Second round jury
Kateřina Javůrková, French horn (Czech Republic)
The successful Czech French horn player, Kateřina Javůrková, graduated from the Prague Conservatory and then continued her studies at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. She joined the Prague Philharmonia in 2009 and she has also been a member of the Czech Philharmonic since 2013. She performs as a solo artist with significant Czech and international orchestras, for example Orchestre de Paris, and she is also involved in chamber music, including as a founding member of the Belfiato Quintet. Kateřina Javůrková is a laureate from many prestigious international competitions: in 2009, she finished first in the international Federico II di Svevia competition in Italy and four years later she won the first prize and the title of Laureate at the international Prague Spring performance competition.
Ian Fountain, piano (Great Britain)
Ian Fountain became the youngest laureate of the famous Arthur Rubenstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv at the age of nineteen in 1989. His victory opened the door to a staggering international career: he has performed on the world’s most prestigious stages with the Israel Philharmonic led by Zubin Mehta, the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Colin Davis or the Czech Philharmonic with Jiří Bělohlávek. He regularly plays as a soloist in New York, Chicago, Paris, Berlin and Madrid. He and David Geringas have recorded a set of violoncello sonatas by Beethoven, Chopin, Mendelssohn and Rachmaninov for Haenssler Classics.
Jens Peter Maintz, cello (Germany)
The violoncellist Jens Peter Maintz has an excellent reputation as a multifaceted soloist and he is a sought after chamber player and a music teacher. This native of Hamburg graduated under David Geringas and he participated at master classes held by legendary personalities in the violoncello firmament, including Heinrich Schiff and Boris Pergamenschtschikow. His solo career has brought him into contact with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Herbert Blomstedt, Marek Janowski or Reinhard Goebel. He has also cooperated with the most distinctive contemporary soloists in the area of chamber music, such as Janine Jansen, Hélène Grimaud and Isabelle Faust. He has received the prestigious ECHO Klassik Award for his CD with recordings of works by Bach, Dutilleux and Kodály.
Jana Brožková, oboe (Czech Republic)
The renowned oboist, Jana Brožková, graduated from the Prague Conservatory and the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. In 1983, she drew attention to herself by winning the international Concertino Praga competition and 1989 she was the absolute winner and received a special prize at the Europäischer Musikpreis Zürich. She has been the solo oboist in the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra for a number of years and the first oboe at the Czech Philharmonic since 2002. She regularly performs on Czech concert stages as a soloist or a member of chamber ensembles. She won the 1st prize with the Afflatus Quintet in the ARD Munich competition in 1997. She has also been a teacher at the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague since 1999.
Milán Bolla, MTVA, EBU, (Hungary)
The Hungarian violinist Milán Bolla is a graduate of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. He was a member of the Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra and the Danubia Symphony Orchestra for ten years. In 2003–2009, he taught the violin at the Sir Georg Solti School of Music in Budapest. He has been a presenter on the Hungarian Bartók radio station, which broadcasts classical music, since 2009. He has been active as the conductor of the String Orchestra at the Sir Georg Solti School of Music since 2010. He won first prize with this orchestra at the National Competition of Music School Orchestras in 2014 and 2017. He also received the first prize at the European Music Festival for Young People in Neerpelt, Belgium in 2013 and 2015.
Irena Jakubcová, violin (Czech Republic)
Irena Jakubcová started playing the violin at the age of five. In 2000, she graduated from the Conservatory in Pilsen and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. She was the laureate in the conservatory competitions in 1995 and 2000. In 1997, she represented the Czech Republic in the European Union Youth Orchestra on a concert tour of European metropolises (Luxemburg, London, Moscow, Berlin, Limoges and Edinburgh) under the baton of Bernard Haitink. In 1999, she participated in the Académie de musique du XXe siècle in Paris, where she had the opportunity to study contemporary music under Pierre Boulez. She has held the position of the concertmaster at the Czech Philharmonic since 2012.
Denisa Kerschova, France Musique radio (France)
Denisa Kerschova attended ballet preparatory classes at the Prague Conservatory in 1975–80, where she also learnt the piano and the violoncello. She subsequently studied French at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in 1986–90. She has lived in France since 1991 and she is actively involved in Czech-French cultural life as an organiser, translator, press spokeswoman and interpreter. She has had daily broadcasts on the France Musique radio station, which broadcasts classical music, since 2009. Her Allegretto program attracts one hundred thousand listeners every day. She has translated a number of Georges Simenon’s detective stories about Chief Inspector Maigret or the novels of the contemporary French dramatist and prose writer Eric Emmanuel Schmitt into Czech.