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Jury 2023

Danielle Laval

After her studies at the « Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique », passing with a unanimous First Prize in Vlado Perlemuter’sclass, Danielle Laval fell under Arthur Rubinstein’s notice. He was dazzled by her virtuosity and her deep sensitivity.

Danielle Laval who is an artist of great precision ands knows the masterpieces of the repertoire on the tip of her fingers, from Saint-Saëns to Beethoven, from Chopin to Mendelssohn, from Liszt to Mozart. But she also heartily loves to unveil rarer works by well known composers such Rachmaninov, Grieg or Schubert.

Danielle Laval is an internationally loved and respected pianist, which is obviously due to her playing style, her legato and her sensitivity which entrance the pieces that she carefully chooses; but she is also loved because of her absolute respect of the audience and her partners.


Whether paying as a soloist with the Concertgebouw from Amsterdam, the orchestra of the Capitole de Toulouse, the Philharmonic of Radio France or the Salzburg Chamber Orchestra, or as a member of the Quatuor Kocian or the Debussy Quatuor, or as duettist with the cellist Gary Hoffmann or in recitals in prestigious festivals such as Baalbeck’s the Chopin International Meetings in Nohant or the Flatteries (Dawdling) in Reims, Danielle shares her choices ad her musical emotions with great talent.


Echoing the musicians of an orchestra, she was called to play as a solist under the direction of great directors such as Pierre Dervaux, Armin Jordan, Alexancer Lazarev, Lawrence Foster, Alain Lombard or Pascal Verrot.

Danielle Laval has recorded a lot with prestigious firms as for example EMI Universal, Naive or Warner Classic. the result is impressive as her considerable discography testifies = from the concerto for piano by Roussel (with te Paris Orchestra) to the Symphonic Variations by Franck (with the National Orchestra of Bordeaux-Aquitaine) not to mention the integral de Gradus ad Parnassus by Clementi and some Variations for piano by Mozart.


She has transcribed her passion for the cinema into music and D. Laval has contributed to a better knowledge of composers suc as Nino Rota (concerto for the piano) with the orchestra of Ferrrara, Michel Legrand, Bernard Hermann, André Hossein and Jean Wiener with the Orchestra of Monte Carlo as well as Miklós Rózsa with the North Hungarian Symphony Orchestra; with numerous recording and many live concerts.


She has played on television many concertos with the greatest french orchestras.

Danielle Laval was appointed President of the Jury of the George Enescu Contest which took place in Bucarest in September 2011.

Her meeting of Brigitte Fossey and the complicity which resulted, inspired her into contextualising the dialogue of arts, mingling the languages of words and of music.


Danielle Laval has the reputation of being a very faithful friend… That is exact, she is faithful to her best friend the Piano, her greatest accessory, and the best interpreter of her emotions and passions.

Libor Novacek
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Libor Novacek was born in Prague, Czech Republic, and his early studies were at Teplice Conservatoire. In 1998 he was awarded a full scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, graduating with a MMus and a Fellowship. He studied with Professor Joan Havill and participated in masterclasses with Lazar Berman, Murray Perahia, John Perry, Jean Efflam Bavouzet, Dmitri Bashkirov, Dominique Merlet, Leon Fleisher and others. During his studies in London he won numerous national and international awards and was recipient of several major scholarships.

Internationally recognised for his interpretations of Liszt, Brahms and Janacek, Libor Novacek’s playing is said to possess ‘exceptional poetic verve and inwardness’ and his recordings (Landor Records, UK) are said to have ‘set new benchmarks’ and offer ‘compellingly beautiful and narrative performances’.

Four CDs to date have received outstanding reviews in the classical music press: Liszt’s Années de Pèlerinage – Italie and Mephisto Waltz, was Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine and awarded the 'Diplôme d’Honneur' by Liszt Society in Budapest. His recording of music by Brahms marked him as an ‘artist of vision and phenomenal sound control, offering readings of radiant sensitivity’. It was highly praised in the Guardian, Gramophone and International Record Review and was selected as the BBC Magazine’s ‘Instrumental Choice’ in August 2008. Libor’s latest CD featuring works by Liszt (Années de Pèlerinage- Suisse and Consolations), received the greatest critical acclaim, including 5 stars in the Guardian, International Record Review, Gramophone and Pianonews.

Libor is sought after as a recitalist and chamber musician and the founding member of the Prague Piano Trio. He also gives masterclasses and lecture recitals. His performances have taken him on major international concert stages (Barbican Centre, Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall in London, Rudolfinum in Prague, Hamburger Musikhalle, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Kennedy Centre in Washington DC) and have performed on tours and in festivals throughout the USA, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, India, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Czech Republic and others.

Currently, Libor is Professor of Piano at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz in Austria and is also Professor of piano and chamber music at the Prague Conservatoire.

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Giuseppe Devastato born in Naples, is a pianist and composer recognized by international critics as one of the most exciting pianists of his generation, completed his studies in Italy under Prof. Carlo Alessandro Lapegna (Piano) and Prof. Giacomo Vitale (Composition), his art has been crafted by renowned pianists such as Laura De Fusco, Francesco Nicolosi and Aldo Ciccolini.
Giuseppe Devastato has worked in the most important theaters in Europe America and Asia, such as the Manoel Theatre (Malta), Sala Villanueva (Mexico), León Auditorium (Spain), Auditorium Parco della Musica (Rome), Ravello Festival (Italy), Carnegie Hall of New York (USA), Ateneum Bucharest, National Philharmonic of Timisoara (Romania) National Auditorium of Kiev (Ukraine), National Philharmonic of Szczecin, Tarnow, Krakow and Bydgoszczy (Poland), Wuxi Gran Theater, Beijing Performing Art Center,
Shanghai Symphony Hall (China), Scriabin Museum Big Concert Hall (Russia),

Wuxi Gran Theater (China), National Auditorium of Tokyo.

