I believe that together, we can reach the heights.”
was established in 1929 as the first professional symphony orchestra in Slovakia. The Czech conductor František Dyk was then appointed to be the official leader of the Orchestra. Over the years the Orchestra was led by many outstanding personalities as chief conductors or main conductors including K. Schimpl, F. Babušek, K. Baranović, Ľ. Rajter, R. Týnský, L. Slovák, B. Režucha, O. Lenárd, R. Stankovský, Ch. Olivieri Munroe and O. Dohnányi. The Orchestra is currently led by chief conductor Mario Košik. Since January 2015 Adrian Kokoš has cooperated with the Orchestra as the second conductor. In the past the ensemble has also successfully recorded for publishers such as Opus, Supraphon, Naxos, Marco Polo, Arte Nova and others. The Orchestra premiered many works of Slovak as well as foreign composers and often engages in recording music for movies. SOSR performs with renowned guest conductors such as Ch. Mackerras, N. Järvi, K. Trevor, A. Paris, F. Haider, A. Mogrelia, D. Porcelijn, V. Spivakov, P. Altrichter, Y. Kamdzhalov and others. Many excellent soloists from Slovakia and abroad have already performed with the Orchestra including Anna Netrebko, Yusif Eyvazov, Boris Berezovskij, Edita Gruberová, Adriana Kučerová, Štefan Kocán, Pavol Bršlík, Daniel Ottensamer, Dana Ciocarlie, Alena Baeva, Andrey Yaroshinsky, Jiří Bárta, Dalibor Karvay and others. The Orchestra regularly performs at music festivals in Slovakia such as the Bratislava Music Festival, New Slovak Music Festival, Melos-Ethos, Allegretto Žilina or Radio_Head Awards Festival. SOSR is also welcome at concert stages abroad and appeared as a guest for instance in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Spain or Japan. It performed several times at the prestigious Viennese Musikverein, in the Philharmonie in Essen, Cologne, Klagenfurt and others. In the years 2016 and 2017 SOSR participated in opera productions of the operas Love Drink and Rigoletto at the St. Margarethen Opera Festival staged in the St. Margarethen quarry. The Orchestra cooperated also in several “cross-over” projects such as the Korben Dallas Symphony. One of the important activities of SOSR includes for instance also the premiere recording of the opera by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari: The Jewels of the Madonna (I gioielli della Madonna). The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra regularly cooperates with Slovak publishers in recording and presentation of works by Slovak composers mainly.
The Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina is one of the best known professional orchestras in Eastern Europe and holds a very important position in the Slovak musical life. It was founded in 1974 as the only "Classical period" chamber orchestra in Slovakia. Since then the orchestra has attained a prominent position in both the Slovak and Czech Republics, as well as it has achieved a considerable international reputation. Its 34 members are graduates of the major Czech and Slovak music academies and many of them are winners of international competitions and active both as soloists and chamber musicians. The quality of the players together with the experience and musicianship of the founding music director and conductor Eduard Fischer (1930 – 1993) brought about the quick artistic growth of the orchestra. Following chief conductors were Jan Valta, Leoš Svárovský and Oliver von Dohnányi. Mr. Simon Chalk was appointed the Chief Conductor of the Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina. He took up his post in September 2015. Principal Conductor of the Slovak Sinfonietta is Theodore Kuchar. Chief conductor emeritus is maestro Tsugio Maeda from Japan. By 1977 the orchestra attained international recognition when it was invited to the Salzburg Festival and designated the official orchestra of that