Second round jury
Albena Danailova graduated from the National Music Academy in Sofia and the University for Music and Theatre in Rostock. She has supplemented her musical education with master classes held by Ida Haendel and Herman Krebbers. She is a laureate from the Young Musical Talents competition, the Kocian Violin Competition, Concertino Praga, the International Violin Competition at Kloster Schöntal (Germany) and the Tibor Varga International Competition (Switzerland). She received a residency at the Bavarian State Orchestra in 2001, was promoted to the leader of the first violins in 2003 and subsequently became the first chair violinist in 2006. She was also a member of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in the 2003/2004 season. She was the first woman ever to become the concertmaster at the Wiener Philharmoniker. She has also successfully devoted herself to solo and chamber music and regularly performs in Bulgaria, Germany, Israel and the USA. She has recorded for German Radio, Bulgarian National Radio and Bulgarian National Television. She has been the leader of Ensemble Wien since 2011 and has been a professor of violin playing at the Vienna State University since 2019.
Justas Dvarionas studied the piano in both his native Lithuania and at the P. I. Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory. In recent years, he has won the Italian Viotti-Valsesia international piano competition and received special awards at the Portuguese Porto international piano competition and the Lithuanian M. K. Čiurlionis International Competition. To date, he has performed as a soloist, chamber player or with the accompaniment of an orchestra in Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Russia, the united States of America, Australia, France, Kazakhstan, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, the Czech Republic, Austria, Peru, England, Japan and other countries. He has been a jury member in a number of international competitions and is also involved in teaching: he is an associate professor at the Music Academy of the Vytautas Magnus University and a guest piano teacher at the Purcell School in London. He has also led a number of master classes in many European countries and abroad. Since 2008, he has been the Vice President of EMCY (the European Union of Music Competitions for Youth).
Pablo Ferrández was born into a musical family in Madrid in 1991 and at the age of thirteen he entered the prestigious Reina Sofía School of Music. He then completed his studies at the Kronberg Academy (Germany) and received a scholarship from the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation. He is the laureate of the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition. He performs with the very best international orchestras, such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields or the Israel Philharmonic, and with big-name conductors, including Manfred Honeck and Daniel Gatti. As a chamber musician, he often collaborates with artists such as Anne-Sophie Mutter, Vadim Repin, Martha Argerich, Gidon Kremer, Janine Jansen etc. In 2021, he issued his debut album under the SONY Classical label and it went on to win the Opus Klassik Award. He is getting ready to debut at the Salzburg Festival, for a European tour with the London Philharmonic and for recitals at Carnegie Hall and Wigmore Hall. He plays a Lord Aylesford Stradivarius from 1696 and an Archinto from 1689.
The pianist Ivo Kahánek is the absolute winner of the 2004 Prague Spring competition and the holder of many other prizes from domestic and international competitions. He debuted at the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall in 2007, while his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker took place under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle in 2017. He cooperates with leading conductors (Semyon Bychkov, Andrés Orozco-Estrada and Jakub Hrůša), orchestras (the Czech Philharmonic, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Wiener Symphoniker) and soloists (Daniel Hope, Alissa Weilerstein, Pavel Černoch) at significant venues in the USA, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovakia etc. His album of Dvořák and Martinů piano concertos has received a number of prestigious music awards, including the BBC Music Magazine’s CD of the month.
Luc Mangholz has been the solo flautist with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna State Opera since 2019. He has had the opportunity to play in many countries under the batons of famous conductors such as Christian Thielemann, Kirill Petrenko, Zubin Mehta, Daniel Barenboim, Franz Welser-Möst, Herbert Blomstedt, Andris Nelsons and many others. During his studies, he also prepared for his future career in youth orchestras in Paris and Munich, at the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and finally at the Bavarian Opera Academy. He has played in a number of leading orchestras as a soloist, such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthaus Berlin Orchester, Orchestre National de France and others. He is also involved in teaching: he teaches students at the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Academy in Vienna and at the Summer Academy, which is held as part of the Salzburg Summer Festival. In 2023, he will lead masterclasses in New York (the Manhattan New School of Music) and in Klagenfurt (Gustav Mahler Privatuniversität für Musik).
Roman Rabinovich debuted with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta while still a ten-year-old. He won the Arthur Rubenstein International Piano Competition in 2008. His piano repertoire covers works from six centuries, from Byrd to Boulez and more modern authors. He has received great recognition from the critics for his interpretation of Haydn’s music. He has performed concerts all over Europe and the USA, for example in Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Grand Hall at the Moscow Conservatoire, Paris’ Cité de la Musique and the Kennedy Centre in Washington. He performs with orchestras such as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, the KBS Symphony or the Prague Philharmonic. He cooperates with conductors such as Sir Roger Norrington, Zubin Mehta, Kristjan Järvi, Gerard Schwarz and Joseph Swensen. At the start of the 2022/2023 season, he had his Carnegie Hall debut. Other peaks of this season include Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no. 1 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra or the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Edmonton Symphony.
Dmitry Sitkovetsky is a renowned violinist, conductor, composer, arranger, populariser and interpreter of music. In 1990, he established the New European Strings chamber orchestra which brought together the most significant string players from top-flight European ensembles, from the Russian and Western music environments. The name Dmitry Sitkovetsky has become a synonym for the art of transcription. His cult arrangements of Bach’s Goldberg Variations have taken on a life of their own: they are regularly performed on concert stages and many contemporary performers have made recordings of them. Sitkovetsky is also highly sought after as a jury member, a musical expert and a teacher. He was recently a jury member at the International Violin Competition in Indianapolis, the Concours Musical International de Montréal, the International Tchaikovsky Competition and the Enescu Violin Competition. He has many concerts throughout Europe and North America as a violinist and/or guest conductor in the 2022–2023 season, for example in Jerusalem, Berlin, Mexico City, Bucharest, Havana, Istanbul, Baku and Sophia.
Irvin Venyš is one of the most progressive performers on the Czech music scene. He has become a sought after soloist and chamber player thanks to his wide ranging performances from “classical” music through to folklore and jazz and on to demanding works from the 20th and 21st centuries. He cooperates with many contemporary composers and actively contributes to the premiere and other performances of works by international and local authors. He released his latest CD with the Epoque Quartet entitled “Komp(l)ot” under his new Irvin Classics label. He works as a clarinet teacher at the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and as the director of the Bohuslav Martinů Foundation. He co-founded and organises the Prague Clarinet Days cultural and educational project and the Concert against Totalitarianism, which is a reminder of the anniversary of 17 November and the totalitarian regime’s repression of artists.
The British French horn player Sarah Willis was born in the USA and grew up in Tokyo, Boston, Moscow and London. She had her first French horn lesson at the age of fourteen and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in the British metropolis for three years before continuing her education under Fergus McWilliam in Berlin. In 1991–2001, she was a member of the Staatskapelle Berlin and in 2001 she became the first female brass player to get a chair with the Berlin Philharmoniker. She also plays with a number of other leading orchestras and has performed all around the world both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. She has recorded a series of well-received albums, of which the most recent is entitled “Mozart y Mambo” and combines the music of the classics with Cuban rhythms. She is also involved in teaching and educational activities, including teaching at the Karajan Academy and presenting family concerts by the Berlin Philharmoniker. Her contribution to classical music was acknowledged at the highest levels in Great Britain, when Queen Elizabeth II awarded her the prestigious Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2021.