ANDREJ BIELOW head of the jury

Born in 1981 in Ukraine, Andrej has developed as one of the leading Ukrainian musicians of his generation. As a soloist and chamber musician he has recorded over 20 CD albums for Naxos, CPO, Avi-Music, Hänssler Classics, Hänssler-Profil, Guttingi, Solo Musica, Genuin, Hyperion and Rakete Media.

As a soloist he collaborated with such renowned orchestras as New Japan Philharmonic, Orchestra National de Radio France, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, Kiev Philharmonic and Münchner Kammerorchester under the baton of established conductors such as Kurt Masur, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Gianandrea Noseda, Miguel Gomez-Martinez, Christian Arming, Agnieszka Duzcmal, Junichi Hirokami und Christoph Poppen, Enrique Mazzola to name a few of them. He received his first violin lessons at the age of five and in 1993 attended the special music boarding school in Kiev into a class of Professor Mikhail Kusnetsov.
At the age of 15, Andrej settled in Germany to study with Prof. Krzysztof Wegrzyn at the University of Music and Drama in Hannover. Further study followed with Gerard Poulet in Paris, Herman Krebbers, Ida Haendel, Ana Chumachenko and more recently Alfred Brendel. Andrej Bielow won several major prizes at international competitions such as the Long-Thibaut Paris, ARD Munich, Hanover (Joachim), Citta di Brescia and also has appeared at the following Festvals: Schleswig-Holstein, Klavierfestival Ruhr, Rheingau, Kuhmo, Young Euro Classic Berlin, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Ryedale, Macau and many others. Due to his extraordinary talent and musical qualities he was awarded various grants from the cultural institutions such as the Ukrainian Culture Foundation, Gundlach Foundation, Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben and Förderpreis of the Lower Saxony. At the Kronberg Academy he performed with Gidon Kremer, Juri Bashmet and the Beaux Arts Trio. In 2011 he joined Kit Armstrong and Adrian Brendel to form a piano trio. Andrej Bielow is professor of the violin faculty at the University of Arts in Graz and Robert Schumann University of Music in Düsseldorf. He regularly gives masterclasses in Europe, Asia and USA. In 2005, together with jazz-guitarist Johan Weiss, he founded the „MBF“ Foundation (Musik braucht Freunde) which has provided financial support for over 130 needy students at the University of Music and Drama, Hanover. Andrej plays the violin “ex Flesch”, built in 1745 by Lorenzo Guadagnini.

Andrii Murza artistic director of the competition

Member of Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra (Germany), concertmaster of Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra (Istanbul, Turkey). He takes part in the jury of international competitions and gives master classes in the cities of Ukraine, China and Germany.

Andrii Murza is the winner of several international competitions, including international violin competition named after Julio Cardona in Portugal, Eugen Coca in Moldova and “Art of the XXI Century” in Ukraine. He took part in international festivals in Heidelberg (Germany), Santander (Spain), “Two days and two nights of new music” and “Golden Violins of Odessa” (Ukraine). He performs concerts in the cities of Switzerland, France, Germany, Ukraine, Italy and Spain, where he made his debut at the National Radio of Spain, in which he performed works by Bach, Schubert, Schnittke and Saint-Saens.

Andrii was born in Odessa in a family of musicians. He began his education at the Stolyarsky School in the class of Dozent Anna Lapteva, then at the Odessa National Music Academy named after A.V. Nezhdanova in the class of Professor Mikhail Turchinsky. Soon he continued his education with the world-famous Professor Marco Rizzi at the Queen Sofía College of Music in Madrid (Spain), as well as in solo postgraduate studies at the Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts (Germany). A huge influence on his professional development was provided by classes with outstanding musicians of the present, including Pinchas Zukerman, Gerard Poulet, Zakhar Bron, Viviane Hagner, Miriam Fried and Ferenc Rados.

