The final round of the Concertino Praga 2022 competition, which took place on 16 September as part of the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival in front of a sold-out Dvořák Hall at the Rudolfinum, was won by Bulgarian violinist Diana Chausheva and her interpretation of Max Bruch's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 in G minor. She also won the Audience Award, which is announced by a vote of the audience present in the hall.
The nine-member international jury, headed by pianist Pavel Gililov, decided the verdict of the thrilling final. Second place went to Italian trumpeter Filippo Lombardi, who interpreted Josef Haydn's Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra and Oskar Böhme's Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra, while third place went to Czech violinist Richard Kollert and his rendition of Aram Khachaturian's Violin Concerto. The first prize was awarded to pianist Viktor Vichev and his performance of Sergei Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto. The soloists were accompanied by the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra with conductor Robert Jindra.
"I didn't expect it at all, because the other finalists were absolutely amazing. What I think is important about the whole competition is that it entertained us and the jury, which I think it did. I'm really surprised but very happy because Concertino Praga will help me in my next journey and I hope I can inspire other young colleagues," said Diana Chausheva immediately after the results were announced.
Thanks to the support of the Karel Komárek Family Foundation, the winner of the 56th Dvořák Radio International Competition for Young Musicians Concertino Praga receives a scholarship in the amount of EUR 5,000, which is intended for further musical development or the purchase of a new instrument, as well as the opportunity to make a professional recording in the Czech Radio studios. The second place winner receives 2,800 euros from the Foundation. The third place winner receives a scholarship of 1,700 euros donated by Bulb. Fourth place is also supported by a financial reward, donated by the publishing house Bärenreiter Prague in the amount of 700 euros.
The international expert jury, chaired by pianist Pavel Gililov, was composed of the greats of the Czech music world – pianist Ivo Kahánek, violinist Josef Špaček, cellist Tomáš Jamník, and clarinetist Irvin Venyš. There were also jury members from abroad, namely the intendant of the Bamberg Symphony Marcus Rudolf Axt, trumpeter Sergej Nakarjakov, clarinetist Wenzel Fuchs and violinist Boris Brovtsyn.
"I was very impressed by the artistic level of the competitors, they are all extremely talented. It is always a pleasure to watch young performers on the threshold of their careers. And the jury was fortunate to find a winner who is most likely to have a successful artistic career ahead of her," says jury member Marcus Rudolf Axt, CEO of Bamberger Symphoniker.
A bonus for the finalists and other selected participants is a series of concerts at the South Bohemian Festival Concertino Praga. All the concerts held from 19 to 23 September in the attractive historic halls of Český Krumlov, Bechyně, Třeboň, and Jindřichův Hradec are recorded or broadcast live by Czech Radio Vltava.
Applications for the 57th edition of the competition in the solo and chamber music categories can be submitted until 31 March 2023.
Enter the Dvořák International Radio Competition Concertino Praga - in 2023 you can apply in two categories - solo and chamber.
All of the instruments in the solo category are judged jointly. A new feature at the 57th year of Concertina Praga involves a change in the age category for competitors playing the flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, French horn, saxophone and trombone from 17 to 18, meaning that competitors may not have turned 18 as of the date of the final round, i.e. 16 September 2023. This decision has been reached in order to ensure playing level equality among all the competitors.
One original feature of the Concertino Praga competition involves its connection to the radio. The jury in the first competition round judges the performances of all the entrants anonymously according to their entered recordings, which also constitutes an interesting feature for the individual jury members. This has been confirmed by a member of this year's jury, the bassoonist Milan Muzikář: “I was delighted by the level of talent displayed by the young competitors and at the same time I also liked the judging process in the first round, where the recordings are listened to anonymously. I made guesses as to the countries that the competitors probably came from based on their competition repertoires. It was only once the results had been revealed that I often discovered that my guesses were far from the truth. The competition’s primary idea, where art is connected with the medium of radio, is amazing. I most definitely invite all young performers to make use of all contemporary technical options at their disposal and to send their recordings into the first round.”
THE AGE LIMITS
The age limit for competitors playing the flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, French horn, saxophone and trombone – the competition is open to musicians who have not exceeded the age limit of 18 as of the date of the final round, i.e. 16 September 2023.
The age limit for competitors playing the violin, piano, violoncello, cembalo, accordion, harp and guitar has not changed – the competition is open to musicians who have not exceeded the age limit of 16 as of the date of the final round, i.e. 16 September 2023.
The chamber ensemble category is open to players in groupings ranging from duos to sextets who have not exceeded an average age of 20 as of the date of the final round, i.e. 15 September 2023.
