Jury members 2021
Borislava Taneva, Bulgaria, chairperson
Borislava Taneva is a pianist-performer, a composer, a pedagogue, a chamber musician, an organiser of musical events. Her active participation in the contemporary cultural life in Bulgaria and abroad defines her as a successful, multispectral musician.
She was born in Sofia in the family of distinguished musicians and started her musical education at a very early age. She completed her master’s degree in piano and composition at the National Music Academy “Pancho Vladigerov” in Sofia. There are some other world famous professors like Jacob Lateiner,Germaine Mounier, Vera Gornostaeva and Ludwig Hoffmann who also played a role in her development as a performer. Borislava Taneva has been a laureate of national and international piano, chamber music and composition competitions in Bulgaria, Italy, Japan, Greece, etc. She has performed multiple recitals in Bulgaria, Greece, Germany, Italy, Brasil, Switzerland, Lithuania, Israel, France, Norway, Macedonia, Spain, etc. After her graduation Borislava Taneva started work as an assistant professor in the Piano Department of the Performance Faculty of the National Music Academy /NMA/ in Sofia. Currently she is a piano and pedagogical practice professor at NMA in Sofia and vice rector of the Academy.
In 2012 a Doctor's degree (PHD) was conferred on Borislava Taneva. For several years she had great success, teaching Interpretation of Contemporary Music in Athens.She gives masterclasses and delivers seminars on various topics at music colleges and academies in Greece, Swiss, France, USA, Luxembourg, Brasil, Spain, USA, Singapore, Norway, Italy etc. Prof. Taneva has appeared as a jury member in many national and international piano competitions in Greece, France, Vienna, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Serbia etc. Her students have been awarded with numerous of prizes from national and international forums and competitions. She is the author of several opuses of piano pieces for beginners, edited by MUSICA FERRUM in London. She is the founder and a member of the Swiss-Bulgarian Association of Culture – SBAC, based in Geneva. B. Taneva was awarded with special prizes for her contribution to Bulgarian culture.
Vladimir Gourevich, Russia
In 1971 he graduated from the Leningrad State Conservatory N. And. Rimsky-Korsakov (piano class of Professor. S.M.Chenevoy, class music theory of Professor Yu.N.Tyulin). In 1972 he defended his thesis in 1990 - a doctoral. Professor (1993). Sphere of scientific interests - the history of Russian music, musical culture of the Central Asia, problems of contemporary music education. In 1969-76, he worked in Turkmenistan. From 1976 to 1999 worked in Higher Trade-Union school of culture (Humanitarian University of trade unions), in 1999 - at the Academy of postgraduate pedagogical education, 2004 - in Russian pedagogical university A.I. Herzen. Invited Professor at the Institute of musicology at Leipzig University. The author of five monographs, more than four hundred articles in scientific journals of Russia and foreign countries. Specializes in the genres of piano ensemble and accompaniment. Zam. Chairman of the St. Petersburg Association of piano duets. Chairman of the organizing Committee of the competition «Brother and Sister», member of the jury all-Russian competition of piano duets A.G. Bahchieva. The author of original compositions, arrangements and transcriptions for choir heard on the Philharmonic stages in different countries. One of the leaders of the Union of Composers of Russia, since 1994 - Chairman of the audit Committee of the UK St. Petersburg, from 1995 to 2010 - Chairman of the audit Committee of the IC of Russia. At the tenth Congress of the Union of composers of Russia (2010) elected Secretary of this creative organization. Chairman of the Dissertation Council of the faculty of music University A.I. Herzen. Honorary worker of higher professional education of Russia (2012).
Konstantin Krasnitsky, Belarus / Croatia
Konstantin Krasnitsky is the absolute winner, laureate of the 1. Prize of the Competition Jury and of the Special prize awarded by the audience at the 1st International Pianist Competition EPTA (European Piano Teachers Association) „Svetislav Stančić“ in Zagreb in 1999. At the 3rd International Pianist Competition
„S. V. Rachmaninov“ in Moscow in 2002 he won the fourth Prize and the title of the laureate. He is the winner of the Special prize of the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko in 2002.
He was born in Minsk into the family of professional musicians, he received his first piano lessons from his mother Valentina Krasnitskaya, who was the pianist. At the age of five he enrolled in the Secondary music school for specially talented and gifted children in the class of the professor Yevgeny Puksta.
After successful completion thereof he continued his education at the Belarusian State Academy of Music in the class of the renowned professor Vladimir Nekhaenko. Young Krasnitsky was greatly influenced by the acquaintance of the famous Russian pianist and professor of the Moscow, Trossingen and Warsaw Music Academies, Viktor Karpovič Meržanov with whom he continued his studies for seven years. Konstantin Krasnitsky received his Master's degree from the Belarusian State Academy of Music in Minsk, where from 1999 he continued to work as a pedagogue. Soon he attained the position of piano professor of honour at the Anyang Normal University in China, assistant professor of the Belarusian State Academy of Music and associate professor of the Academy of Arts, at the J.J.Strossmayer University in Osijek.
The piano study at the Academy of Arts in Osijek has been founded thanks to his arrival to Osijek and a number of his students have been awarded at international music competitions and festivals.
