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.
The story begins in May 2020. Two Czechs and two Russians, all aged between 13 and 15, have just learnt that they have progressed to the final of Concertino Praga, the Antonín Dvořák International Radio Competition your Young Musicians. In September 2020, they will give live competition performances accompanied by an orchestra as part of one of the most prestigious music festivals, Dvořák Prague. Their performances will be assessed by the international 12-member jury that includes some of the most significant contemporary musical personalities. The winner can look forward to a financial prize and the opportunity to make their own radio recordings.
A symbolic 54 competitors from 16 countries in Europe, Asia and North America registered for this year’s 54th Concertino Praga. The competition was originally founded by Czech Radio and the Academy of Classical Music has been a permanent co-organiser since 2020. This has brought several new features to the competition. The main ones include the live final round performed before a full auditorium and the opportunity for (not only) the winner to receive significant study scholarships thanks to the support of the Karel Komárek Family Foundation and other partners.
It is precisely this year of the competition that is the subject of the documentary by Czech Television. In it, we follow the journeys of the four young musicians from the moment when they learn that they have progressed into the final. We witness their preparations for the final performance and the actual course of the final round. The camera takes us backstage on the competition day and we learn what memories the winners of the historic first two years of the competition, the British violinist Dmitry Sitkovetsky (the chairman of this year’s jury) and the Czech violinist Václav Hudeček (the deputy chairman), have of the Concertino. It is beautiful to hear that the 1966 Concertino Praga was not merely the beginning of their successful international careers, but also the beginning of their lifelong friendship.