Concertino Praga 2021 Finale: Tension and emotion live
Excellent performances, drama and tension until the very last moment and an excellent atmosphere in the concert halls. That is how the two finales at the 55th year of the Concertino Praga competition, which recently took place as part of the Dvořák Prague Festival, could be summarised.
The happy finalists in the solo category, which was entered by 58 competitors from 14 countries, included 3 pianists; Jan Schulmeister (the Czech Republic), Ildikó Roszonits (Hungary) and Ryan Martin Bradshaw (Slovakia). The foursome was rounded out by the German violinist Mark Anthony Lewin. They competed together for the favour of the audience with accompaniment by the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Vahan Mardirossian in the Dvořák Hall at the Rudolfinum on 18 September.
In the solo category, the fourteen-year-old Slovak pianist Ryan Martin Bradshaw most impressed the jury with his performance of Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no. 1 in B minor. His performance earned him a cheque for 5000 EUR from the Karel Komárek Family Foundation for his further musical development and Czech Radio will also record and issue a CD of his performances.
The winners of both categories were decided by a ten-member jury consisting of pianinsts Justas Dvarionas, Ivo Kahánek, Milan Langer, Ewa Kupiec, violinists Václav Hudeček and Dmitry Sitkovetsky, conducter Jakub Hrůša, clarinetists Andrew Marriner, trumpetist Sergei Nakariakov and oboist Alexei Ogrintchouk.
“I am very happy to have been able to participate in the Concertino Praga competition and to have had the opportunity to play with a large orchestra and, of course, with an excellent conductor and to perform in the Rudolfinum for the very first time in my life. Thanks to the Concertino, I have made new friends and have also had the opportunity to perform more concerts in South Bohemia,” said Ryan Martin Bradshaw immediately after the announcement of the results and receiving the main prize.
The finalists were selected by a seven-member jury consisting of Jacques Ammon, Jana Brožková, Bartosz Bryla, Peter Dan Ferenčík, Vladimír Rejlek, Eckart Runge and Miroslav Sekera. It was no easy task, as the performances in the top ten places in both categories were of very similar quality. The jury worked from home and the evaluation took place on-line.
The following ensembles made it to the finale of the chamber ensemble category: Duo Mráček–Pěruška (the Czech Republic), Trio Vyšehrad (the Czech Republic), Trio INNsolitus (Austria) and Veloce String Quartet (Poland). The jury was most impressed by the performance of Duo Mráček–Pěruška (Kristián Mráček – violin and David Pěruška – violoncello) which played Zoltán Kodály’s Duo for violin and violoncello, op. 7. Like Ryan Martin Bradshaw, the Duo Mráček-Pěruška received a cheque for the amount of 5000 EUR from the Karel Komárek Family Foundation for their further musical development and Czech Radio will record and issue a CD of their performances. In addition, the duo also received the Audience Prize and the EMCY Prize.
“Both finale evenings, i.e. the chamber finale at the Convent of Saint Agnes of Bohemia and the solo finale in the Dvořák Hall at the Rudolfinum, confirmed the trend of the unbelievably early professionalism and individuality of the young artists. As a Czech, I am extremely pleased that Czech competitors also succeeded among such crowded international competition; namely Duo Mráček-Pěruška, the pianist Jan Schulmeister and Trio Vyšehrad. And as a former laureate and fan of the Concertino Praga, I can responsibly state that the combination of the tradition and erudition of Czech Radio with the excellent facilities of the Dvořák Prague Festival has put this competition back where it rightfully belongs, i.e. among the most prestigious European competitions for young musicians,” is how Ivo Kahánek, who was in the jury for both the final rounds of the Concertino Praga 2021, evaluated this year’s competition.
Results of the 55th Concertino Praga
1st prize: Ryan Martin Bradshaw, piano (Slovakia)
2nd prize: Jan Schulmeister, piano (Czech Republic)
3rd prize: Ildikó Rozsonits, piano (Hungary)
First Grade Honourable Mention: Mark Anthony Lewin, violin (Germany)
Second Grade Honourable Mention: Kristóf János Havasi, saxophone (Hungary), Milena Piorunska, violin (Poland)
Czech Radio Prize: Ryan Martin Bradshaw (Slovakia)
Audition Prize: Jan Schulmeister (Czech Republic)
The Karel Komárek family Foundation award for the most successfull Czech participant: Jan Schulmeister (Czech Republic)
Chamber Music Category
1st prize: Duo Mráček–Pěruška (Czech Republic)
2nd prize: Trio INNsolitus (Austria)
3rd prize: Trio Vyšehrad (Czech Republic)
First Grade Honourable Mention: Veloce String Quartet (Poland)
Second Grade Honourable Mention: Duo Markova−Najman (Bulgaria),
Ensemble Symbolique (Czech Republic)
Czech Radio Prize: Duo Mráček–Pěruška (Czech Republic)
Audition Prize: Duo Mráček–Pěruška (Czech Republic)
Bohuslav Martinů Foundation Prize: Duo Markova–Najman (Bulgaria)
Viktor Kalabis and Zuzana Růžičková Endovment Fund Prize: Veloce String Quartet (Poland)
EMCY prize: Duo Mráček-Pěruška (Czech Republic)