Krasnitsky has been equally involved in pedagogical work and active concerting. He has been performing as a soloist, in an ensamble and orchestras in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, the United States of America, China, Tajikistan, Germany, Austria, Italy, Turkey, Norway, Denmark, Croatia, Srbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and with leading orchestras in Belarus such as the President's Orchestra of the Republic of Belarus, Symphony Orchestra of the national academy Great Theatre and Balet of the Republic of Belarus, State academy simphony orchestra of the Republic of Belarus, State chamber orchestra of the Republic of Belarus, Symphony orchestra of the city of Gomel, Symphony orchestra of the city of Molodechno, Symphony orchestra of the Belarus State Music Academy „the Young Belarus“ as well as with international orchestras such as the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, St.Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra, Symphony orchestra of the Croatian Radio and Television, Croatian Chamber Orchestra, Varaždin Chamber Orchestra. He worked together with a number of renowned musicians such as Pavle Dešpalj, Vladimir Ziva, Berislav Šipuš, Yevgeny Xaviereff, Genadij Provatorov etc. He performed at the Berlin Konzerthaus and also at the Great ,"Rachmaninov" and Small Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Queen Elisabeth Hall in London, Volkstheateru in Vienna, Concert Hall „Vatroslav Lisinski“ and Croatian Music Institute in Zagreb, at the Palace of the Republic in Minsk, Steinway Chamber Hall in Copenhagen etc.
He also performed at numerous festivals of piano music in Belarusian cities e.g. Minsk, Brest, Mogilev and Grodno, at the festival „the Minsk Spring of 1999“, „the Minsk Spring of 2003“, „ Art to Children and Youth“, at the concerts of the 1st prize winners with the Belarus State Philharmonic and leading festivals in Croatia e.g. „Piano-Fortisssimo“ in Zagreb, the Varaždin Baroque Evenings, the Senj Concert Evenings, the Days of Milko Kelemen, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, May Music Memorial “Josip Štolcer Slavenski",
The Osijek Museum Musical Wednesday, "Romberg Musical Evenings" and other.
He has played the premier of the compositions by Croatian composers Davor Bobić, Josip Štolcer Slavenski and Sanja Drakulić and when he performed Tango by Kelemen at the festival „the Days of Milko Kelemen“ the composer himself was so delighted and thrilled with the performance that in the middle of the concert he asked Krasnitsky to play it once again! Krasnitsky has also done radio recordings.
He has been a guest in TV shows in Belarus, Russia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
He is a member of the Croatian Society of Music Artists. „As the gentle giant he even looks a bit like the young Rachmaninov, Krasnitsky had the most sheerly beautiful sound – sumptuous and mellow – which he achieved with wonderful economy” ( 25th April 2002 “ In Searching of New Stars” The Independent, London) “In the performance of the young Belarus pianist I have heard a number of pieces by S.V. Rachmaninov including his Second sonata and that was the most impressive performance of all performances that I have ever heard ( 5th June 2004, from a letter, Dmitry Bashkirov, Minneapolis, USA)
Yevgeny Baev, Russia
Yevgeny Anatolyevich Baev (born July 15, 1952, Pervouralsk, Sverdlovsk Oblast) is a Russian guitarist and composer.
In 1977 he graduated from the Ural State Conservatory. M. P. Mussorgsky. Currently he works as a teacher of a guitar class in dshi № 1 the city of Tver (Russia). In 1988, Yevgeny Anatolyevich created an instrumental duo "Musical miniatures" (violin - Elena muravyeva, guitar - Evgeny bayev) for whom he wrote a concert repertoire. The duo "Musical Miniatures" performed concert programs in many cities in Russia, Italy, Latvia, Germany, France and the United States. Currently, the list of writings by author Eugene. Baeva consists of 500 works for guitar, guitar duo, for guitar-violin, guitar-violin-viola, guitar-violin-cello ensembles, for domra-guitar, balalaiki, vocal compositions, for Symphony orchestra, for chamber orchestra, for Russian orchestra. From 2019 - 2020 he wrote four symphonies, five children's musical stories for ORNI and choir: "the adventures of Cipollino", the Show Suite "Malachite box", "jazz-teremok", "Elena wonderraya", "Magic story", thirty symphonic legends (symphonic legends + choir from Greece, Ireland, Poland, France, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, etc.)
Darinka Todorov, Serbia
I work as a pianist, professor, accompanist and chamber musician, performing mostly classical music. As a piano professor I work almost 37 years at music school "Stanislav Binički" - Belgrade.
During a long career, as chamber musician, I cooperated with musicians from Sweden, Finland, Serbia etc. On International piano competition in Novi Sad (Serbia), and other domestic competitions I was a jury member. In National theatre - Belgrade I was working on opera "Salome" and cooperating with German conductor Johanes Harneit. For about 15 years, Svetozar Vujic - double bass, and I perform and play together, as a chamber duo "DiS". Among other concerts, we had recitals in Belgrade -Serbia, on BASS CONGRES 2016. - PRAGUE, BASS CONGRES 2018. - LUCCA - ITALY, at ISB Convention 2019. - Bloomington - USA. Our most recent concert was at 10.03.2021. - Historical musem - Belgrade - online streaming.
Chaerin Kim, USA
A multi-instrumentalist, being one of the very few in the world who you can see performing as a soloist with two instruments on the same stage with an orchestra, internationally acclaimed harpist, pianist, composer, and professor Dr. Chaerin Kim is the winner of several international competitions. She was the winner of the Special Prize of Best Performance of Russian Music at the International Harp Competition in Russia, winner of the Future Classic Women Award from the London Radio Station, the CFA Award and Department Honor Award from Boston University, the Garrett Award, Foundation Award, and Julia Leney Harp Prize in London, the Soloist Competition Winner at Ewha University, Kaywon School for the Arts, and Boston University, the Bronze Medalist for Solo Piano at the Walgan Music Competition, and winner of the Grand Prize from the Korean Student's Newspaper.