The absolute winners in each category will receive the opportunity to make their own recording at Czech Radio. The best soloists and chamber ensembles will receive scholarships at the amount of 5000, 2800 and 1700 euros from the Academy of Classical Music for their further education and purchasing instruments. The best soloists and ensembles will then perform at the traditional Concertino Praga South Bohemian Festival during September.
However, that is not all: the best young musicians will also return to the Czech Republic in the future years to present their mastery at concerts prepared by the competition organisers and their partners.
Entries can be submitted via the competition website until 31 March 2023.
The end of April saw the international jury reach its decision on the finalists in the 56th year of Concertino Praga - the Dvořák International Radio Competition for Young Musicians. This year, the competition was held in the solo category.
The finalists Diana Chausheva, Richard Kollert, Filippo Lombardi, and Victor Vichev will vie for victory in the Antonín Dvořák International Radio Competition for Young Musicians at a public concert held in the Rudolfinum on Saturday 16 September 2022 with accompaniment from the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the conductor Robert Jindra.
The winner will receive the opportunity to make his or her own promotional recording at Czech Radio. The other prizes include scholarships in the amount of 5000, 2800, and 1700 EUR provided by the Karel Komárek Family Foundation and other partners. The prize money can be used to continue their musical education or to purchase a new instrument. The audience at the finale will have the opportunity to vote for the winner of the audience prize.
All of the finalists will subsequently perform at the Concertino Praga South Bohemian Festival.
Concertino Praga – the Antonín Dvořák International Radio Competition for Young Musicians – has been held each year since 1966. The mission of this multidisciplinary competition is to find extraordinary talents up to age 15 or 16. It is jointly organised by the Academy of Classical Music and Czech Radio. Candidates in two categories – solo and chamber music – are judged by an international jury of experts. In the first round, the jury evaluates the candidates anonymously on the basis of submitted recordings. The finals are held in public as a concert of the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival. In 2021, the competition is open to contestants in both categories. The solo category will be held for violin, cello, piano, harpsichord, harp, accordion, guitar, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, and trombone. The chamber music category is open to ensembles ranging from duos to sextets.
The winners will receive a scholarship in the amount of up to EUR 5,000. Laureates will also have the opportunity to make a professional radio recording at Czech Radio and to appear at the South Bohemia Festival Concertino Praga.
Since 1988, Concertino Praga has been a member of the European Union of Music Competitions for Youth (EMCY). It is held under the auspices of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), of which Czech Radio became an active member in 1993.
Czech Television has completed a documentary on the Concertino Praga international competition in co-production with the Academy of Classical Music. The documentary follows the four finalists in the competition from spring when they learnt of their progression into the final and depicts their preparations, including the final competition performances at the Rudolfinum in September 2020. It is possible to watch the documentary with English subtitles on YouTube channel of the Dvořák Prague Festival.
In 2020 for the first time, Czech Radio and the Academy of Classical Music, the organiser of the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival, jointly presented the 54th annual Concertino Praga Competition. To hear a recording of the concert held as the competition finals, see below.
Introducing the jury of Concertino Praga 2022
Jury for the 1st round
Igor Ardašev (piano, Česká republika)
Jan Jakub Bokun (clarinet, Polsko)
Jana Boušková (harp, Česká republika)
Raimon Colomer (a member of the Advisory Board of L’Auditori, Katalánsko)
Petr Hanzlík (composer, Česká republika)
Milan Muzikář (bassoon, Česká republika)
František Souček (violin, Česká republika)
Felix Renggli (flute, Švýcarsko)
Roman Rindberger (trumpet, Rakousko)
Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt (violoncello, Německo)
Jury for the 2nd round
Marcus Rudolf Axt - dirigent
Boris Brovtzyn - violin
Wenzel Maria Fuchs - clarinet
Pavel Gililov - piano
Václav Hudeček - violin
Tomáš Jamník - violoncello
Ivo Kahánek - piano
Sergei Nakariakov - trumpet
Peter Janků - EBU Slovensko
More information about the jurors can be found on the Concertino Praga website.
The double finale of the 55th year of the Concertino Praga competition took place during this year’s Dvořák Prague festival. The chamber ensembles competed before an international jury at the Convent of Saint Agnes of Bohemia on Friday 17 September. The winners were Duo Mráček–Pěruška consisting of Kristian Mráček (violin) and David Pěruška (violoncello), who played a piece by Zoltán Kodály. Both young performers also received the Audience Prize.
