- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (conductor) 2016
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (violin) 2015
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Piano) 2014
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Cello) 2013
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Violin) 2012
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Piano/Composition) 2011
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Cello/Violin) 2010
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Violin) 2008
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Piano) 2007
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Cello) 2006
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Violin) 2005
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Piano) 2003
Director of Programs at the Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS) in Washington
Recently named a “Rising Star in Classical Presenting” by Musical America, Samantha Pollack is the Director of Programming at the Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS) in Washington, D.C. With WPAS for almost 10 years, Ms. Pollack programs over 65 performances each season in the genres of classical, jazz, world music, modern dance, and gospel at venues throughout the D.C. area. WPAS, established in 1965, is best known for presenting both star and emerging artists across genres and identifying young talent (particularly pianists) on the way to international prominence, and was honored by President Obama with the National Medal of the Arts in 2013. Alfred Brendel, Murray Perahia, András Schiff, and, more recently, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Paul Lewis, Yuja Wang, Daniil Trifonov, Benjamin Grosvenor, and many others have all given their Washington, D.C. or U.S. debuts with WPAS on their series at the John F.Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Ms. Pollack has attended festivals and competitions worldwide, scouting new talent at the Verbier Festival, Radio-France Festival, Van Cliburn Competition, Israel’s International Exposure, and more.
S.Pollack received a bachelor's degree in music performance at the University of Cincinnati/College-Conservatory of Music, followed by a Master of Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University.
MDR Figaro/MDR Kultur, Head of Music/Daily program
Martin Hoffmeister is head of Music Department at German culture-radio MDR Figaro.
He is a jury member of the International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) and International A CAPPELLA Contest Leipzig.
Hoffmeister studied German literature and language, philosophy, rhetoric and musicology in Tübingen and Freiburg and, since 1987, has been working as a magazine and music journalist at radio and TV stations. Being a freelance publicist, he also writes articles for various European publications such as books, newspapers and magazines.
Marco Sollini, an Italian pianist with a solid musical education, throughout his career has collected many exceptional appreciations from the international music critics and from some of the greatest modern musicians. Among them are Jörg Demus, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Bruno Leonardo Gelber, Alexis Weissenberg and Sergio Calligaris, musicians who have pointed out his brilliant technique and musical sincerity, highlighting the qualities of a deep, profound and brilliant sound of an inquisitive mind rich of introspective abilities and who manages to bring out enchantment for the senses even from the most mechanical music.
Various composers have written music for him (Franco Mannino has written and dedicated to M.Sollini his latest music piece for piano).
The pianist has parformed all over Europe, North and South America, Africa, Indonesia, etc. He has performed in recitals, as well as a soloist, with prestigious orchestras like the Sinfonica Dohnanyi and the MAV of Budapest, The Symphonic Orchestra of the Hungarian State, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Stuttgart, the Slovakia Radio Orchestra, the Ippolitov-Ivanov Orchestra of Moscow, the Serbian National Radio-Television Symphonic Orchestra, I Solisti Veneti, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and others.
The most prestigious radio stations in the world regularly broadcast his CDs and recorded live concerts (recordings for RAI, Vatican City Radio, Radio National de España, Radio Unams of Mexico and Serbian National Radio, to name a few).
His rich discography includes the first world recordings of the music for piano by Leoncavallo, Puccini, Giordano, Mascagni, Bellini, Verdi, Persiani (Bongiovanni Editor), Offenbach (in three volumes for the CPO) and 4 CDs with Rossini’s piano works by Chandos, which the German Rossini Society magazine (Deutsche Rossini Gesellschaft) has recognised as “an exemplary edition”. Moreover, Marco Sollini has conceived and participated in the complete recording of the “Gradus ad Parnassum” by Muzio Clementi, realised for the record label ARTS. The last recordings, made for Concerto-Music Media, include the Rachmaninov’s complete works for 4 and 6 hands, Mascagni’s Complete piano works for 2 and 4 four hands, Rossini’s Chamber Music with Piano with Teatro alla Scala artists, Puccini’s Piano Works and Chamber Arias by Nicola Vaccaj.