Her harp performance has been used for the British movie Kaleidoscope (Main actor Toby Jones), which was the winner of Best Performance at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. As a composer, her composition, Rendezvous, has 100 versions, including versions for orchestra, harp, piano, and voice, with lyrics written by her and translated into 80 different languages, and the orchestral version of Rendezvous had its world premiere in Boston, Massachusetts. She released 146 songs (7 Albums and 91 Singles), and many of her music was aired on the radio stations in U.S., and UK. Most recently, she was nominated for and awarded the Future Classic Women Awards through the London Radio Station, who interviewed her twice, and also interviewed with WCPE Radio in the U.S.
Dr. Kim's musical studies began when she was six years old. She majored in piano at the Yewon Music Middle School, while also beginning studies in cello and voice. After Yewon, she went on to attend Kaywon High School of Arts, where she continued to major in piano. In her last year, at the age of eighteen, she also started lessons on harp, and six months later won the Soloist Audition for Harp. She received her B.A. with Highest Honors from Ewha University in Seoul – then, while pursuing her master's degree at Ewha, she was offered a scholarship for a PGD at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she graduated with "distinction." She got her M.M. from Yale University on a scholarship, graduating summa cum laude. She was invited to the Artist's Diploma program at Yale and Graduate Diploma Program at New England Conservatory – however, she decided to pursue her doctorate at Boston University, where she was offered a full scholarship. She was the "quickest recipient of a Doctorate" in BU Music School's history, completing it in three and a half years.
As a contest judge and jury, Dr. Kim was the artistic director of the USA International Music Competition in 2010, and in 2021, she is judging at 10 international competitions for both harp and piano: the Music International Grand Prix in New York, the King's Peak International Music Competition in California, the World Vision Music Contest in Germany, the Grand Metropolitan International Music Competition in Canada, the International Music Competition in Serbia, Music Modern in Ukraine, Musical South Palmyra in Ukraine, the International Youth Music Competition in Atlanta, Danubia International Music Competition in Hungary, and IX JSFest International Instrumental Music Competition in Finland. Dr. Kim was formerly a professor at Eastern Nazarene College, where she taught harp, piano, music theory and music history classes, and was also the former Head of the Harp Department at Adagio Music Academy and South Shore Conservatory. Currently, she is an artistic director of UIMC, an artist with the TTF Entertainment company in China, and a professor of both instruments; harp and piano at University of Massachusetts Boston, Schloss Akademie in Germany, and harp through the Office of Arts at Harvard University.
Daniela Iolkicheva, Bulgaria/Spain
Michel Plasson - “Daniela is an extraordinary harpist with a highly consolidated technique and enchanting musicality.”
Daniela was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. At the age of 9, she started to study the piano and five years later, commenced her harp studies in the L. Pipkov Musical Institute with Constance Karadjova.
In 1980, she received the harp position in the Bulgarian PIONER Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1984, Daniela commenced her studies in the Sofia National Conservatoire. A year later, she won a scholarship to study at the Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire in St. Petersburg, where, in 1990 and under the direction of the renowned harpist Tatiana Tauer, she obtained a PhD in Harp studies (as the first study instrument) and a further PhD in Piano studies (as a second study instrument), graduating with first-class honours (Summa Cum Laude).
The following prizes Daniela has won are worth noting: Silver medal in the 7th Bulgarian National Harp Competition (1985), where she also received the Special Prize for the Youngest Participant; she was a prize winner in the International Festivals in Moscow and St. Petersburg (1988); the Andrés Segovia and José Miguel Ruiz Morales prize as the most distinguished student in the Música en Compostela competition, awarded by the prestigious harpist Nicanor Zabaleta; the Jakez François 1st prize in the 1st Iberian Chamber Music with Harp Competition in Madrid (2004), with violinist Sergei Teslia.
In 1991, Daniela received the harp soloist position in the Royal Seville Symphony Orchestra. Since 2002, she has been the harp tutor at the Special School for Music at San Francisco de Paula School in Seville. She also gives master classes sponsored by grants awarded by the Junta de Andalucía (the Andalusian regional government) and the Asociación Amigos de la ROSS (the Royal Seville Symphony Orchestra Fellowship).
In 2017, she was named as the tenured harp lecturer for the Master’s degree in Soloist Performance, speciality: Harp Studies at the KATARINA GURSKA Centre for Higher Musical Education, Madrid.
Since 2002, Daniela has led an intensely active career as a soloist and also in chamber music duos with María Antonia Rodríguez, flute soloist in the RTVE Symphony Orchestra. In 2004, in conjunction with Don José Enrique Ayarra, Seville Cathedral’s principal organist, Daniela performed a concert of 19th and 20th century music with an electroacoustic harp in the aforementioned cathedral. This repertoire had never before been performed with this type of harp. For the occasion, the instrument was loaned by the Victor Salvi Foundation.
Composers such as Antonio Noguera, Esteban Sanz Vélez, Julio Lozano, Martín Zalba, Luis Ignacio Marín and Gualberto García have dedicated works to her.