The jury chose the winning soloist in a packed Dvořák Hall at the Rudolfinum on Saturday 18 September. “The competition was also great this year and the final rankings were very close, but in the end the jury was most impressed by the 14-year-old Slovak pianist Ryan Martin Bradshaw, who performed Tchaikovsky’s B minor piano concerto. The Audience Prize went to the Czech pianist Jan Schulmeister,” said Jan Simon, the intendant at the Academy of Classical Music.
The overall results of the Concertino Praga competition
The solo category
1st place + the Czech Radio Prize: Ryan Martin Bradshaw, piano
2nd place: Jan Schulmeister, piano
3rd place: Ildikó Rozsonits, piano
Class 1 honorary mention: Mark Anthony Lewin, violin
Class 2 honorary mention: Kristóf János Havasi, Milena Piorunska
The Audience Prize: Jan Schulmeister
The Karel Komárek Family Foundation Prize: Jan Schulmeister
The chamber ensemble category
1st place + the Czech Radio Prize: Duo Mráček–Pěruška
2nd place: Trio INNsolitus
3rd place: Trio Vyšehrad
Class 1 honorary mention: Veloce String Quartet
Class 2 honorary mention: Duo Markova−Najman, Ensemble Symbolique
The Audience Prize: Duo Mráček–Pěruška
The Bohuslav Martinů Foundation Prize: Veloce String Quartet
The Prize of the Viktor Kalabis and Zuzana Růžičková: Duo Markova–Najman
Concertino Praga – the Antonín Dvořák International Radio Competition for Young Musicians – was founded in 1966 at the initiative of the Czechoslovak Radio editorial staff for broadcasting for children and young people. Among the leading figures in the initial development of the idea of a radio competition were the harpsichordist Zuzana Růžičková, the composer Viktor Kalabis, and the radio editor Helena Karásková. Thanks to the existence of the Organisation Internationale de la Radiodiffusion et Télévision, a former east-European institution that facilitated cooperation between radio and television stations, the competition was able to attain an international character and thus to differentiate itself from a large number of established national competitions for performing musicians.
In view of the complications associated with organising international activities under the former political regime, the decision was made to hold a competition without the direct participation of the competitors by only using submitted audio recordings. It was not until the concert that the winners were invited to appear together on one stage for the first time in history in the Dvořák Hall at the House of Artists in Prague on 18 November 1966, where the violinists Václav Hudeček (2nd prize) and Dmitry Sitkovetsky (1st prize) were among the now familiar artists presenting themselves.
The following year, Václav Hudeček won first prize, and among the pianists to win prizes were Dina Joffe and Zoltán Kocsis. Despite the competition’s necessarily strong orientation towards eastern Europe, among the laureates at the turn of the 1960s and ’70s were the Israeli violinist Yuval Yaron, a string quartet from West Germany (with Ulrike Fleming, Assunta Kwoka, Brigitte Schmeid, and Doris Laidler), a Japanese piano duo with Shizuka Ishikawa and Mariko Horie, and the Canadian pianists Louis Lortie and Jon Kimura Parker. Still today, there is an apparent tradition of candidates from eastern Europe – each year, Russian competitors usually represent the most numerous foreign nationality at Concertino.
While the competition was initially open to just three categories (piano, violin, and chamber music), the number of instruments gradually grew. For this reason, among the laureates were not only the violinists Sergei Stadler, Julian Rachlin, Isabelle Faust, and Jan Mráček and the pianists Vladimír Felcman, Igor Ardašev, and Ivo Kahánek, but also the cellists Leonid Gorochov, Alexander Rudin, and Tomáš Jamník, the organist Jaroslav Tůma, the flautist Michael Martin Kofler, the oboists Jana Brožková and Vilém Veverka, the clarinettists Sabine Meyer and Ludmila Peterková, the French horn player Radek Baborák, and the trumpet player Giuliano Sommerhalder.
The multidisciplinary and international character of Concertino Praga has been strengthened thanks to the establishment of cooperation between Czech Radio and the Academy of Classical Music in 2019. This has brought together the potential of the large media company that founded the competition and has been leading it successfully for more than 50 years, and of an institution that has been presenting the internationally recognised Dvořák Prague Festival for twelve years. The support for exceptionally talented young artists was thus able to take on a new form, and the 54th annual Concertino Praga competition gained the subtitle Antonín Dvořák International Radio Competition for Young Musicians. Dvořák’s legacy is reflected in the fact that the composer himself gave financial support to promising young artists. Successful contestants therefore receive scholarships or a contribution towards the purchase of their own instrument thanks to major support from the Karel Komárek Family Foundation and other partners.
Click HERE to download the Application for the Scholarship Drawdown.