1. Which categories are included in the competition?
The 54th year of the Concertino Praga competition (2020) has been opened to soloists playing the following instruments: violin, violoncello, piano, cembalo, accordion and harp, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, French horn, saxophone and trombone.
The 55th year of the Concertino Praga competition (2021) will be opened to soloists playing the following instruments: violin, violoncello, piano, cembalo, accordion and harp, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, French horn, saxophone and trombone and to chamber ensembles in the following settings: duo, trio, quartet and quintet.
2. What is the age limit for the competitors?
Musicians who were born on 1.1.2005 or later may participate in the categories of violin, violoncello, piano, cembalo, accordion and harp in the 54th year of the competition (2020).
Musicians who were born on 1.1.2004 or later may participate in the categories of flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, French horn, saxophone and trombone in the 54th year of the competition (2020).
Ensembles, where the average age of the members does not exceed 20 in the year of the submission of the competition registration, may participate in the competition in the chamber music category with settings ranging from duos to quintets. The oldest member of the ensemble may not be older than 21 in the year of the submission of the competition registration.
3. Does the competition include a compulsory repertoire?
The promoter has issued a list of recommended pieces for 2020, the performance of which will have a positive impact on the evaluation of the competition performances, may constitute one of the evaluation criteria and may be subject to special performance prizes. The candidates are not, however, required to include any of the recommended pieces in their competition repertoire. The recommended pieces have been published here.
4. Why is it not possible to record concertante pieces with the accompaniment of a piano (with a piano score) for the purposes of the competition?
Concertante pieces (instrumental concertos where the orchestral accompaniment has been replaced with a piano score) are not accepted. The possible radio broadcast of the submitted competition recordings means that the use of recordings where the orchestral part has been replaced with a piano score is problematic from a dramaturgical point of view. As such, recordings which include concertante pieces will be eliminated from the competition. The only exception to this involves compositions which have been expressly authorised for performance with piano or if they have been included in the list of recommended competition literature.
5. How does the competition take place?
The competition has three rounds. In the 1st round, the jury anonymously selects 25 candidates from the submitted competition recordings, who then proceed into the 2nd round. In the 2nd round, the jury anonymously selects 4 recordings from competitors who will proceed into the 3rd round and 4 recordings from competitors who admittedly do not proceed into the 3rd round, but who have been selected to participate at the South Bohemian Concertino Praga festival. These competitors will be replacements for the 3rd competition round, if any of the selected 3rd round participants drop out. A candidate who has become a replacement for the 3rd round will be informed of his or her participation in the 3rd round as soon as a given 3rd round participant fails to confirm his or her participation.
6. When will I find out, if my recording has progressed into the 2nd round?
The candidates progressing into the 2nd round will be informed of their success by the end of February 2020.
7. When will I learn, if I have progressed into the 3rd round?
The results of the 2nd round will be published by the end of April 2020.
8. How does the competition take place?
The third and final round of the solo instrument competition category takes place in the form of a live public concert with an orchestra which is broadcast live by Czech Radio as part of the Antonín Dvořák International Radio Competition for Young Musicians.
9. Is the competition truly anonymous?
Yes. None of the jury members may receive any information about the candidates during the first two rounds. The recordings played to the jury are given serial numbers which are created using a special allocation system which precludes their identification. The jury members receive the repertoire contained in each individual recording, while the information about the performers (the name, age and nationality) is known only to the representative of the competition’s promoter.
10. When and how can I register to participate?
Candidates can only register to participate in the competition using the on-line registration form. The registration form must be submitted along with the competition recording by 15th December 2019 at the latest.
11. If I progress into the 2nd round, but the jury has found some technical deficiencies in my recording from the 1st round, can I rerecord it?
Yes. Czech Radio offers the competitors the opportunity to rerecord their competition recordings, if the jury has requested them to do so. The candidate or the candidate’s registering organisation will bear the travel and accommodation costs during the recording session.
12. How does the recording take place?
A short acoustic rehearsal will take place once the microphone has been correctly set up by our technicians. This will be followed by the actual recording. All candidates are given the same amount of time for the recording. This is usually 120 minutes, depending on the total number of competitors in the given year of the competition. The recording will be attended by a sound technician who will be responsible for the quality of the recording. Only the candidate’s teacher or his or her representative and a page turner may also be present in the studio during the recording. The recording will be exclusively subject to the instructions of the appropriate employees of Czech Radio (the sound technician, the head of the competition).