Daniela has recorded with many different record labels for Bulgarian, Russian, Spanish and Italian national radio and television broadcasters. She frequently performs in recitals, chamber ensembles in Europe, the USA, Russia and Asia. Furthermore, she performs with highly prestigious orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (London), the Symphony Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, the State Orchestra of St. Petersburg, the Symphony Orchestra of India, the Gürzenich Orchester Köln and the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Symphony Orchestra of Seville, working with conductors such as Maazel, Muti, Jansons, Lazarev, Rostropovich, Plasson, etc. In addition, Daniela frequently performs at festivals, for instance: the Santander International Festival, International Harp Festival “Northern Lyre”, Mariinsky Theatre, the Festival of Granada, Clásicos en Verano and the Festival Dei Due Mondi – Spoleto…
Dilbağ Tokay, Turkey
Dilbağ Tokay (cello)
Dilbağ Tokay started studying the cello at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University İstanbul State Conservatory with Reşit Erzin, and received her DMA from the same Conservatory. She has worked with prominent cellists such as M. Khomitzer, N. Ullner, F. Berthold, A. Rudin and has given numerous recitals, chamber and orchestral concerts as a soloist in Serbia, Sweden, Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Kygyzstan, Pakistan, Syria, India and Brazil. She has given masterclasses in Bulgaria, Serbia, Kygyzstan and Brazil. Additionally, she has given masterclasses in Bulgaria, Serbia, Italy and Turkey. With Emine Serdaroğlu, as CelloPianoDuo, she has received superb international feedback after performances at prestigious concert halls and festivals. Their “Turkish Music for Cello and Piano” CD is released by NAXOS and was awarded 2016 “Recording of the Year Award” at the prestigious Donizetti Classical Music Awards. For her instrumental teaching rôle at MSFAU Istanbul State Conservatory, Tokay has been awarded numerous prizes for excellence from international competition bodies.
Sam-Jong Shim, Korea
CCM Artist, Classical Saxophonist Psalm Shim. An acclaimed Korean saxophonist whose music freely crosses over to the classical, jazz, pop, and CCM, Psalm-Jong Shim has given recitals at the Arts Club of Washington, Baltimore War Memorial Hall, and Strathmore Manson and performed with Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, Russia Ulan Ude Symphony Orchestra, Seoul National Symphony Orchestra, W. Philharmonic Orchestra, National Orchestra of Korea, Cheongju Korean Music Orchestra. After graduating from the College of Music at Hanyang University, Shim received a Master’s degree in Classical Saxophone Performance and a G.P.D diploma at the Peabody Conservatory at the Johns Hopkins University studying with Professor Gary Louie, an internationally renowned classical saxophone soloist.
Shim has founded Ensemble INIZ that has successfully merged artistic originality and popularity of chamber music and has also established and conducted Sounds of Heaven Saxophone Orchestra for amateur saxophonists. Shim has been performing at MBC Beautiful Concert, KBS Radio, CBS Make Us New, CTS Happy Every day, C Chanel, and CGNTV in Korea. He has so far published four CDs, Psalm-Jong Shim Hymn & Gospel Saxophone I and II and The Classical Saxophone I and The Classical Saxophone II, The Presence Trio Album, Digital Single offering the general public a fascinating world of saxophone music. Shim was served 12 years as an adjunct professor of wind instruments at the College of Music, Hanyang University. Now Chair of SHIM Saxophone College in Korea and He holds Doctor of Future Education Leadership.
Ivan Dyma, Russia
Ivan Dyma - multi-saxophonist, soloist of the Obraztsov’s theatre, professor at the A. Schnittke Institute of Music. Laureate of All-Russian and International Competitions, Artist of the “Firebird” Theater, Artist of the Yamaha Company, Member of the Musical Society under the guidance of the Rector of the Moscow Conservatory A. Sokolov.
Ivan’s performances as a solo artist were accompanied by continued success in the halls of New York (USA), Badenweiler, Essen, Karlsruhe (Germany), Bogota (Colombia), Tel Aviv (Israel), Druskininkai (Lithuania), as well as Russian cities (Moscow, Novosibirsk, Kirov, Ryazan, Yakutsk, Tyumen, etc.). The play “Old Senor” in the Obraztsov’s theatre, in which Ivan plays solo on three varieties of the saxophone and two Colombian traditional instruments, was awarded the title of Laureate of the Russian National Prize “Golden Mask”, 2014.
The solo concerts of the performer were held at the Helikon-Opera Theater, the Moscow Conservatory, the Pavel Slobodkin’s Center, the Alexei Kozlov’s Jazz Club, the Peter and Paul Cathedral, the Anglican Cathedral of St. Andrey and other prestigious concert venues. Ivan gave a solo concert with maestro Fabio Mastrangelo and the orchestra Symphonica Artica.
He has performed at prestigious international jazz and classical festivals, such as the Akkordeonherbst (Germany), “Ethnosphere”, “The Music of the Earth”, “The Absolute Baroque” and many others.
He performed with the masters of classical and jazz music: Boris Berezovsky, Arkady Shilkloper, Vladimir Chekasin, Fabio Mastrangelo, Alexander Zagorinsky. He collaborated with composers Andrei Eshpay, Armando Gidoni, Yuri Chugunov, Mark Watters, Alexei Kozlov, Vladimir Chekasin and many others.
