HUNGARIAN violinist Barnabás Kelemen won the Music Critics' Award at the Central European Music Festival in Žilina on April 21. The prize entitles the young musician, who topped the International Violin Competition in Indianapolis in 2002 and holds numerous other prizes, to perform next year at the festival.
Kelemen received the award at the festival's closing concert, at which he played works by Ravel, Beethoven, and Schumann alongside the Czech Prague Chamber Philharmonic, under the baton of French conductor Martin Lebel. This was the 17th gathering of the region's young classical music talents, who competed in the northern Slovak town between April 16 and 21.
The festival holds a special position in central Europe. "It introduces the cream of young concert artists - winners of renowned competitions. It also has elements of a competition, because it confers the Music Critics' Prize on a musician chosen by experts from five European countries," said Oľga Smetanová, the director of the Music Centre, the festival's main organizer.
The Pavel Haas Quartet from the Czech Republic won an award from the Association of Slovak Concert Artists, the festival's second most important prize.
Slovak soprano Adriana Kučerová received the Prize of the International Prague Spring Music Festival, which wins her a spot at the prestigious Czech event. She also won the Viewer's Prize given out by the Music Centre Slovakia in cooperation with Slovak Radio.
Russian organist Maria Mochova received the Prize for the Youngest Participant from Žilina's mayor.
The festival's 17th year featured artists from 10 European countries. Eight soloists, one conductor and two chamber ensembles competed for the Music Critics' Prize.
By Jana Liptáková
30. Apr 2007 at 0:00