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Final Competition Round in Concert, Solo Category
Saturday, September 16, 2023, 7.00 pm
For the Future

Ticket prices

290 - 190 Kč


Jaques Ibert: Concerto for Flute and Orchestra (Fabian Johannes Egger)Max Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 44 (Margaryta Pochebut)Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 25 (Denis Stefanov)Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in A Minor, op. 16 (Adam Znamirovský)

CONCERTINO PRAGA 2023: Final Competition Round in Concert

The final round of the Concertino Praga competition has always promised to be a thrilling spectacle and a superb artistic experience. Who will be crowned the victor this year?

In the Chamber Music category, young performers compete every two years, while soloists compete annually. This evening, four finalists will perform solo concertos in Dvořák Hall, accompanied by the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Jan Kučera.

In 1966, Czechoslovak Radio launched Concertino Praga, an international radio competition for young musicians. The competition has become world-renowned, with laureates such as Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Václav Hudeček, Isabelle Faust, Julian Rachlin, Christian Tetzlaff, Lars Vogt, Zoltán Kocsis, Radek Baborák, Ivo Kahánek, and many others.

In 2020, the Academy of Classical Music, the organiser of Dvořák Prague, teamed up with Czech Radio to give contestants the opportunity to perform on the festival’s stage in front of a live audience and an international jury.

Who, then, can we look forward to seeing on the panel? For one, cellist Pablo Ferrández, who opened last year’s festival with great success. Also, Sarah Willis, a solo hornist from the Berlin Philharmonic, who is widely respected not only for her phenomenal skills, but also for successfully promoting classical music among young audiences. And then there is violinist and conductor Dmitry Sitkovetsky, the very first winner of this competition in 1966. Lastly, we have the outstanding pianist Roman Rabinovich. All of them will not only sit on the panel but also perform at Dvořák Prague, or lead master classes. Albena Danilova, a concertmaster from the Vienna Philharmonic, has also agreed to take part, with the Vienna Philharmonic’s performance expected to be a highlight of this year’s festival.

We are confident that this year will bring us fresh faces and new discoveries, who will go on to have fruitful artistic careers. The 2020 laureate is a shining example: last year, violinist Daniel Matejča won another big competition, the Eurovision Young Musicians contest, and then in 2022 he returned to the Dvořák Prague stage with his unforgettable performance of the Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Other finalists, such as Czech pianist Jan Schulmeister, Slovak Ryan Martin Bradshaw, and Hungarian Ildikó Rozsonits, have also achieved great success in both competitions and concert performances.

  • Dress code: dark suit


Denis Stefanov

Fifteen-year-old Denis Stefanov was brought to the piano at the age of four by his mother and one year later he enter Professor Peter Toperczer’s class, where he is still studying today. He is in the fourth year of an 8-year course at the City of Prague Grammar School and Music School and is also studying chamber performance under Professor Hájková. He also sang in a choir for five years. He has participated in many competitions in the past, for example Prague Junior Note, the Broumov Key, the Young Piano of the Prague Conservatoire and Amadeus. He performed at the Chopin Festival in Marienbad in 2019 and 2022 and has cooperated with a number of leading pianists such Ivan a Lukáš Klánský, Ivo Kahánek, Martin Kasík, Helena Suchárová-Weiser and Marek Kozák. He entered the Concertino Praga competition in order to acquire new experience in competitions of a similar format. He welcomes the opportunity to play with the Prague Symphony Orchestra and to try out studio recording, which represents a great challenge for him.

Denis Stefanov - piano

Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra

Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra is one of the most important contemporary Czech orchestras. Starting from the season of 2022/2023, Czech conductor Petr Popelka will become the orchestra’s chief conductor and artistic director. Robert Jindra has assumed the post of principal guest conductor.

In the 2022/2023 concert season, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra welcome outstanding violinists such as Frank Peter Zimmermann and Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Pianists Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Benjamin Grosvenor and Nicolas Hodges, cellists Jean-Guihen Queyras and Daniel Müller-Schott, and conductors John Axelrod, Sylvain Cambreling and Jessica Cottis have accepted our invitation as well. A concert performance of Act 1 of Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde, where the two other acts will be performed in the following two seasons, is a unique project. The lead roles will be played by Michael Weinius and Elisabeth Teige. Among the local performers, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra will feature pianists Ivo Kahánek and Martin Kasík, Markéta Cukrová and Jana Kurucová, as well as conductor Václav Luks.