Ivan gives master classes to saxophonists throughout Russia and abroad (Lithuania, Kyrgyzstan, Poland). Plays all saxophone (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone)
Zoraida Avila, Spain
She graduated at Tchakovsky Moscow Conservatory, where she studied with the eminent harpist Vera Dulova, obtaining a "Master of Arts" (1983) and "Philosophical Doctor" (1985). She also has the title of "The Associated of Royal College of Music", London, UK (1989). She has received awards in international competitions and festivals such as the National Harp Competition of the USSR (1984) and the "Andrés Segovia" Spanish Music Award. She has performed in Venezuela, USSR, Russia, Bulgaria, England, Belgium, Denmark, Algeria, Portugal, Yugoslavia, Greece, Norway, India and China.
In some of these countries She performed for television and the recordings of her interpretations are often broadcast by different radio stations worldwide.
She has participated in several international festivals: First Latin American Harp Festival, San Jose, Costa Rica; XV Festival do Estoril, Portugal; II World Harp Festival in Cardiff, Wales; VII Festival of El Hatillo, Venezuela, 5th European Harp Symposium in Amsterdam, Netherlands among others.
She recorded a CD with the chamber music group " Isolda" (1989) Her Solo reccordings have earned her praise from international critics: "Between Two Worlds" (1986) with repertoire transcribed and dedicated to Nicanor Zabaleta; and "Paths" (1998) published by the University of Curaçao, which shows her work as a transcriber and arranger of Latin American music.
She has been a member of the Jury in several competitions: The "International Competition of Harpers", Moscow 1997 and 1999, The "International Festival Vera Dulova" (Moscow, 1997 and 2000) and The "Competition of Chamber Music with Harp," in Arles, France , 2001, The "First International Harp Contest" in Szeged, Hungary, 2007, and The First International Harp Competition "Ksenia Erdely" in St. Petersburg, Russia.
She chairs the Cultural Association Isolda, through which she organizes the international competition " The Iberian Chamber Music Competition with Harp", which reached its fourth edition in February 2014.
In 2008 She participated as a special guest at the Festival "The soul of the Harp" held at The Centre of Art Workers in Moscow, Russia, where she gave a lecture on" the Spanish music for harp". She has coordinated three editions of compact "Isolda sings Tales" (2018, 2010 and 2012) in which her students perform works of didactic repertoire for solo harp and in combination with other instruments.
She held in usufruct the Harp that belonged the harpist Nicanor Zabaleta, which is provided with an eighth damper pedal, a system designed by the same harpist.
With this instrument she touredd as a soloist and with the chamber music group Isolda.
She is currently working on a doctoral thesis in Musicology about" the Romantic Harp in Spain" for the Faculty of Geography and History of the Complutense University of Madrid.
Cheng-Yu Wu, China
Cheng-Yu Wu was born in Taichung, Taiwan in 1981. He began his musical education at the National First Senior High School of Taichung under Ms. Li-Ming Chen’s guidance in 1996. He attended National Taiwan University and majored in Philosophy in 1999. Meanwhile, he continued to pursue music career and studied with Mr. Anders Norell and Ms. Yi-Hui Lin. Cheng-Yu was the First Chair flute in the Ministry of National Defense Symphony Orchestra between 2003 and 2004 during the military service. In 2005, Cheng-Yu went to Europe and studied music under Harrie Starreveld, Marten Root, Marieke Schneemann, and Ellen Vergunst at Conservatorium van Amsterdam. In 2011, Cheng-Yu earned his Master’s Degree in Music from Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
Cheng-Yu is known as a flutist and specialized in interpreting variety of music styles. He studied contemporary music with Mr. Harrie Starreveld, and Baroque flute with Mr. Marten Root. He formed his chamber music group, The CVA Trio, with Violist Mr. Victor Gil Gazapo and Harpist Ms. Anna Steinkogler in 2009 and performed in both the Netherlands and Austria. During this time, Cheng-Yu also collaborated with Pianist Harimada Kusuma as Goudsbloemduo in 2008. They have been performing in the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, and Taiwan till today.
In 2012, Cheng-Yu started an experimental solo flute recital project titled "Just Flute?!". The project was well received and soon he was invited to feature in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and Taipei International New Music Festival. Cheng-Yu is well-known for his creativity of playing different types of flutes for various music styles. In additional to concert performance, Cheng-Yu is dedicated to flute and composition education. He formed a modern music ensemble, TimeArt Studio, in 2013. Cheng-Yu's first flute solo album Ten Poems was released in 2014 and was nominated for The Golden Melody Awards for Traditional Arts and Music in Taiwan. His second album Parallaxis was released in May 2018. Cheng-Yu is currently active as a flute soloist and a music educator in Shanghai and various cities in Taiwan.