M.Sollini couples his concert engagements with that of a teaching post as professor of First Piano at the AFAM, Istituto Musicale Pareggiato (Certified Music Institute) “G.B. Pergolesi” of Ancona, where he has held also the position of Director between 2001 and 2003.
In addition, he has taught master classes at the Arts Academy of Rome at the “Scuola Internazionale di Alto Perfezionamento” (International School of High Refinement), at the State Conservatory of Lima, at the Academy of Arts in Tirana, at the American Colleges of Winston-Salem and Davidson, at the Real Conservatorio Superior Reina Sofia de Madrid and others.
At the Capitol in Rome, he was awarded with the “Marchigiani dell’anno 2001” (Marche Region Citizen of the Year 2001) award for his international artistic activity.
He is president and artistic director of the “Marche Musica” (Marche Region Music) Association, the author and artistic director of the chamber music Festival “Armonie della sera” (from 2005), which organises concerts in some of the most suggestive places of the Marche Region.
Jong Hwa Park is a concert pianist and a professor.
Mr. Park began playing piano at the age of four and quickly established his international credentials, making his professional debut when he was nine years old at the Yamaha Hall in Tokyo. Academically, Mr. Park was recognized as a gifted student when he was in primary school. Uncertain about which course of study to pursue, Park’s parents enrolled him to the Preparatory School of Tokyo Music College, a pre-college division of Tokyo Music College dedicated to training the most talented young students at the highest musical standards. Soon after, J.H. Park was recognized as a musical child prodigy and there followed a string of engagements across Asia, Europe and the United States where he performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras.
Mr. Park’s outstanding musical and academic achievements earned him a full scholarship at the Preparatory School of New England Conservatory in the United States. In 1992, he was offered a four-year scholarship at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he followed the great artistry of legendary pianist Russell Sherman. The pianist completed his Bachelor and Master degrees with Honors.
Upon completing his Master’s program, J.H. Park moved to Europe where he was invited to study at a number of prestigious institutions. In 1998, he was invited to the Il Fondazione per Il Pianoforte in Como, Italy where he studied with iconic figures such as Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Leon Fleisher, and Martha Argerich. Concurrently, J.H. Park received musical guidance from Russel Sherman, Dmitri Bashikrov, Joaquin Soriano, and Elisso Wirssaladze.
J.H. Park appeared in renowned concert halls including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Herculеs saal in Munich, and the Palais des Beaux Arts in Belgium. His prolific international career as a pianist allowed him to debut with the some of the world’s highly acclaimed orchestras including the Dresden Symphony Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Symphony and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. J.H. Park is a passionate advocate of modern music and is a frequent guest at major festivals worldwide.
In 2007, he was offered a professorship at Seoul National University, the most prestigious university in South Korea. Park’s diverse interest in music and international affairs is reflected in both his performance and teaching. Since becoming a faculty member at Seoul National University, he has spearheaded innovative lectures and international festivals. Most recently, J.H. Park spearheaded “Chopin-Cometh” international festival, in which he was responsible for organizing a series of festivals, lectures, workshops and performances to celebrate the composer’s bicentennial in 2010.
Mr. Park achieved many accolades throughout his career. He received 1st prizes at national competitions in Japan, Korea and the US. Internationally, Park is a recipient of a number of awards including the Queen Elizabeth International Piano Competition in 1995, where he received a Critic’s Prize; the Santander International Piano Competition in 1998, where he was awarded 2nd Prize and the Public Prize; and the Rubinstein International Competition in Tel Aviv, where he was awarded a special prize. Park is also a laureate of the Ferrucio Busoni International Piano Competition.
Director of Naïve Classique & Jazz
After five years at Warner Classics France and a first career in an international advertising agency, Didier Martin joined the Naïve label in 1999 and is its artistic director.
