What was Concertino Praga 2022 like
This change, which has given the competition a new direction and new wind in its sails, was established along with the partnership between Czech Radio, which established the competition in 1966, and the Academy of Classical Music, which organises the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival amongst other things. As such, the finale was therefore held as part of the festival’s program for the third time.
The finale evening was held on Friday 16 September. The finalists in the Concertino Praga 2022 competition played in front of a full Dvořák Hall at the Rudolfinum and the Vltava station broadcast their performances on Czech Radio’s airwaves. The suspenseful finale was decided at the last moment with the verdict of the nine-member international jury led by the renowned teacher from Salzburg’s Mozarteum, Pavel Gililov.
The winner was the Bulgarian violinist, Diana Chausheva, who also won the Audience Prize with her convincing performance of Max Bruch’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra no. 1 in G minor. Her performance of this piece was exceptionally mature and Diana convinced the public that she also has enormous technical certainty when playing her instrument.
Second place went to the Italian trumpeter Filippo Lombardi, who amazed the audience with his performance of two concertos for trumpet and orchestra. The concertos were by Oskar Böhme and Joseph Haydn. As such, the only brass instrument representative in the finale received the same amount of space to present his skills as the other participants in the finale evening, whose repertoires included some time-demanding works.
Third place went to the Czech violinist Richard Kollert for his flawless performance of Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto.
First grade honorary mention went to the pianist Viktor Vichev, who chose Sergei Rachmaninov’s extremely demanding Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in C minor for the finale.
In addition to the wide range of new experiences associated with performing on a prestigious concert stage, all the finalist also took away prizes from the competition, which were awarded to them by Czech Radio and the Academy of Classical Music for their successful performances. In addition to her winner’s diploma, Czech Radio will also give Diana Chausheva the opportunity to make a professional recording in a radio studio which will then be produced as a CD. Other significant bonuses for all the finalists include special purpose scholarships supported by the Karel Komárek Family Foundation, the Bohuslav Martinů Foundation and the Zuzana Růžičková and Viktor Kalabis Foundation, the Bulb Company and the Bärenreiter Praha publishing house. In addition to these scholarships, Czech Radio and the Academy of Classical Music will also endeavour to find further concert opportunities for the concert's laureates.
The first such opportunity presented itself upon the conclusion of the competition via Czech Radio, thanks to whom the program for the Concertino Praga 2022 laureates in the Czech Republic did not end. On Sunday 18 September, they set off for Jindřichův Hradec to spend a week together in the South Bohemian Region. The Concertino Praga South Bohemian Festival is only two years younger than the competition itself.
“It was full of pleasant surprises,“ says the music director Petr Strejc, who was at the South Bohemian Festival for the first time this year. “When I arrived at the first concert in Český Krumlov, I did not know the results and I was glad that I guessed correctly who would win. I’m a violinist and the winner really impressed me with her performance. During the dress rehearsal, I just sat there and forgot that I was the director. I simply fell out of my role and allowed myself to be carried away by the music.”
Petr Strejc further appreciated the hard work that the fifteen-year-old children put in: five concerts in five days, travelling around the South Bohemian Region, concertation during every performance and rehearsals for other concerts and competitions.
The pianist Daniel Wiesner, who has cooperated with the South Bohemian Festival for some time, said that it is always a pleasant, but demanding week. “The pianists were excellent, because I understand their playing the most and I admired them. They do not have any technical problems at all. I was most impressed by the Azerbaijani pianist Jamil Sadizade. His performance included something more and a degree of maturity, in addition to his high level of technical quality. His performance spoke to me and the people in the auditorium.”
Stanislav Gallin, who has also experienced several South Bohemian festivals in the role of a piano accompanist, added: “The competition level is still high and the laureates gave mature performances for their age and were pleasant to work with.”
From the point of view of Czech Radio, in its capacity as the co-organiser of the competition and the organiser of the South Bohemian Festival, the week spent with the finalists and semi-finalists from the Concertino Praga competition at the concerts in South Bohemia is a chapter that has its own incredible charm. It is wonderful to watch how everybody is relieved after the finale and how this becomes a time of joint rehearsal, playing and discussion: essentially, it is a time of getting to know new people and building new friendships. And there is no need to help things along. The young musicians are very good at getting to know one another through music.
The winner of this year's Concertino Praga, the Bulgarian violinist Diana Chausheva, praised the South Bohemian Festival: “I greatly enjoyed my stay here, especially meeting and getting to know new people. The most interesting thing for me was the architecture, especially in Český Krumlov! The first thing that comes to mind, when I recall the South Bohemian Festival, is mainly the fun. I enjoyed walking through the towns, which are peaceful. It was possible to truly relax on our walks, to talk and to take photographs with my friends!”
The laureates of the Concertino Praga 2022 performed in Český Krumlov, Bechyně, Třeboň and Jindřichův Hradec. If you were unable to make it to the concerts at the South Bohemian Festival, you still have the opportunity to listen to a recording of them on the Vltava Station. Don’t hesitate to tune in these young musicians; it's definitely worth it!