Ulrich Walther, Germany
Ulrich Walther was born in 1980 in Hagen, Germany, and studied concert organ, church and school music, and music education at the State Conservatory for Music & Performing Arts in Stuttgart, where his teachers were Ludger Lohmann, Jürgen Essl, Hans-Martin Corrinth and Willibald Bezler. He then furthered his musical training through private studies with David Sanger, and through participation in numerous masterclasses with artists such as Hans-Ola Ericsson, Lorenzo Ghielmi, Jon Laukvik, Daniel Roth, Gerhard Weinberger and Heinz Wunderlich. He has won prizes in several international competitions, including Second Prize and Special Prize in Graz (2006) and First Prize and Audience Prize at the St. Albans International Organ Competition (2007), as well as First Prize and Special Messiaen Prize in the International BACH | LISZT Organ Competition Erfurt – Weimar – Merseburg, performing on historic organs (2008). As the recipient of a grant from the German Music Council, he was admitted in 2010/11 to the national-level selection in Young Artists’ Concerts. Following a two-year stint as a visiting professor, Ulrich Walther was appointed Professor of Organ at the University of Music & Performing Arts in Graz. As a concert artist, he has been the guest of prestigious festivals in Europe, Russia and America, including ION Nürnberg, Jeunesse Wien, St. Albans International Organ Festival, Thüringer Bachwochen, Notre Dame in Chartres, St.-Bavokerk in Haarlem, the Cathedral of Merseburg, the Concert Hall in Bamberg, Capella St. Petersburg, St. James Episcopal Church in Los Angeles, Moscow International House of Music, Frederiksborg Castle in Copenhagen and Birmingham Town Hall. Concurrently, his artistic profile is complemented by teaching courses at home and abroad, improvisations for silent films, CD and radio recordings, publications in specialised journals and serving as a jury member for competitions. Former students include prize-winners at international competitions. His research currently focuses on historical performance practice, as well as innovative musical practice within the area between transcription and composition: 4-CD set of Max Reger’s complete organ arrangements (2018), synoptic CD-project with Bach Trio sonatas in historic, romantic and jazz versions (2018), musicological thesis “concepts of interpretation and transcription on the organ” (2021).
Tatiana Gurbaeva, Russia
Graduated from the N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Leningrad State Conservatory the piano department (class of Prof. Portnoy) and got a master degree in pipe organ (class of associate professor Bakaeva-Petrenko). Winner of international competitions and festivals as a pianist, organist, ensemble player and
The winner in the nominations «Organ» and «Сhamber ensemble» in the International music competition of Jean Sibelius in Finland and also a «Solo piano» nomination in the International competition festival «Bravo, Turku!». Teacher and concertmaster of Institute of Music, Theater and Choreography in Herzen University.
Jonathan Embry, Canada
Jonathan Embry, D. Mus., is the Director of Music and Organist at the Cathedral of St. Helena in Helena, Montana. For his doctorate, Jonathan studied in the studio of Hans-Ola Ericsson at McGill University. He did his research on North German sacred organ and choral music while on a travel grant to Germany and played historic organs in Lübeck and Hamburg. He received his Master of Sacred Music at the University of Notre Dame studying with Craig Cramer. He received his Bachelor of Music from Syracuse University studying with Kola Owolabi (Organ) and Andrew Waggoner (Composition).
Dr. Embry has given recitals in the United States and Canada including three solo recitals in the Saint Joseph Oratory in Montreal. He has toured extensively in Russia, playing concerts in five cities in July 2017 and in an additional five cities in November 2017. Jonathan was the international guest artist at the 2017 Annual Organ Festival in Kondopoga, Russia and a featured artist in the Kaliningrad Königsberg Cathedral organ series that year. He received a citation of gratitude from the Saratov Oblast Government for his Saratov Conservatory concert of popular movie theme music for orphaned, disadvantaged, and disabled children.During summer 2019, Jonathan completed a concert tour in Lithuania and Russia and performed as a headliner at the Kaliningrad "Territory of the World, the Territory of Music" memorial week for the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Königsberg Cathedral.
Jonathan has received commissions for compositions in four countries. In Paradisum op.5 was composed for the Sacred Music Festival in Renfrew, Ontario. The Passacaglia op.4 received honorable mention in the chamber music division of the National American Prize competition and was praised as "A Major addition to the organ repertoire which requires a masterful, mature and sensitive musician to perform it with clarity and emotional intent."¬- Dr. Slawomir Dobrzanski, Judge of the American Prize. Jonathan recently completed a choral piece for the Shrine of St. Martin of Tours in Louisville and a piece for piano trio performed in fundraising concerts for a Taiwanese Catholic organization in Taiwan. He premiered his four Rhapsodies in Canada, Kaliningrad, and New York and composed and performed pieces for piano and organ for the Pas de Deux ensemble. He is currently working on a series of pieces depicting views and sounds of Montreal and a collection of liturgical compositions for the Cathedral of St. Helena.
Elena Sharova, Russia
Sharova Elena is a pianist, a full-time teacher of special piano at the Chil-dren's Art School named after
E. A. Mravinsky in St. Petersburg.
A gradu-ate of the Gorky Conservatory named after M. I. Glinka in the piano class.
He conducts active competitive, concert, educational and methodological activities, has students-laureates, including winners of the Grand Prix, In-ternational and national competitions.
Olga Matevosyan, USA
Olga Matevosyan was born in Yerevan,Armenia 1985. Her first steps in violin she made in A.Spendiaryan musical school. In 2000 she got accepted to Musical-Pedagogical College after A.Babajanyan in violin class. Later on in 2004 she continued her education in Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory and during that study she earned Bachelor’s and Master's degrees..Years of study Olga Matevosyan founded a piano trio "Soli" and participated in many concerts and competitions. Olga Matevosyan has a great experiencein chamber music. In spite of being busy she never stopped teaching. In 2007 she started to work in Z.Sahakyanc musical school(Abovian, Armenia)and later was teaching in Yerevan Gh.Saryan Art school. During those years she was a principal of second violins of Dominatus Vox Chamber Orchestra(Yerevan,Armenia). Then 2010-2015 she worked in State Youth Orchestra of Armenia(Yerevan,Armenia).During that time she had tours in Beirut (Lebanon), Moscow ( Russia),Riva del Garda, “Riva festival” (Italy),Odessa (Ukraine),Brussels (Belgium), Berlin, Karlsruhe (Germany), Netherlands (Hague)
After in 2015 she won the audition for National Philharmonic Orchestra of Armenia (Yerevan,Armenia)and had tours in Zaragoza, Oviedo, Santander (Spain),Beirut (Lebanon),Scandinavian tour- Tampere (Finland), Copenhagen, Aalborg (Denmark), Oslo (Norway).