During his life in Europe Andrii has repeatedly won various awards and grants of cultural funds, including Isaac Albeniz Foundation (Madrid), German National Cultural Foundation (Berlin), Ottile Zelbach Foundation (Berlin) and Vladimir Spivakov International Foundation (Moscow). And in 2013 he made a concert tour of the cities of Spain, whereupon he was honored to play for the Spanish royal family, where he was awarded the Queen of Spain with a distinctive diploma.

Andrii Murza has collaborated with such orchestras as National Orchestra of Opera and Ballet of Moldova, National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, State Symphony Orchestra of Radio and Television of Ukraine, Odessa National Symphony Orchestra, Odessa Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Odessa National Orchestra of Opera and Ballet, and collaborated with many well-known conductors, among them Aziz Shokhakimov, Pawel Przytocki, Igor Shavruk, Vladimir Sirenko, Jesus Lopez Cobos, Jaime Martin and others.

In 2015 he won the competition of Sinfonima Foundation in Germany, which provided him for personal use the violin by Nicolo Amati.

Stanislav Pronin

Violinist and composer Stanislav Pronin was born in Moscow and began his violin studies upon his immigration to Israel at the age of 8. His first teacher was his grandfather, Veniamin Pronin, a student of Pyotr Stoliarskiy and former Professor at the Odessa Conservatoire. Stanislav continued his studies at Indiana University with Nelli Shkolnikova and Jaime Laredo, as well as composition lessons with Professor Sven-David Sandstrom, and later at the Hochschule für Musik Köln with Professor Zakhar Bron.

Stanislav’s professional career began following his solo debut in Israel at the age of 10. Stanislav has performed as soloist and chamber musician at many festivals including Verbier Festival and Interlaken Classics, Banff Festival and Stratford Festival, Kronberg Festival, Skanderborg Festival etc. He performs regularly in USA, Canada, Europe and Scandinavia in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Miller Theatre, Musikhuset Aarhus, National Arts Centre Ottawa, Perlman Theatre, Berlin Waldbühne, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Teatro Colon, KKL Luzern, Salzburg Festspiele, Paris Philharmonie, Royal Festival Hall and so on. He has collaborated with numerous conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Slatkin, Antonio Mendez, Sigiswald Kuijken, Andrew Constantine and Joshua Weilerstein. As chamber musician, he has collaborated with Jan Lisiecki, Jaime Laredo, James Campbell, Mark Kaplan, Bion Tsang, Orion String Quartet, Victor Danchenko, Julian Milkis, Anton Nel, Emille Naoumoff and Lera Auerbach. Stanislav has also been Primarius of the Toronto-based Annex Quartet since 2012.

He has worked with and premiered works of such composers as John Adams, Fabian Panisello, Murray Schafer, Ned Rorem, Toivo Tulev, Hans Abrahamsen and Lera Auerbach.

As far as recent composition projects are concerned, Stanislav recorded his new solo violin cycle “In Solitude – 7 Impressions”. He also completed his sonata for two violins, written for Jeanne Marie Conquer of the Ensemble Intercontemporain and “4 Songs, In Memory of Marina Tsvetaeva” for soprano and piano.

As soloist and Concertmaster of the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra Stanislav has recorded CD albums on Naxos/Sono Luminus, Decca and Dacapo labels.

Stanislav is a recipient of multiple awards from such organization as the American String Teachers Association, America-Israel Cultural Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts and Classical Artists Development Foundation. He is a laureate of numerous international competitions, including Michael Hill, Wieniawski, and Queen Elizabeth.

Bohdana Pivnenko

Bohdana Pivnenko is a very creative violinist and brilliant representative of a new musicians’ generation. She is the Head of Violin Department at the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine. She graduated with honours an assistantship program course at the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine, studying under such established Ukrainian violinists as Prof. Bohodar Kotorovych, Prof. Igor Pylatyuk and Mikhail Kuznezov. Bohdana also improved her professional characteristics studying under the world-famous violinists among which Viktor Tretiakov, Zakhar Bron, Olga Parchomenko and many others.

Bohdana Pivnenko is the Honored Artist of Ukraine, laureate of the Interpreters Performers International Competition (Moldova), Mykola Lysenko International Competition (Ukraine), “IBLA GRAND PRIZE” International Competition (Italy), Tadini International Music Competition (Italy), as well as laureate of the National Arts Programme “New Names of Ukraine”.