13. Can I play using sheet music or do I have to learn it by heart?
Playing by heart is not required. Playing from sheet music is especially possible during recordings. It is, however, necessary to keep in mind that the competition is designed for young musicians who wish to later perform on concert stages professionally and that the 3rd round of the competition takes place in the form of a competition performance with an orchestra as part of a large international music festival. It is therefore advisable for the competition candidates and their teachers to take into account the fact that playing by heart is considered to constitute a degree of professionalism in those instruments where playing without sheet music is common at concerts (especially the piano, cembalo, violin, violoncello, harp and so on).
14. Will I be provided with a page turner, if I play using sheet music?
Czech Radio does not provide this service. The pages may be turned by your teacher or by your own page turner, whom you can bring with you. The promoter will provide a page turner in the final 3rd round with an orchestra. The candidate must announce this requirement when disclosing his or her repertoire for the 3rd round of the competition in the registration.
15. How will the piano be tuned?
The piano will be tuned to the frequency of 442 kH.
16. Do I have to play the entire piece in one sitting or are cuts possible?
The recording must not contain any cuts. This must always involve a recording of the performance of an entire (single-movement) piece or of a movement without any interruptions. If you record a piece with several movements, it is possible to record the individual movements separately and to do so in the order of your choosing.
17. What happens, if I make a mistake in a section of the piece when playing?
If the time limit so allows, you can rerecord the piece or the movement. However, it is not possible to only record a given section of a single-movement piece or a movement. You can then select the best version from the resulting recordings. The recording and selection of the pieces must, however, fall within the given time limit.
18. What are the prizes in the competition?
1st prize – 5,000 EUR
2nd prize – 2,800 EUR
3rd prize – 1,700 EUR
The 500 EUR Audience Prize for a participant in the final round based on the votes cast by the audience
The 500 EUR Štěpánka Komárková Prize for the youngest participant in the final round.
These prizes are awarded in the form of scholarships for participation in master classes or study stays or in the form of contributions towards the purchase of a musical instrument.
The winner of the first prize will receive the opportunity to record his or her own CD at the Czech Radio studios, whereby the recording will be released in 200 copies; or Czech Radio will make recordings without releasing them on CD and at the same time will secure the purchase of any copyrighted works for non-commercial use in all forms, all technical means and all means of dissemination.
The winners of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes along with the recipients of the honourable mentions will perform at the South Bohemian Concertino Praga festival. The festival concerts will be recorded and broadcast by Czech Radio 3 - Vltava. The solo instruments will be provided with professional piano accompaniment. The participants will receive recordings of their performances after the end of the festival for their personal use.
The competition’s secretariat will cooperate with the Production Centre to find further concert opportunities in the Czech Republic and abroad for the most successful participants.
19. What is the South Bohemian Concertino Praga festival?
The South Bohemian festival consists of a cycle of concerts for the prize winners and the recipients of honourable mentions. The participants are accommodated at the Hotel Concertino in Jindřichův Hradec, from where they travel to the concerts in the neighbouring towns. The festival usually consists of a total of 4 performances (Český Krumlov, Třeboň, Bechyně and Jindřichův Hradec).
20. Do I have to pay to participate in the festival?
The competition’s promoter will pay any essential accommodation costs. This includes: travel, accommodation and catering costs for the invited laureates and their competition escort (in the case of laureates who are minors). A Czech Radio employee is responsible for any participants from the Czech Republic throughout the period of the aforementioned events. It is permitted for a legal guardian to accompany a competition participant, but the legal guardian will be required to meet any of the associated costs.
21. What is the schedule for the Concertino Praga?
The 54th year (2020)
• The 3rd round of the competition:
Prague, studio 1 at Czech Radio Friday 11th September 2020
• Praha, the Dvořák Hall at the Rudolfinum Saturday 12th September 2020 – a dress rehearsal with the orchestra, the Dvořák Hall at the Rudolfinum
• The South Bohemian Concertino Praga festival
o Český Krumlov, the château, the Masquerade Hall:
Monday 14th September
o Bechyně, the château, the Vok Hall:
Tuesday 15th September
o Třeboň, the Schwarzenberg Tomb
Wednesday 16th September
o Jindřichův Hradec, an educational concert:
Thursday 17th September
o Jindřichův Hradec, the chateau, the Knight’s Hall:
Friday 18th September
Other accompanying events will also take place within the framework of the South Bohemian Concertino Praga festival.