First round jury
Introducing the jury of the 1st round of Concertino Praga 2022
The pianist Martin Kasík is one of the most distinctive personalities on the Czech music scene. He graduated from the Janáček Conservatory in Ostrava and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Victory in the 1998 Prague Spring and 1999 Young Concert Artists in New York opened up a pathway to international stages for him; Carnegie Hall, the Berliner Philharmonie, Wigmore Hall, Tonhalle Zürich, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Concertgebouw Amsterdam etc. He has performed under the batons of a number of renowned conductors (Pinchas Zukerman, Marin Alsop, Yakov Kreizberg, Libor Pešek, Jakub Hrůša, Tomáš Netopil etc.) with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, DSO Berlin, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Rotterdam Symphony Orchestra etc. He regularly collaborates with the Czech Philharmonic and the Prague Symphony Orchestra, with which he has completed concert tours of Japan and the USA. He is also involved in teaching at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and the Prague Conservatory. He is the artistic director at the Chopin Festival in Mariánské Lázně. His recordings have received the highest recognition in the Gramophone, Repertoire and Harmonie magazines.
The violinist Jan Mráček has been one of the most distinctive talents of his generation since his childhood. He became the youngest laureate of the 2010 Prague Spring International Competition and in 2014 he received the first prize at the Fritz Kreisler International Violin Competition in Vienna. In 2011, he became the youngest soloist at the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and was invited to take up the post of concert master by Jiří Bělohlávek. He performs solo concerts around the world and has performed, for example, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony, the Slovak and Slovenian Philharmonic or the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra in the Zurich Tonhalle. He has had the honour of cooperating with conductors such as Maxim Vengerov, James Judd, Manuel López-Gómez, Petr Altrichter, Tomáš Brauner, Ondrej Lenárd, Jac van Steen or Vladimir Fedoseev. He received the 3rd prize at the Antonín Dvořák Chamber Music Competition with the Lobkowicz Trio in 2014 and the 1st prize and the audience prize at the Johannes Brahms International Music Competition in Pörtschach, Austria in September of the same year.
The bassoonist Ondřej Roskovec graduated from the Prague Conservatory and the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. While still a student, he received awards from numerous competitions, including the title of the laureate of the Prague Spring International Competition. In 1995, he co-founded the Afflatus Quintet, with which he received the 1st prize at the prestigious ARD international competition in Munich (1997). He has performed with the ensemble on many domestic stages, as well as in Europe and Japan. The Afflatus Quintet has eight CDs to its name, especially for the Japanese Octavia Records label, for which he also records as a soloist. In 1989–1993, he also performed in the Czech Nonet. He has been a member of the Czech Philharmonic since 1993, where he is the leader of the group of bassoonists. He has taught the bassoon at the Prague Conservatory since 2002. He is one of the founders of the Summer Bassoon Academy in Rataje nad Sázavou. In 2016, he co-founded the Czech Association of Two-Reed Instruments. He is occasionally also invited to teach abroad (for example at the Royal Academy of Music in London or the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover).
Karl-Heinz Schütz is a solo flautist at the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Vienna State Opera. In 1998, he received the first prize in the Carl Nielsen International Music Competition and likewise in the International Flute Competition in Krakow in 1999. He has performed as a soloist throughout all of Europe and Japan. He has been invited to perform as a soloist at concerts by conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Fabio Luisi, Yakov Kreizberg, Dmitri Kitajenko and Bertrand de Billy. He has also performed at international festivals in Salzburg, Bregenz, Graz, Montpellier, Rheingau, Sapporo and Prague. He is a professor at the Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität Wien and also works as a guest professor. He holds masterclasses throughout Europe and is involved in recording, especially for the Camerata Tokyo label, which has released his CDs with the music of Mozart, Prokofiev and Brahms. He recorded an album entitled 20th Century Concerto Grosso with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields under the leadership of Sir Neville Marriner. He is the artistic director at the HORIZONTE Landeck Festival.
The conductor Marek Šedivý is a graduate of the Prague Conservatory and the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He was the principal guest conductor at the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2018–2022. He also cooperates with other orchestras such as the PKF – Prague Philharmonia, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic etc. He was the principal conductor at the Silesian Theatre in Opava in 2016–2018. He also cooperates with the National Theatre and the State Opera in Prague, the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Pilsen and the F. X. Šalda Theatre in Liberec. In 2015, he recorded a CD of piano concertos by Ludwig van Beethoven with the pianist Fang Yuan and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London. He has performed at music festivals such as the Prague Spring, Dvořák Prague, Mozartfest Würzburg, the International Gluck Festival Nürnberg etc. In the 2012/13 season, he was taken on as the assistant conductor in a production of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto on the recommendation of Jiří Bělohlávek. In the current season, he is the musical director for the opera at the Moravian-Silesian National Theatre in Ostrava.
The French horn player Jan Vobořil studied at the Conservatory in Brno and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He has since become a laureate in seven national competitions. He is the solo horn player at the Czech Philharmonic and the head of the French horn group. He was previously the solo horn player at the Brno State Philharmonia and the PKF ‒ Prague Philharmonia. He has performed as a soloist both at home and abroad (Germany, Austria, France, Japan and the USA) under the batons of Jiří Bělohlávek, John Eliot Gardiner, Petr Altrichter, Jakub Hrůša etc. He has also worked with leading domestic orchestras as a soloist, including the Czech Philharmonic. He receives invitations to play with many international orchestras as a horn player; the NDR Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Bamberger Symphoniker, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig etc. He has worked with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Simon Rattle, Semyon Bychkov, Seiji Ozawa, Wolfgang Sawallisch etc. He has recorded for Czech Radio and Television, Supraphon, German ARD television, Japanese Octavia Records and English Classicprint etc. He is a member of the Prague Wind Quintet and the Czech Horn Quartet.