From 2000 until 2004 she was a concertmaster of the «Kyiv Soloists» National Chamber Orchestra and since 2001 became a soloist of the National ensemble «Kyiv Kamerata». Bohdana Pivnenko has performed as a soloist with the leading Ukrainian symphony and chamber orchestras and presented Ukrainian musical culture at the concerts in Moscow, Paris, Vienna, Berlin. On May 2017 she made her debut recital at Carnegie Hall in New York.

She has participated in a numerous of international festivals, among which the International Youth&Music Festival Vienna, where she won the Grand Prix, Berliner Festspiele MaerzMusik, Europaisches Klassik Festival (Ruhr), Kyiv-Musik-Fest, the Warsaw Autumn, and Nostalgie (Poland) and «Days of Ukraine» in Paris. Bohdana has toured with recitals in Spain (including Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona), Poland, Russia, Georgia, Netherlands, Lithuania, Ukraine, Armenia, England, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and France.

Over the years Bohdana Pivnenko constantly promotes the latest Ukrainian music. She regularly takes part in the world premiere performances of works by Ukrainian modern composers. She was presented the author’s program of Valentin Silvestrov “Ringtone Moments” with the Maestro on the concert stages of Berlin, Poznan, Brno, Kiev, Tbilisi. She collaborated with such conductors as Juozas Domarkas, Theodore Kuchar, Saulius Sondeckis, Vladimir Sirenko, Natalya Ponomarchuk, Vag Papian, Erki Pehk, Liutauras Balciunas and others. Bohdana is the creator and the producer of such unique project as «The Anthology of Contemporary Ukrainian Music» which has released eleven CD albums.

Oleksii Semenenko

Ukrainian violinist Oleksii Semenenko is praised for passionate performances replete with stunning technique, intonation, as well as an unparalleled level of refined musicianship and stage presence. This was evidenced in his triumph at the 2015 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium, where he captured Second Prize and went on to perform Laureate concerts throughout Belgium with the Philharmonic Orchestras of Liège and Brussels. In 2015-2016, he performs at Musée du Louvre in Paris, Rotary Club d’Arlon and Rotary Gent-Zuid in Belgium, and at University of Florida Performing Arts, Merkin Concert Hall, Eastern Connecticut Symphony, DuPage Symphony, Meridian Symphony and Alice Tully Hall in New York.

Oleksii Semenenko has appeared as soloist with orchestras including the Moscow Virtuosi, the Kiev National Orchestra, the Junge Philharmonie in Cologne, and the Sinfonietta Hungarica, among others. He appeared at the Interlaken Classics Festival in Switzerland as soloist with the Zakhar Bron Chamber Orchestra and toured Germany. At the 2011 Musik:Landschaft Westfalen Festival, he performed Paganini’s Concerto No. 2 with the National Philharmonic of Russia under Vladimir Spivakov, and was subsequently invited by the Spivakov Foundation to perform at the Kremlin in Moscow and at the Moscow International Performing Arts Center.

Oleksii’s other honors include First Prize in the 2015 Boris Goldstein International Violin Competition, Musical America’s New Artist of the Month (March 2015), the Audience Prize at the 2015 Musical Olympus International Festival in St. Petersburg, the Alois Kottmann Award at the 2010 International Day of Music Festival in Hofheim, Germany, and the Grand Prix of the 2006 National Violin Competition in Lviv, Ukraine.

Winner of the 2012 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he was presented in debut recitals at Merkin Concert Hall, Kennedy Center and Paramount Theatre. He has also appeared in recital at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Port Washington Library, Rockefeller University, the Vero Beach Museum of Art, La Grua Center for the Arts.

Born in Odessa, Oleksii began his violin studies at the age of six with Zoya Mertsalova at the Stolyarsky School. He also studied with Zakhar Bron at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne.

Oleksii Semenenko plays the Antonio Stradivari violin, loaned to him by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben fund of Hamburg, Germany.