Third round jury
The final round of the competition will take place as part of a concert at the Dvořák Praga Festival on Saturday 12 September 2020. 11 judges will participate in the prize giving.
Lukáš Vondráček, piano (Czech republic)
From the very beginning of his artistic career, Lukáš Vondráček has been considered to be something of a Wunderkind. His first ever performance was at the age of four. He later debuted with the Czech Philharmonic under Vladimir Ashkenazy aged fifteen and one year later he went on tour to the United States. His phenomenal technique coupled with his natural musicality quickly gained him a substantial international reputation. He is the laureate from a number of performance competitions, including the absolute winner at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition in Brussels. He performs with many top-flight orchestras and conductors, including Paavo Järvi, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Marin Alsop, Christoph Eschenbach, Vasily Petrenko and Jakub Hrůša.
Maxim Vengerov, violin (Israel)
Maxim Vengerov is currently considered to be one of the best contemporary violinists. He began playing the violin at the age of five and he became the laureate in the Wieniawski Violin Competition at the age of ten and made his first recording in the same year. This was the beginning of his extensive discography for the Melodia, Teldec and EMI record companies. He considers Mstislav Rostropovich and Daniel Barenboim, who had a critical influence on forming his understanding of music, to be his best-known teachers, mentors and friends. In addition to his dazzling solo career, he is also intensively involved in conducting, he is a sought after teacher and jury member and was the first classical musician to be appointed UNICEF goodwill ambassador.
Augustin Hadelich, violin (USA)
The violinist, Augustin Hadelich, was born in Italy to German parents. He played the violin under the tutelage of his father, an enthusiastic amateur violinist, from the age of five. He later graduated from the Mascagni Institute in Livorno and from the famous Juilliard School in New York. His playing is appreciated for its phenomenal technique, full sound and beauty of tone. To date, he has performed with many significant European and American orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra from Amsterdam, the New York Philharmonic or the Cleveland Orchestra. His extensive discography, which includes works by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius amongst others, has received a number of important awards, including the 2016 Grammy Award.
David Geringas, cello (Germany, Latvia)
The Lithuanian violoncellist and conductor David Geringas is one of the most respected contemporary performers who performs with practically every significant international orchestra and conductor. He studied the cello under Mstislav Rostropovich and in 1970 he received the gold medal at the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition. His performance range stretches from the early baroque through to music from contemporary composers. He has more than fifty CDs to his name, a number of which have received substantial awards. He is also involved in teaching: in addition to the master classes which he holds all around the world, he is the Violoncello Professor at the Berlin University of the Arts.
Francois Leleux, oboe, conductor (France)
The French oboist and conductor François Leleux, is well known for his untamed musicality and drive. He was the first oboe at the Paris Opera at the tender age of eighteen and he later held the same position in the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. As a conductor, he cooperates with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. He is due to perform with the renowned Camerata Salzburg in the upcoming year of the Salzburg Music Festival. He has contributed to the creation of twenty CDs including the music of Bach, Zelenka, Mozart, Dvořák or Britten. He is also involved in teaching. His wife is the celebrated violinist, Lisa Batiashvili.
David Mareček, piano, CEO Czech Philharmonic (Czech republic)
David Mareček graduated from the Brno Conservatory in piano and he later continued studying music at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno, where he completed his doctorate in the fields of performance and performance theory. He was the Deputy Principle and a piano teacher at the Brno Conservatory. Since 2011, he has been the Managing Director of the Czech Philharmonic where he has regularly achieved excellent results in finding prestigious opportunities to showcase the artistry of our leading orchestra on the international scene. As a pianist, he has a recent award-winning recording of Schubert’s Winter Journey with the bass Jan Martiník.
Tomáš Netopil, conductor (Czech republic)
Tomáš Netopil is one of the most successful Czech conductors. He graduated in conducting from the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and the Royal Academy in Stockholm. In 2002, he received the first prize in the George Solti International Conductors’ competition. He was the principal conductor at the National Theatre in 2009–2012 and he has held the post of the music director for the opera and philharmonic in Essen, Germany since 2013. He cooperates with a number of renowned orchestras such as the Staatskapelle Dresden or the London Philharmonic Orchestra, for example, and he is a guest conductor at the renowned Semperoper in Dresden. In the last two seasons, he has successfully conducted Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen, Dvořák’s Rusalka and Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the Viennese State Opera.
Jakub Hrůša, conductor (Czech republic)
Jakub Hrůša is one of the best-respected conductors of the younger generation. He studied conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, including under Jiří Bělohlávek, and he won three significant awards in the Prague Spring competition when aged just eighteen. Three years later, he won the international Lovro von Matacic Competition for conducting in Zagreb. To date, he has cooperated with the majority of Czech orchestras and with a number of international orchestras. He currently leads the Bamberg Symphony and is the principal guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Orchestra. He conducts at the National Theatre in Prague, at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen and at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival in England.
Jana Boušková, harp (Czech republic)
The excellent harpist of international standing, Jana Boušková, graduated from the State Conservatory in Prague and the University of Ostrava. She then continued her studies at the renowned Indiana University. To date, she is the only Czech to have won the most renowned harp competition in the USA. She regularly performs both as a solo performer and in chamber ensembles on significant domestic and world stages and at festivals. She is the solo harpist at the Czech Philharmonic, a professor at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, the Royal College of Music in London and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and a jury member at prestigious harp competitions. Her extensive discography includes almost fifty CDs.
Thibaut Maillard, R.T.S, EBU (Switzerland)
Thibaut Maillard, a native of France, initially studied the piano and later graduated from the Conservatoire de Paris where he especially focussed on music theory, conducting and music direction and production. As a producer, he has a wide range of experience in the area of radio and television broadcasting and the publication of audio and video media, as well as in the production of live cinema broadcasts. He has contributed to the creation of more than forty DVDs and CDs by renowned performers and he cooperates with significant concert halls in Moscow, Barcelona, Madrid, Vienna, Berlin, Stockholm or Paris. He has worked as a classical music producer for the Swiss television and radio company Radio Télévision Suisse since 2015.
Walter Auer, flute (Austria)
The Austrian flautist, Walter Auer, graduated from the Mozarteum in Salzburg and from the Karajan-Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker. He began his professional musical career as the first flute at the Dresden Philharmonic and he currently holds the same post at the Vienna Philharmonic. He has received a number of awards as a soloist and chamber player at international competitions (Cremona, Bonn and Munich). He has performed on stage with personalities such as Daniel Barenboim or Cecilia Bartoli. He is also involved in teaching activities; he leads master classes at the famous Juilliard School and the Summer Music Festival in New York and at the Conservatory in Sydney, in Japan, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.
Daniel Ottensamer, clarinet (Austria)
The Austrian clarinettist, Daniel Ottensamer, originally devoted his talent to playing the piano and the violoncello. He graduated from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna in 2009 and became the first clarinet in the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera. He also won the clarinet section of the prestigious Carl Nielsen International Competition in Denmark in the same year. He is regularly invited to perform with renowned orchestras such as the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, the Vienna Symphony or the NHK Symphony Orchestra and with conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Gustavo Dudamel, Andris Nelsons or Ádám Fischer. He is also intensively involved in chamber music. He is part of the trio known as the Clarinotts along with his brother Andreas and his father Ernst.