Over the past few years, the orchestra has collaborated with leading Czech and international conductors such as Tomáš Netopil, Petr Altrichter, Jakub Hrůša, Cornelius Meister, Alexander Liebreich, Ilan Volkov, Stephan Asbury, Ion Marin, Michał Nesterowicz, Anu Tali and Wayne Marshall.

The soloists accompanied by the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra include pianist Krystian Zimerman, violinists Leila Josefowicz and Pierre Amoyal, cellists Gautier Capuçon, István Várdai and Steven Isserlis, trombonist Christian Lindberg, as well as jazzman Avishai Cohen. Singers include Renée Fleming, Elīna Garanča, Asmik Grigorian, José Cura, Juan Diego Flórez, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Jonas Kaufmann. Among the local artists, one should certainly not omit Lukáš Vondráček, Ivo Kahánek, Jan Bartoš, Josef Špaček, Jan Mráček, Tomáš Jamník, Adam Plachetka, Simona Šaturová, Kateřina Kněžíková, Petr Nekoranec and Vilém Veverka. The orchestra commissions and regularly performs works by leading contemporary Czech composers such as Miroslav Srnka, Ondřej Adámek, Pavel Zemek Novák, Jan Ryant Dřízal, Ondřej Štochl and Jiří Kadeřábek.

The recording activity of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra is quite extensive as well. Consider the Janáček trilogy with conductor Tomáš Netopil released by Supraphon. Two of these recordings were highlighted as the Editor’s Choice by the prestigious Gramophone magazine. The very first complete recording of Miloslav Kabeláč’s eight symphonies (Supraphon, 2016) or the recording of all of Bohuslav Martinů’s piano concertos (Radioservis, 2016) was a singular achievement. The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra celebrated the 150th anniversary of Vítězslav Novák’s birth by recording a new album featuring pianist Jan Bartoš and conductor Jakub Hrůša (Supraphon, 2020), which won the Anděl Award in 2021. More recent productions include late orchestral works by Bohuslav Martinů entitled Fresky, Paraboly, Rytiny, recorded with the internationally renowned conductor Tomáš Netopil (Supraphon, 2021) and a forthcoming album in collaboration with the prestigious Hyperion label with works by Martinů, Kalabis and Krása for harpsichord and orchestra with soloist Mahan Esfahani and conductor Alexander Liebreich.

Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra offers its audience concerts as part of subscription cycles in the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum or the convent of Saint Agnes as well as individually in DOX+ or in Studio 1 of Czech Radio. It is a regular guest at prominent festivals such as Prague Spring International Music Festival, Dvořák Prague International Music Festival, Smetana’Litomyšl, Leoš Janáček International Music Festival and International Music Festival Český Krumlov. The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra regularly performs on international stages in Europe and Japan.

Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra

Jan Kučera

The conductor, composer, and pianist Jan Kučera, born in 1977 in Klatovy, is one of the most versatile Czech artists. He studied composition with Bohuslav Řehoř, conducting with Miriam Němcová and Miroslav Košler at the Prague Conservatory and, subsequently, conducting with Vladimír Válek at the Academy of Performing Arts Prague. Within his conservatory graduation concert, he debuted as a conductor with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and premiered his three tone poems, based on motifs from works by Czech writers (Kundera, Hrabal, Kolář). He has composed symphonic and chamber pieces, cantatas, and songs, as well as incidental music for more than 30 productions for theatres in Prague and elsewhere in the Czech Republic. He has also created musical arrangements, including symphonic adaptations of songs and melodies from Czech films.

As a conductor, Jan Kučera has regularly collaborated with leading Czech orchestras, with whom he has performed or recorded the classical repertoire, as well as more than 100 symphonic pieces by contemporary composers, many of them in premiere. Between 2002 and 2010 he mainly worked with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. In June 2007, in co-operation with Canada’s renowned Compagnie Marie Chouinard, he and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra performed Igor Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps. In the same year, he received an honourable mention in the conducting competition within the Prague Spring festival. In October 2007, he conducted the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra’s acclaimed performance at the Musikverein in Vienna of Dvořák’s New World Symphony, which he also presented during a tour of Japan, together with Beethoven’s symphonies. Within the Czech Republic’s Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2009, he and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra recorded for Supraphon the national anthems of the 27 EU member states. Owing to his musical versatility and promptitude, he has been frequently invited to participate in crossover concerts too. He has also collaborated with the Prague Symphony Orchestra, with whom he has performed Smetana’s My Country, Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and other works.

