Amaury du Closel is a leading French conductor and composer. Has conducted many European orchestras (Sinfonia Varsovia, Filharmonie Enescu in Bucharest, Budapest Symphonic Orchestra and others). He intensively cooperates with the Nuremberg Symphony with whom he recorded for Deutsche Grammophon and Sony. He is the director of the "Silenced Voices" festival in Strassbourg
Marian Sobula is one of the most striking Polish pianists of today. Having been awarded many prizes at international contests in Poland, Chile, Italy and or Spain (at the Maria Canals Piano Competition in Barcelona, for example), he receives standing ovations from audiences in all five continents. Most often, however, he performs in Europe and Latin America. He records for Polish TV and German, Italian, Chilean and Australian broadcasting companies. Since 2008 Marian Sobula has been a professor at the Academy of Music in Cracow.
Matyáš Novák (born in 1998) studied under Vovka Ashkenazy in Imola. He is a winner of various international competitions in the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Austria, Germany and Poland where he also gave solo recitals. He also undertook two tours in China. He regularly performs with a number of Czech orchestras, for instance with the Brno Philharmonic, Hradec Kralové Philharmonic and the Pardubice Chamber Philharmonic.
Reinhard Seehafer is a German conductor, pianist and composer. He studied conducting under Kurt Masur and Leonard Bernstein. When he was only 23 years old, he made his debut in the Komische Oper Berlin after which he got other engagements in famous German and world-famous orchestras, among them in Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, Arthur Rubinstein Orchestra in Lodz, Orchestra Sinfonica des Estado de Mexico, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and Belgrad Symphony Orchestra. He has also composed a number of orchestral compositions. In 2010, he was awarded the prestigious Gellert Prize for his compositional and organizational activities.
The ensemble Five Star Clarinet Quartet is made up of top class Czech clarinettists who are not only experienced chamber players but also renowned soloists. The members of the ensemble are prize winners of international music competitions and festivals and are distinctive personalities of the Czech music stage. Five Star Clarinet Quartet's repertoire comprises both classical and jazz music and follows the legendary ensemble Barock Jazz Quintet.
Jan Čmejla, being only 14 years old, has already reached a number of achievements – he has won the Joseph Haydn Competition in Vienna, Virtuosi per Musica di Pianoforte in Ústí nad Labem, Amadeus in Brno and The Young Piano Competition, after which he gave concerts with the Prague Symphony Orchestra, Brno Philharmonic and got solo engagements as well, for instance in Prague's Rudolfinum.
At the age of 17, American pianist Kevin Kenner participated in the International Piano Competition in Warsaw and was awarded the 10th prize and a special prize from the jury for his promising talent. Ten years later, in 1990 he returned to Warsaw to win the top prize, the People´s Prize and the Polonaise Prize. Earlier that year he won the bronze medal at the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow, together with a special prize for his interpretation of Russian music. He has performed chamber music with the Tokyo String Quartet, the Endellion String Quartet, the Vogler String Quartet and the Panocha Quartet among many others. Kevin Kenner has recorded the Chopin Scherzos as well as the Chopin Preludes (highly recommended by BBC Music Magazine) as well as a CD of piano works by Maurice Ravel.
Lorenzo di Bella is one of the most significant students of Lazar Berman. The victory in the International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz in Kiev in 2005 opened his way to concert halls throughout the world; he performed in Berlin, Zurich, Hamburg, Prague, Montreal, Beijing, Shanghai, Denver, at the festivals such as the Mito SettembreMusica in Milano, the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, the Franz Liszt Festival in Utrecht etc. Lorenzo di Bella is also concerned with teaching – he teaches in the music schools in Cremona and Recanati and is the founder and art director of the Civitanova Classica Piano Festival.
Michal Šupák is a Czech pianist, composer and producer. His musical life is highly varied. Besides performing in concert halls, he also gives concerts in clubs and festivals where he performs solo and as a member of several music ensembles. He gave a guest life performance in the BBC London Radio, in the Great Escape Festival in Brighton and in the renowned Atmoc Café Club in Munich. As a soloist he won the Bedřich Smetana International Competition in Pilsen and the multi-genre competition The Pianist of the Year.
Shortly after its inception in 1998 at the Music Faculty of Prague´s Academy of Performing Arts, the Bennewitz Quartet became one of the excellent chamber music ensembles on the Czech music scene. The ensemble´s greatest asset for artistic development was without a doubt the personality of Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartet), with whom the Quartet worked intensively in Madrid in the years 2002-2004 and later Prof. Walter Levin (LaSalle Q.) at the Music Academy in Basel. In 2001 it won the National Presentation Concerts competition in Amsterdam and was awarded two prizes (the Theodor Rogler Stiftung Scholarship and the Bärenreiter Urtext Prize) at the prestigious ARD competition in Munch. The Bennewitz Quartet won the Premio Paolo Borciani 2008 competition.
Piotr Sulkowski is a chief conductor of the Warmia-Mazury Philarmonic in Olsztyn. He was also an art director of the Krakow Opera and of the Opera Wildwood Festival in the USA. Sulkowski is a co-founder of the Krakow Chamber Opera with which he has undertaken several tours round Europe. In 2008-2014, he was the first guest conductor of the Signature Symphony Orchestra in Tulsa in the USA. He was honoured several times for his merits in the Polish culture. (Gloria Artis, Silver Cross).