Olga has been working there until 2018 when she moved to The United States of America. Olga Matevosyan has 15 years experience of teaching violin.She is an active member of Music Teachers Association of California and continue teaching and giving excellent results with her students.In 2021 she is a Honorary Member of Committee of Musical Competition “My Little Step” (Armenia). At the same time Olga participates in many music projects as a violin player.
Normunds Dregis, Riga, Latvia
Normunds Dregis is a artistic director and conductor of Jazeps Medinš Riga 1st Music School chamber orchestra Armonico, Latvia. He is also chief conductor of joint symphony orchestras in the Latvian School Youth Song and Dance Celebration (since 2015), as well as a conductor and leader of many workshops with international youth orchestras in Latvia, Estonia and France.
Normunds Dregis is founder and president of Latvian Orchestras Association, as well as an alderman of Riga Latvian Society (since 2011).
At the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music he received masters`s degrees in choir conducting, opera and symphony orchestra conducting. As a conductor he studied by prof. Imants Kokars and prof. Viesturs Gailis. The professional competence was developed by prof. Volker Wangenheim at the Academy of Music and Dance in Cologne, Germany, prof. Eri Klaas at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland and master classes with prof. Helmuth Rilling in Stuttgart, Germany.
Conductor collaborated with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Liepaja Symphony Orchestra (Latvia), the New Rhine Chamber Orchestra (Cologne, Germany), South-Westphalen Philharmonie-Orchestra (Germany) and early music ensemble Ludus (Riga, Latvia).
He has given concerts in Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, Poland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Sweden and England.
He conducted many recordings including W.A.Mozart opera Bastien and Bastienne (2014), ballet Gems (2007), Ecumenic Christmas (2007), Armonico (2007), the recordings of classical operettas (1995) and sacred music recordings (1993) for the Latvian Radio.
He was a conductor at the Latvian National Opera (1996-2013), lecturer at the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music (2008-2010), principal conductor at the Emils Darzinš Music High School Symphony Orchestra (2008-2011), chief conductor at the Riga Musical Theatre (1993-1996). He founded a sacred music choir Arcus and was its artistic director (1990-1993). He was artistic director and chief conductor of the youth choir Balti of Saldus district (1988-1992), Latvia.
Conductor’s creative work has been awarded with the paper of honor by the Latvian Minisrty of Culture (2015), Ministry of Science and Education (2015), Riga City Council (2015, 2007).
With the chamber orchestra Armonico he gained 1st degree diploma in the 6th International JSFest competition in Turku (Finland, 2018), 1st degree diploma of symphony and chamber orchestras festival-competition for Latvian educational institutions (2018, 2012, 2008), the Laureate diploma in 3rd International festival-competition of chamber music Fiori Musicali in Šiauliai (Lithuania, 2011), and 1st place in the Latvian state music school chamber orchestras competition (2004).
Conductor's repertoire includes more than 20 operas, ballets and operettas, some of which are W.A.Mozart Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte, The Magic Flute, Bastien and Bastienne, G.Rossini Il barbiere of Seviglia, R.Wagner The Flying Dutchman, Das Rheingold, G.Bizet Carmen, P.Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin, E.Kalman Silva/Csardasfurstin, Joh.Strauss ballet The Blue Danube, L.Delibes ballet Coppelia, B.Asafjev ballet Fountain of Bakhchisaray, Oleg Hodosko Cinderella, J.Lūsēns The Birds’ Opera, Z.Liepiņš opera Of rose and blood, J.Nīmanis Lysistrata, K.Ewald The return of Lysistrata.