Tamás Varga was born in Budapest. He was the first violoncellist for the Wiener Philharmoniker for more than 23 years. He has visited all the continents as a soloist and cooperated with conductors of great repute such as Ádám Fischer, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Pinchas Steinberg and Michael Tilson Thomas. He holds masterclasses throughout the world, most recently, for example, in Australia, China, Vietnam, Japan and the USA. He also uses the latest technology and teaches, for example, online. He is enthusiastically involved in chamber music, with which he regularly performs at a number of famous European music festivals; the Wiener Festwochen in Vienna, the Budapest Spring and the Rheingau Music Festival. His concert partners have included Rudolf Buchbinder, Frédéric Chaslin, Karl Leister, Karl Heinz Schütz, but also the Bartók Quartet and the Ferenc Liszt Chamber Orchestra. In recent years, he has recorded more than 25 CDs for the Camerata Tokyo, Naxos and Hungaroton labels, as well as others.
The pianist Karel Košárek is the winner of the International Smetana Piano Competition and the Corpus Christi Piano Competition and a laureate of the Walter Naumburg Competition in New York. He has worked with a number of significant conductors, including Jiří Bělohlávek, Christopher Hogwood, Jakub Hrůša or Tomáš Netopil, and leading orchestras, including the Czech Philharmonic. He has a number of recordings to his name with the Supraphon, Naxos and Hyperion labels. He has partnered with Magdalena Kožená, Soňa Červená, Radek Baborák or Jiří Bárta at many chamber concerts. In previous seasons, he has performed solo recitals in New York, Dallas, Palm Beach, Calgary, Tel Aviv, Saint Petersburg and Bangkok.
Martin Kubik was born in Düsseldorf, Germany in 1967 and he grew up in Vienna, where he started playing the violin at the age of seven. He initially studied under the tutelage of the famous Alfred Staar and later supplemented his violin skills with Clemens Hellsberg. He also later studied the trombone and composition. He won his first audition for the position of second violin at the Vienna State Opera/Vienna Philharmonic in 1985 before graduating from high school. He became one of the youngest members in the history of the Vienna Philharmonic in 1989 and three years later he progressed into the first violins. He played traditional Viennese folk music as a member of the famous Philharmonia Schrammeln Wien from 1990 to 2010. He spent half his time in this ensemble as the first violin.
The Violoncellist Vít Petrášek graduated from the Prague Conservatory and the Musikhochschule Luzern. He is the holder of the prestigious Edwin Fischer Preis and a two-time winner of the violoncello competition in Liezen, Austria. He has worked as a soloist with, amongst others, the Luzerner Sinfonie Orchester, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra or the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic. He is a founding member of the Epoque Quartet, which celebrated 20 years of its existence in 2019. Throughout this period, the ensemble has become a fixture on the Czech and European music scene, significantly advanced the boundaries of the quartet repertoire and become a top-flight ensemble that is invited to work with a range of excellent musicians from numerous musical branches.
Petr Strejc has been playing the violin since he was five. He graduated from the Conservatory in Pardubice under the guidance of Mgr. Jiří Kuchválek. In 2016, he acquired a bachelor’s degree from the University of Hradec Králové, where he studied Musical Education and Violin Playing. He studied the violin under Mgr. Dalibor Hlava. He then further expanded his musical education at the Prague Conservatory, where he graduated in composition under MgA. Jiří Gemrot. In 2017, he was accepted to the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where he is currently studying Music Direction. He has worked at Czech Radio as an external music director since 2019. He has worked with ensembles such as the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Hradec Králové Philharmonic or the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava. He works at the Habrmanova Arts Primary School in Hradec Králové, where he teaches the violin and the viola, leads the Housláček string ensemble and is the conductor of the Juventus Gradecensis string orchestra. He is also involved in composing and arranging.
The flautist Žofie Vokálková graduated from the Prague Conservatory in 1992. She has received, amongst other things, the 1st prize at the Concertino Praga competition and the Prize of the City of Prague at the Prague Spring. In 2000, she was the first European woman to receive the Special Prize at the prestigious Web Concert Hall Competition in New York. She held the position of the first flute and soloist at the Virtuosi di Praga orchestra and the Prague Symphony Orchestra. She has completed a number of solo concerts with both Czech and international orchestras (France, Germany, Greece, Spain, Austria, the USA and Japan) and is a frequent guest at significant festivals, including the Prague Spring. In 2009, she was selected by the prestigious American ConcertArtist agency to perform in the USA. In recent years, she has also been a sought after flautist in national and international competitions. She is presently involved in an extensive project mapping out the work of female composers. She has taught at the Prague Conservatory and regularly takes masterclasses. She has more than ten CDs to her name.
Wolfgang Vladar graduated in playing the French horn at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna under Friedrich Gabler and Roland Berger. At the age of twenty, he was appointed the solo horn player at the Viennese Volksoper and he soon thereafter became a member of the Wiener Staatsoper and the Wiener Philharmoniker. He has performed numerous concerts with the Wiener Virtuosen, the Eichendorff-Quintett and the Toyota Master Players. His partners during the performance of chamber music have included Thomas Hampson, Rudolf Buchbinder, Michael Schade and Ernst Kovacic. He teaches at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and is one of the most internationally sought after Austrian French horn players.