Jan Kučera has also been active in the opera domain. At the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre in Ostrava, he conducted the productions of Martinů’s Mirandolina and Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel. At the National Theatre in Prague, he prepared the music and conducted the production of Shostakovich’s Antiformalist Rayok / Orango, the world premiere of his own comic opera Red Mary and Rossini’s La cenerentola. In 2016 he wrote a ballet The Three Musketeers for National Moravian-Silesian Theatre in Ostrava. His second ballet music The Taming of the Shrew will be premiered in November 2018 in the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Pilsen.

In 2015–2021 he was engaged as the chief conductor of the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra.

Jan Kučera - conductor

Fabian Johannes Egger

Fabian Johannes Egger was born in 2007. He has studied at the Leopold Mozart Institute for the Encouragement of Talented Students at the Mozarteum University Salzburg since 2016 and has also been a student of Professor Andrey Lieberknecht in Munich since 2020. In recent years, he has won a number of first prizes at national and international competitions. He has been invited to a number of festivals as a guest performer, including Mozartwoche Salzburg, the Salzburg Festival, Arsonore Graz, La Côte Flute Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and so on. He is interested in various musical styles, in improvisation and in composition. The BR4 Classic radio station has broadcast several of his compositions for solo flute, which he both composed and performed. In 2022, he performed the premiere of his composition Icy Times for flute and piano at the Tampere Flute Fest gala concert in Finland. He considers it especially important to write for young people in order to foster their interest in music and to contribute in a small way to transforming the world into a better place to live.

Fabian Johannes Egger - flute

Margaryta Pochebut

Margaryta Pochebut was born in Karkhiv, Ukraine. She started her musical career at the age of six at a school for talented children in Kiev and at the same time she also studies at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland. She debuted as a soloist with a symphony orchestra in 2015 and   participated in the very first Mischa Elman International Violin Competition, where she won the Grand Prix. Over the last seven years of her active musical career, she has performed in the very best concert halls in Ukraine, Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia etc. Her extensive repertoire consists of works by Édouard Lalo, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Antonio Vivaldi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Fritz Kreisler, Niccolò Paganini etc. She has been a laureate at more than ten prestigious international competitions, including the Ysaye Junior Competition, the violin competition in Astana, the Il Piccolo Violino Magico International Competition for Young Violinists or the international Louis Spohr Violin Competition for young violinists.

Margaryta Pochebut - violin

Adam Znamirovský

Adam Znamirovský was born in 2010 and he started playing the piano spontaneously at the age of four. He has studied under MgA. Markéta Cibulková at the Jižní Město Arts Primary School since the age of five. He started winning awards at a range of national and international music competitions from the age of seven. For example, he has won the first prize at the international Virtuosi per musica di pianoforte competition, the first prize at the international Broumov Key competition, the first prize and absolute victory at the Città di Minerbio competition in Italy and the first prize at the Béla Bartók International Piano Competition Graz in Austria. He was a MenART scholarship holder in the class of Ivo Kahánek, with whom he also studied at the Summer Music Academy in Kroměříž. He has performed at the Prague Spring and Smetana’s Litomyšl festivals a number of times. Adam is supported by the Milénium Fund for the youngest Czech artists.

Adam Znamirovský - piano

Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall

The Rudolfinum is one of the most important Neo-Renaissance edifices in the Czech Republic. In its conception as a multi-purpose cultural centre it was quite unique in Europe at the time of its construction. Based on a joint design by two outstanding Czech architects, Josef Zítek and Josef Schultz, a magnificent building was erected serving for concerts, as a gallery, and as a museum. The grand opening on 7 February 1885 was attended by Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria, in whose honour the structure was named. In 1896 the very first concert of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra took place in the Rudolfinum's main concert hall, under the baton of the composer Antonín Dvořák whose name was later bestowed on the hall.