Founded by Patrick Zelnik, former president of Virgin France, Naïve became one of the leading classical label in the world. The following artists record exclusively for Naïve : Fazil Say, Lise de la Salle, Nikolai Lugansky, Grigory Sokolov Edition (10 CDs), Guillaume Vincent, Francesco Piemontesi, Sergey Khachatryan, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Anne Sofie Von Otter, Marc Minkowski, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Franco Fagioli, Anne Gastinel, Sandrine Piau, Laurence Equilbey, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Tugan Sokhiev & ONCToulouse, Laurent Korcia, Nora Gubish & Alain Altinoglu, Antoine Tamestit, Dmitry Sinkovsky, Sonia Wieder-Atherton, Jean-François Zygel, Hopkinson Smith, Diotima quartet, Emmanuel Ceysson, Sergio Azzolini, many others.
Publisher and Editor of Piano News & ENSEMBLE
Carsten Dürer studied musicology at the University of Cologne.
During his studies he began working as a freelance music journalist for newspapers and music magazines. Later he was twice appointed as an editor in chief of music magazines.
In 1994 Dürer founded the publishing company STACCATO-Verlag, where the magazines PIANONews (since 1997) and ENSEMBLE (since 2003) are still being released. Carsten Dürer is a chief editor of both.
Dürer is regularly invited worldwide to serve as a jury in international piano and chamber music competitions. For instance he is a jury member of ECHO Klassik, the main German CD-Prize.
Dürer is a board member of the ECMTA (European Chamber Music Teachers Association). He teaches music history at the Anton Rubinstein International Academy in Düsseldorf.
Although her career started in the former Soviet Union, Anna Malikova became also known in the West after success in the competitions in Oslo, Warsaw and Sydney. In 1993 she won the 1st Prize at the ARD Competition Munich (the only 1st prize for a pianist within a period of 12 years), which established her in the international music scene. Today she performs all over Europe, in South America, the Near and Middle Orient and in Asia.
Besides her busy concert schedule A.Malikova has recorded numerous CD. Most of the important compositions by Chopin as well as works by Schubert, Liszt, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Soler have been released. Especially the five piano concertos by Camille Saint-Saëns with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Cologne have found unusual international attention: after countless international and enthusiastic reviews they have been rewarded 2006 with the coveted Classical Internet Award.
In autumn 2010 a CD featuring piano works by Tchaikovsky has been released. Recently A.Malikova produced a new recoording of the 2nd piano concerto by Brahms, accmpanied by Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra in Germany under the baton of Jonathan Darlington.
To A.Malikova's projects in the future belong repeated tours through Europe and to Korea, Japan, China, South America. She will be active as soloist with orchestras, in recitals and as jury member of competitions like the European Piano Competition in France, Maria Canals Competition in Spain, the Chopin Youth Competitions in Moscow and Beijing and the new International Tchaikovsky Youth Competition in China.
People's Artist of Russia, Professor, Deputy Rector for Artistic Activities and Academic Association
A.Bonduryansky was born in 1945 in Kherson (Ukraine), where he received his primary musical education at music school and collage in the classes of K.Dedova, A.Kamenskaya and S.Zyuzina. At the age of 14 A.Bonduryansky performed his first solo concert (Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Liszt). In 1967 he graduated from the Kishinev G.Muzichesku State Conservatory (class of A.Sokovnin). Guided by Sokovnin the pianist became the winner of the 1st National Competition (1964) and inter-republican competitions (1965, 1966). During the last one he was also awarded a special prize “The best interpreter”.