Tatiana Chistyakova, Russia
Tatiana Chistyakova was born in Moscow in a family of musicians. She began to study piano at the age of six at the Children’s Art School named after S. T. Richter (class teacher E. Chistyakova). Throughout her studies at the school, she regularly participated in concerts and competitions. The winners in the youth competitions “Hope” (1996), “Young Talents of Muscovy” (1998), the performance with the orchestra of a concert by I. S. Bach d-moll in the Great Hall of the Kaluga Philharmonic Hall, the first solo concert in two parts in Reutov became significant and participation in the Advendikontsert International Festival in Estonia. Since 2001, she studied at college, and then at the GMPI them. Ippolitova-Ivanova, who graduated with honors in 2011. All the years she studied in the class of professor, member of the Union of Composers of Moscow, laureate of international competitions Aida Petrovna Isakova. She continued her further education at the Incontri col maestro International Piano Academy (Imola, Italy), classes of professors V. Ashkenazi, A. Kravchenko, B.V. Petrushansky. Tatyana took part in master classes by such famous professors as V.K. Merzhanov, M.V. Filippov, V. Chuchkov, A. Kurtev, V.V. Mishchuk, R. Rizaliti, K. Pari, A. A. Pisarev, I. Glinka, D. Masleev. In the summer of 2004 she participated in master classes and concerts at the Margess International creative school in Switzerland. Tatiana Chistyakova is a laureate and diploma winner of more than twenty international competitions in Russia, Ukraine, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Serbia, and the USA. Among them: International Competition in Odessa (Grand Prix), «Musica classica» in Ruza, «Great Teachers» in Bulgaria, named after S. V. Rachmaninov in St. Petersburg, «Premio Pianistico Euterpe», «Pietro Argento», « Citta di Pesaro «,» Citta di Fasano «,» Anemos «,» Don Vincenzo Vitti «,» Paolo Serrao «,» Lia Tortora «,» Citta di Barletta «,» Citta di Caraglio «in Italy, Ibiza International Piano Competition , «Contemporary Art and Education», «Talents of the New Century» in Moscow, etc. Tatiana regularly gives solo concerts and in various compositions in the halls of Russia, Italy (including at the MiTo festival), Holland, Kazakhstan, Greece, and Bulgaria. She collaborated with orchestras under the direction of A. Vorontsov, I. Kazhdan, G. Aravidis, A. Khurgin, A. Istomin. Since 2011 - a participant in the programs of the St. Petersburg House of Music under the leadership of S.P. Roldugin. Since 2014, collaborates with the concert agency Classics Concert. Since 2015, regularly takes part in the jury of various competitions, such as the European competition «Don Matteo Colucci», (Fasano, Italy)., International Piano Competition. Aida Isakova (Aiz Almaty, Kazakhstan), the Internet contest «Music Prospect», «Mediterraneo competition» (Bari, Italy), the Art Academy (Kyrgyzstan), the 1st All-Russian Piano Competition «MariaFest» and others. Conducts master classes in Russia and Italy. Since 2017, she is the art director of the Artist creative association. Since 2018 - Member of the World Piano Teachers Association. In November 2018, she performed at Carnegie Hall (New York, USA) Has recordings on the radio «Orpheus», «Russian World». In 2015, a CD was released recording the popular works of P.I. Tchaikovsky in transcription for piano by A. Isakova.
Ilona Birģele, Latvia
Ilona Birģele is a sought-after organist from Latvia who regularly performs in Baltic States, Europe, Russia, Scandinavia as well as other parts of the world, such as Israel and Kazakhstan. Due to her rich experience and talent, numerous contemporary composers have dedicated their works to Ilona Birģele. She has been invited to perform at various music festivals, such as the International Festival of Organ Music Adeste Fidelis in St. Petersburg, International Festival of Organ Music in Estonia, BACH under BACH sign, International Festival of Organ and Chamber Music Вселенная звука (The Universe of Sound) in Siberia, The International Festival Heure Mistique in Switzerland with organ music by Latvian composers and International Festival of Organ Music Riga Cathedral.
Ilona has also participated in the production of several music recordings: Mūzika Dievnamam (Music for the Church) of Liepaja Holy Trinity Cathedral (2015), Romualds Jermaks anniversary concert for Vecrīgas gravīras (Engravings of the Old-Riga) (2016) in Riga Dom, as well as recorded the cycle of composer Indra Riše Dziesmas par laimi (Songs about happiness) together with soprano Inga Šļubovska-Kancēviča on the album Trumpets of Angels (2020).
Ilona Birģele has graduated from Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Music Academy with the eminent organ professor Tālivaldis Deksnis. She has developed her artistic skills at Enschede Conservatory of Music in the Netherlands with professor Gijs van Schoonhoven as well as in numerous masterclasses in Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania with professors Volfgang Zerer, Hans-Ola Ericsson, Hans Fagius, Olivier Latry, Daniel Roth, Jos van der Kooy, Jon Laukvik, Christopher Stembridge, Jacques van Oortmerssen, Teo Jellema, Martin Sander, Martin Schmeding, Herribert Metzger, Joel Speerstra, Karin Nelson, Joris Verdin, Gary Verkade, Ludger Lohmann, Hans Helsten and Ralph Gustavson.
Ilona Birģele is founder and manager of several projects, including the Historical Organ Festival Latvia – the land of organs. She is also a member of organ duo Riga Organum Duo and cooperation partner of SIA Impro Ceļojumi. In 2019, the organist received a certificate of appreciation from Viļaka municipality for promoting the development of the region in the field of culture and promoting the image. Ilona Birģele is a member of the Board of the Society for Music Activities 'Pleno', artistic director for concerts in St. Jacob Catholic Cathedral of Riga and also educator of Riga Cathedral Choir School.
Mária Kόsa, Austria
Executive Director International Music Academy INTMA
2011 – Currently working as Executive Director of the "International Music Academy INTMA" based in Vienna, Austria. Ongoing concert and teaching activities with different orchestras and chamber music projects, workshops and festivals.
Founder The Brunette Quartet
2015 – Professional flute quartet based in Vienna, Austria. Ongoing concert activities, co-operations with contemporary composers. Exploring and experimenting with new dimensions.
Board member Austrian Flute Association
2018 – The Austrian Flute Association is a networking platform for all “flute lovers” - our goal is to reorganize and support the Austrian flute society. To connect professional flutists, flute students and amateurs through organizing concerts, workshops, masterclasses, instrument- and music score showcases all around the flute.Education Performance Arts, Flute Vienna Konservatorium, Vienna, Austria
2007 – 2010 - Workshops and masterclasses
Attended masterclasses and was taught by many of the most renowned flutists and professors, like Auréle Nicolet, Emmanuel Pahud, Sir James Galway, Paul Edmund Davies, Wissam Boustany, Carin Levine, Ian Clarke.