prestigious festival. Soon after followed appearances at the "Prague Spring" and the major festivals throughout Europe, including Wiener Festwochen, Spring Festival and Haydn Festival in Vienna, Sofia's Musical Weeks, Festa Musica Pro in Assisi, Festival de Catalunia in Spain, Festival El Djem in Tunisia, Festival de Bonaguil in France, Music in Old Krakow, Budapest Spring Festival, Bratislava Music Festival, Melos Ethos Bratislava, Mozartfest Schwetzingen, Mozart Sommer Schloss Salem, Schleswick-Holstein Festival, Festival de Manaus in Brasilia, Festival van Vlaanderen, Aspekte Salzburg, Johann Strauss Festival in Vienna, Bodensee Festival in Switzerland, Ankara Musik Festival, Slovenian Music Days, NCPA Festival Beijing, and many others. The Sinfonietta played at such prestigious international venues as the Musikverein and Konzerthaus Vienna, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Philharmonic Halls in Berlin, Munic and Cologne, House of Artists Prague, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Komische Oper and Konzerthaus Berlin, St. Francis' Cathedral Assisi, Auditori Barcelona, Palau St. Jordi and Palau de la Musica Catalana Barcelona, Teatro Arriaga Bilbao, the Symphony Hall Osaka, Tokyo's Metropolitan Hall, Theatre de la Monnaie Brussels, Mozarteum Salzburg, Teatro Abadia and Palacio de Deportes Madrid, Tonhalle Zürich, Pavilhao Atlantico Lisbon, NCPA Beijing, Seoul Arts Center, Les Invalides and L’eglise de la Madeleine Paris, and the Great Concert Hall of the St. Peterburg Philharmonic among others. Altogether the orchestra has given more then 3,000 concerts in almost every country of Europe, in Asia, Africa, Japan, China, Korea, Brasilia, Canada and the U.S.A. Among the prominent artists who have performed with the orchestra are conductors Peter Maag, Marco Armiliato, Theodore Kuchar, Claus Peter Flor, Jean-Bernard Pommier, Nicholas Kraemer, Erik Zainermand, Alexander Schwinck, Misha Katz, Vladimír Válek, Petr Vronský, Ľudovít Rajter, Christian Benda, Dwight Bennett, Christian Pollack, Peter Breiner, Vladimír Kiradjiev, Ernst Märzendorfer, Martin Sieghardt, Stefan Lano, Janusz Powolny, Pawel Przytocki, Rastislav Štúr, Martin Leginus, Volker Schmidt Gertenbach, Georg Mais, Urs Schneider, Ondrej Lenárd, Nicola Giuliani, Elim Chan, Francesco Angelico, Karel Marc Chichón, Daniele Rustioni and soloists: Igor Oistrach, Narciso Yepes, André Gertler, Václav Hudeček, Ivan Ženatý, Sophia Jaffé, Baiba Skride, Dalibor Karvay, Liana Issakadze, Vanessa Mae, Marián Lapšanský, Eugen Indjic, Till Felner, Paul Badura Skoda, Timur Sergeyenia, Ludmil Angelov, Michael Kofler, Mario Carbotta, Peter Dvorský, Sergej Kopčák, Vittorio Grigolo, Michél Senechal, Stefan Elenkov, Edita Gruberová, Vesselina Kasarova, Georg Tichy, Pavol Breslik, Otokar Klein, Peter Mikuláš, Gabriela Beňačková, Magdaléna Kožená, Pretty Yende, Jana Kurucová, Adriana Kučerová, Ľuba Orgonášová, Magdaléna Hajossyová, Gustáv Beláček, Izabela Labuda, Benno Schollum, Ildikó Raimondi, Olivia Stapp, David Miller, Sarah Joy Miller, Pavol Hammel, Miro Žbirka, Andrej Šeban Band, Korben Dallas, the singer Kristína, Pacora Trio, Baroque Jazz Quintet, Emil Viklický, Radovan Tariška, Radka Fišarová, Petr Vondráček, Bohemia Voice, Lucie Bílá, Il Divo, and Il Volo. The Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina is a member of the Orchestra Network for Europe (ONE), a distinctive network of classical symphony orchestras initiated in 2004. Focusing on addressing the specific issues of the classical music sector, ONE has designed cooperation project promoting intercultural dialogue and extending artistic reach across borders. Since 2005, the network has received support from the European Union under the Culture Creative Programmes for five succesive periods of activity called ONE, ONE a new dimesion, ONE step further, ONE goes places, and ONE is more (2015 – 2019).