A new-born star of the Hungarian piano school, Ivett Gyöngyösi, is a student of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. She has proven her skills and artistry both at home (she is the winner of the national György Ferenczy Award in Budapest , twofold winner of the international Chopin Piano Contest in Budapest), and elsewhere in Europe, too (Cziffra Prize at the Georges Cziffra Memorial Competition in Austria, Young Steiway Artist´prize awarded by Steinway& Sons company in Hamburg, First Prize and Special Prize of UNESCO at the „New Talent“ competition, first prize from the Darmstadt International Chopin Contest, and first prize from the Krainev International Piano Competition in Kharkov).
The soprano Kateřina Kněžíková made her debut in the National Theatre in Prague in 2015 and a year after she became a permanent member of the company. Her opera repertoire comprises particularly Mozart and bel canto roles. She participated as a guest in a number of Czech and foreign theatres, among them in Opéra Royal de Versailles, Theatre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels and Opera de Dijon. She performed with the BBC Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg and Czech Philharmonic. She is a regular guest of Europeans festivals. Her recordings have received many awards, for instance the German Record Critics' Award.
Martin Kasík (1976) is known as the most conspicuous pianist of the Czech younger generation. He is a winner of various prestigious international competitions (Prague Spring, Young concert Artists in New York) that led to his subsequent accomplishments on the world stages of the Carnegie Hall in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, Suntory Hall in Tokio, Berlin Philharmony Hall and more where he played as the guest virtuoso of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin DSO, the Stuttgartner Philharmoniker, the Tonhalle Zürich and the Czech Philharmonic orchestra. His play is reknowned for its emotional intensity with the strong sense of tone and fantasy.
The Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra ranks among the leading Czech orchestras, which is confirmed both by the public as well as music reviewers. The ensemble is the welcomed guest at the formost Czech festivals and gained an excellent reputation at the prestigious concert halls in Europe and oversees.
Jan Simon is the laureate of the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels, Prague Spring and the Chopin Competition in Valldemossa. These successes were a stepping stone to world-famous orchestras, such as BBC Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Czech Philarmonic. Simon has made recordings for companies such as Supraphon, BMG Ariola, Radioservis and Clarton. In 1996, he was awarded the Cannes Classical Award for his recording of Schulhoff's piano concertos. He was also a long-time director of the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra.
PhDr.Ivo Šmoldas is a Czechpoet, editor, publicist specializing in culture, screenwriter, presenter and translator.After graduating from the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University in Prague, he worked in the Český spisovatel publishing house. Before becoming one of the founders of the private Apsida publishing house, he worked in Columbus publishing house.Currently, Ivo Šmoldas mainly works on translations from English, occasionally also from Slovakian, too. He cooperates with Czech Television, where he is in charge of the Knižní svět (World of Books) series focusing on books, and works as a presenter of programmes dealing with cultural topics. He regularly cooperates on commenting on current Day Topics for the Rádio Impuls. He also has his own talk show, Lenoška Iva Šmoldase, on the Czech Radio Dvojka broadcasting station.
Marek Kozák is one of the most gifted Czech pianists and organists. He is a graduate of the Janáček Conservatory in Ostrava, where he studied in the class of Prof. Monika Tugendliebová. Currently, he is a student of. Prof. Ivan Klánský at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He has already succeeded in many competitions: he is the winner of the Chopin Piano Competition in Mariánské Lázně, the Smetana Competition in Pilsen, and the prizewinner at the Darmstadt Chopin Competition as well as Prague Spring Competition. He has performed as a soloist with the Brno Philharmonic, the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava and the Moravian Philharmonic Olomouc.
Dominik Petr is one of the most famous illustrators of fantasy literature in Czech Republic, collaborating with many publishing houses (such as Laser-books, Triton, Mladá fronta, Books and Cards) and magazines (Ikarie, Pevnost, XB-1, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction – Czech edition). He illustrated for instance acclaimed anthologies edited by Martin Šust, Trochu divné kusy II and III. As an artist he is represented by Galerie Nemesis from Prague. Apart from illustrations, he makes use in his drawings and paintings themes inspired by music (Great Pianists and Composers series). Since 2012 he became the artist of Frederyk Chopin Society in Czech Republic, after Osvald Klappera, academic painter. His works can be found both in Czech and foreign collections.
Richard Urbánek worked after his medical studies first in the Department of Allergy in the University Medical School hospital in Prague 10, later also in the postgraduate education of Doctors, University Hospital in Prague 4 and Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, in 1992 he qualified as an Associate Professor in the field of Allergy and Medical Immunology. In the ’90 he was active as scientific secretary of the Czech Association of Allergists and Immunologists, since 1994 he has been specializing in industrial allergy and coordinating programs of health monitoring in chemical industry, especially where the risk of sensitization or even development of respiratory allergy exists in employees exposed to allergens at the workplace. He is currently active in this field in all of Europe. His top hobby is classical music and, given his profession, he is interested in seeing the musicians also as people and patients…