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Žilina hosts top young artists

GERMAN violinist Sophia Jaffé, winner of the last Central European Music Festival (SFKU) will open the 17th annual international festival on April 16 in Žilina. Under the baton of Lithuanian conductor Modestas Pitrenas, the German virtuoso, accompanied by German French horn player Renate Hupka and the Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina, will play works by Igor Stravinsky, Richard Strauss and Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

Adriana Kučerová is one of Slovakia's most promising talents.
photo: SFKU

GERMAN violinist Sophia Jaffé, winner of the last Central European Music Festival (SFKU) will open the 17th annual international festival on April 16 in Žilina. Under the baton of Lithuanian conductor Modestas Pitrenas, the German virtuoso, accompanied by German French horn player Renate Hupka and the Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina, will play works by Igor Stravinsky, Richard Strauss and Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

The Central European Music Festival, an exceptional event gathering young classical musicians from the region to compete in the northern Slovak town, will take place from April 16 to 21.

The festival introduces winners of renowned competitions who are the cream of young concert artists. It also has elements of a competition, because it confers the Music Critics' Prize on a musician chosen by experts from five European countries, Oľga Smetanova, the director of Music Centre Slovakia and the main organizer of the event, said ahead of the festival.

Attendants of the festival's concerts will have the opportunity to enjoy the same electrifying energy as visitors to world music competitions and festivals in Brussels, Munich, Montreal, Vienna, or Prague.

This year, the festival will feature artists from 10 European countries while eight soloists, one conductor and two chamber ensembles compete for the Music Critics' Prize.

Soprano Adriana Kučerová, winner of the International Vocal Competition of Hans Gabor Belvedere in Vienna in 2005 and bass Jozef Benci, who won the George Enescu International Competition in Bucharest in 2002, will represent Slovakia.

The six-day festival will consist of seven concerts in the House of Arts Fatra. Three of the concerts will be orchestral, performed by the Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina, Cappella Istropolitana and Prague Chamber Philharmonic. There will be also three chamber concerts and one afternoon concert by the laureates of the Slovak Conservatory's Student Competition.

Along with the main prize, one competitor will be awarded the Viewer's Prize to be granted by the Music Centre Slovakia in cooperation with Slovak Radio. The musician with the second highest number of points will receive the Prize of the Association of Slovak Concert Artists. The winner of the Prize of the International Music Festival Prague Spring will also be offered the chance to perform at the Prague festival.


By Jana Liptáková

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