Up to 1969 A.Bonduryansky followed the postgraduate courses of the Moscow Conservatory (piano with famous pianist and professor D.Bashkirov, chamber ensemble with T.Gaidamovich). From 1969 to 1971 he was teaching at the Kishinev Сonservatory, later at the Moscow Сonservatory Music College. Since 1980 A.Bonduryansky works at the department of Chamber Ensemble and Quartet of the Moscow Сonservatory, from 1995 as a Professor. A.Bonduryansky has launched into life more than 250 graduates, including a number of ensembles which later became winners of All-Russia and international competitions (“Brahms Trio”, “Anima Quartet”, “Consonance Quintet”, Piano duet I.Silivanova - M.Puryzhinsky, to name a few). A.Bonduryansky gives numerous master classes in higher music institutions of Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, Latvia, Spain, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, the U.S. and other countries.
But the main performing activity of A.Bonduryansky is associated with “The Moscow Piano Trio”, one of the leading world-class chamber ensembles. As its member the pianist became laureate of international competitions in Munich (1969), Belgrade (1972), Budapest (1975) and Bordeaux (1976). Together with his colleagues, the violinist V.Ivanov and the cellist M.Utkin, A.Bonduryansky performed at many major international festivals in famous concert halls.
A.Bonduryansky is a People’s Artist of Russia (1994), he was also awarded with the Moscow premium in the field of literature and arts (1996).
A.Bonduryansky takes part in work of organising committees and heads jury’s of many All-Russia and international competitions, he is the Chairman of the Chamber Music Association of the International Musicians’ Union and a permanent member of S.I. Taneyev Chamber Ensemble Competition Organizing Committee.
Pianist, Dean of Piano Department at Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory
A prize-winner at several of the world's most prestigious international piano competitions, including the Leeds, the Van Cliburn, the Guardian Dublin, the William Kappell, the Gina Bachauer and the World Piano Competitions, Armen Babakhanian has captured the minds of the audience and critics by the intensity and sincerity of his performances.
Mr. Babakhanian has given recitals in the USA, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Spain.
He has appeared as soloist with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Irish National Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra (USA), Dallas Symphony, Utah Symphony, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic under Yuri Temirkanov, Moscow Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev, Slovenian Philharmonic and Israel Philharmonic among others.
Festival appearances include the Aspen, Interlochen, Santander and Baalbec music festivals. Babakhanian’s performance of the Shostakovich Piano Quintet with the Takács Quartet during Santander Festival in Spain was named the best chamber music performance of the festival. A.Babakhanian has recorded for the ASV, Real Sound and Sigmund Classics labels. His performances have been broadcast on BBC, PBS (USA), ORF (Austria) and RAI (Italy) television networks. His recording of Tchaikovsky Piano Sonatas has received enthusiastic reviews in the European press. A.Babakhanian’s recent recording of complete piano works by Aram Khachaturian was acknowledged “ The Best Classical Album of the Year” at the Armenian Award 2007.
In addition to his performing career, Mr. Babakhanian has served as jury member for several international piano competitions, including the Gina Bachauer, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff and most recently Maria Callas International Piano Competitions.
In 1999, he founded and served as Artistic Director for the Armenian Legacy Pan Armenian Competition in Yerevan, Armenia. He has taught numerous master classes in Russia, United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, China, Iceland and the United States. Mr. Babakhanian is currently an Artist-in-Residence at Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory, where he also received his musical education under Professor Anahit Bogdanyan. In 2011 Armen Babakhanian became Dean of Piano Department at Yerevan State Conservatory.
A.Babakhanian has recently launched a historical recording project entitled “Anthology of Armenian Piano Music” which includes more than 60 CD’s and covers almost entire heritage of Armenian piano music within two centuries.
During the last concert season Mr. Babakhanian had been scheduled to perform recitals and concerto appearances and to conduct master classes in Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, France, Greece, Iceland, Russia, USA, Canada, China and Japan.
In 2008 Armen Babakhanian was awarded Gold Medal by the Ministry of Culture for his great contribution in the Spyurk (Diaspora) – Armenia relations. In 2009 Mr. Babakhanian was awarded Artist Emeritus by the President of the Republic of Armenia.