Concertino Praga now has its finalists – young musicians from the Czech Republic and Russia will compete for the top prizes
The international jury evaluated the finalists for this year’s Concertino Praga competition remotely during the last week of April.
The international jury evaluated the finalists for this year’s Concertino Praga competition remotely during the last week of April. The final of the Antonín Dvořák International Radio Competition will include two representatives from the Czech Republic, the 15-year-old violinist Daniel Matejča and 13-year-old pianist Jan Schulmeister, and two representatives from the Russian school of performance, the 14-year-old trumpeter Aleksandr Rublev and the pianist Vsevolod Zavidov of the same age. They will perform for the public and the jury at the finale concert held in the Rudolfinum on 12th September 2020, where they will be accompanied by the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the conductor, Jiří Rožeň. The finalists will then perform along with the four other best participants in the second round at the South Bohemian Concertino Praga Festival. The prize-giving ceremony will immediately follow the laureates’ live performances.
The jury chose 25 performers from the 54 registered participants during the 1st round in February. Due to the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the recordings were evaluated online without the jury members being physically present in Prague. On 28th April, the seven-member jury then decided on the eight young musicians, who will perform in public on 12th September under the auspices of the Antonín Dvořák International Radio Competition.
The competition’s absolute winner will receive the opportunity to make a promotional recording at Czech Radio. The other prizes include scholarships at the amount of 5000, 2800 and 1700 EUR. Thanks to the support from the Karel Komárek Family Foundation and other partners, the winners of the prizes from the Academy of Classical Music will receive these scholarships to further their music education at performance courses or to purchase new instruments. The audience members at the finale will have the opportunity to award the audience prize.
The 2nd round jury has also already decided to award a number of special prizes in addition to the scholarships and the opportunity to record the promotional CD. The Bohuslav Martinů Foundation Prize went to the pianist Vsevolod Zavidov for the best performance of a work by the composer. The Russian trumpeter and this year’s finalist Aleksandr Rublev received the Viktor Kalabis and Zuzana Růžičková Foundation Prize and the Bulgarian pianist Ivaylo Vassilev received an honourable mention from the same foundation. The prize for the youngest Czech participant in the 2nd round, which is donated by the Karel Komárek Family Foundation, was awarded to the clarinettist Ondřej Toman.
"We are pleased that the change in competition format has brought about a revival to the competition, while the jury members, who listened to the competition recordings, are all of the opinion that we can look forward to excellent performances from these young musicians, despite the lowering of the age limit and the fact that the instruments have been combined into a single solo playing competition category,” said Jan Simon, the intendant at the Academy of Classical Music. Kateřina Javůrková, a leading Czech French horn player and a second-round jury member, has also confirmed the high level of this year’s competitors: “All the jury members were almost unanimous with regard to the finalists. It is hard to believe that the candidates are all under the age of 15.”
Two days after the results are announced, the eight best competitors will have an opportunity to present their talent at the traditional South Bohemian Concertino Praga Festival. The tour will take place from 14th to 18th September and it will offer audiences the very best from the 54th year of the competition at five concerts held in Český Krumlov, Bechyně, Třeboň and Jindřichův Hradec. In addition to the performances of the laureates, audiences will also be able to enjoy performances by the saxophonist Márton Bubreg from Austria, the Italian oboist Carlo Cesaraccio, the Russian flautist Lukerya Mishneva and the pianist Ivaylo Vassilev from Bulgaria. These young performers will also become understudies for the final round of the Concertino Praga and will receive the opportunity to perform on the “Talent Stage” in the morning program at the Antonín Dvořák International Radio Competition on 12th September 2020.
“Concertino Praga is an original competition in many regards; for example, due to the age of the competitors, its radio format (the two rounds involve listening to anonymous recordings) and the subsequent South Bohemian festival with several concerts held in the different environments of picturesque South Bohemia. This year’s competition is the first in the new final round format and in cooperation with the Academy of Classical Music. All that remains is to wish that our joint efforts with Czech Radio will help to once again lift the Concertino Praga a little higher,” said Kateřina Konopásková, the Production Manager at Czech Radio.
More details about the second round of Concertino Praga are available in the list of results.