98 musicians from 23 countries to take part in the 2020 Prague Spring
Ninety-eight musicians from 23 countries will compete in the Prague Spring competition of young players that annually precedes the Prague Spring international music festival in May. This year, the contest will focus on the bassoon and clarinet categories.
The three-round contest, which is a part of the Prague Spring festival, will take place from May 8 to May 14. All the rounds are open to the public; the final rounds traditionally attract greatest interest, where competitors are accompanied by a symphony orchestra in the Rudolfinum’s Dvořák Hall.
In the preliminary round, selections were made on the basis of video recordings sent in by the candidates. Out of the total of 169 young bassoonists from 34 countries who submitted their applications, 50 have been invited to perform at the competition based on the preliminary round. In the clarinet category, 215 players from 36 countries applied and 48 have been chosen by the organizers. The highest number of players, 22, will represent South Korea. Eight musicians will represent the Czech Republic.
Like in the previous years, the organizers have ordered new compositions for the contestants to play. For the bassoonists, the compulsory composition will be Petr Wajsar’s MonoPoly. For the clarinetists, it will be a composition written by another Czech author, Jan Dusek. The compulsory compositions will be performed in the world premiere during the contest’s second rounds on May 11 (bassoon) and May 12 (clarinet). Renowned soloists, teachers and orchestra players will be the juries in the two categories.
The Prague Spring competition was established in 1947 by renowned conductor Rafael Kubelik, who initiated the birth of the eponymous festival one year earlier. The festival annually starts on May 12, the death anniversary of Czech national music founding-father Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884). Last year, the contest was held in the oboe and flute categories, which were won by Czech Martin Danek and South Korea’s Chaeyeon You.
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