Often invited to the Ravello International Festival, he performed the complete Sonatas and Variations for piano and cello of Beethoven and Brahms and has worked with many orchestras such as the IASI Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra of the State of Mexico, Kiev Symphony Orchestra, Sofia Chamber Orchestra, Accademia dell; Arco of Poland and Saratoga Youth Spring Orchestra of New York. Giuseppe Devastato was awarded the "International Prize Cartagine 2011” to human merit and professional achievements in the ";MUSIC" section, for the dissemination of music in general - and Italian music in particular - around the world, in virtue of the merits acquired as a pianist and composer, with the intention to spread the world of classical music: “His actions show high sensitivity and a deep love for life. His playing is intended to imitate the human voice and is inspired by the art of Bel Canto of the Neapolitan School”. The debut at Carnegie Hall in New York as a pianist and composer, May 30th, 2014 was greeted with a standing ovation, on this occasion he presented the "Sembazuru Fantasy" (dedicated to Tsunami Victims) for Violin, Piano and Orchestra.

On December 15th, 2015 he won two international awards to Global Music Awards in Los Angeles - USA, Gold Medal “Toccata” composition, and Gold Medal “The Pianist Composer” album. His albums are published by Warner Chappel Music, CAM, Da Vinci Classics where they have received awards and reviews in the most important music magazines, and his albums are regularly broadcast by the most important classic radios in Europe and America.
He is currently invited to teach master classes in Europe, America and Asia, presenting his new book "The
Science of Piano Technique"; based on the technical and musical criteria of the Neapolitan School of S. Thalberg.

His students have won more than 50 international awards, members of Alink-Argerich, such as S.Thalberg, Cesar Franck, Composers of Spain, Maria Herrero, Riga International Piano Competition, Windsor International Piano Competition, Newcastle YPN, F. Liszt Weimar etc.

Author of music for piano, chamber and symphony, his compositions are performed regularly in Europe, America and Asia, performed by great performers and published by Da Vinci Edition. He is the Artistic Advisor of the International Piano Competition "The Naapolitan Masters"; in Naples (Italy) and "Mimas Music Festival"; in Procida Island (Italy). He currently teaches Master Classes in Europe, America and Asia and is Professor of Piano and Chamber Music at Musical Arts Madrid Academy and at Accademia Musicale Europea y in Naples.

Giuseppe Devastato is an official KrausePiano Artist and President of WPTA Spain. “A real artist, a musical actor, his sound is so emotionally and true. Giuseppe speak with the instrument and through the instrument, this is what I heard listening to his Rachmaninov”. Alexey Bogorad- Conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre

Walter Prossnitz

Walter Prossnitz was born in Canada, where he made his debut at the age of 14 years old with the A major Concerto by Liszt. At age 17, he won the Grand Prix at the Canadian National Music Competition, later winning first prize in the Montreal Later studies took him to Vienna and to New York where he earned a Masters Degree at the Juilliard School in 1984. Walter has lived in Switzerland since 1987 and has enjoyed a busy international career, playing in some of the world’s most famous concert halls as a soloist with orchestra or in recital. These include Carnegie Hall, the Place des Arts in Montreal, the Pallacio des Belles Artes in Mexico City, Centre Culturel in Paris, the Carl Orff Hall in Munich, the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the City Hall Arts Complex in Hong Kong and the Central Conservatory Hall in Beijing.He has performed over 150 times as a soloist with orchestras around the world, and has given masterclasses in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and China. Walter Prossnitz is very versatile – he has written several sonatas by Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt and Saint-Saëns as concertos for solo instrument and orchestra, He has been active as a composer and orchestrator, and has also served as a jury for numerous competitions. Walter's great-great-grand uncle was the head of the piano and music history department at the Vienna Academy from 1875-1900. Among his students were Bruckner, Mahler and Wolf.

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After his American debut at the Discovery Series of the Miami International Piano Festival in 2003, Misha Dacić quickly became a sought-after soloist who captured audiences throughout the United States performing at some of the most eminent venues such as Ravinia’s Rising Stars Series in Chicago, Gilmore Keyboard Festival, Xavier Classical Piano Series Cincinnati, Frederic Chopin Society's Concert Series Minneapolis, among numerous others. 


Dacić has appeared in solo recitals as well as a guest soloist throughout Central and South America, Europe, Russia, Japan, and Middle East. He performed at the "Martha Argerich Project Festival" in Lugano, at Mendelssohn's house in Leipzig, at Sergiu Celibidache Festival in Bucharest, at the Festival "Raritäten der Klaviermusik" in Husum, at the International Piano Festival En Blanco & Negro in Mexico City, at the Oji Hall in Tokyo, with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra at Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro.
In 2009 he joined the legendary violinist Ida Haendel on a tour in Japan, performing with her all over the world ever since. One of their live performances was captured on a DVD released by VAI. “Misha Dacić in Recital”, featuring several live performances, was also released by VAI in 2009. Celebrating Franz Liszt’s 200th anniversary in 2011, Dacić’s Liszt album, released by Piano Classics, was greatly received by the worldwide critic. In 2018, Brilliant Classics released Dacić's album featuring works by A. Scriabin.  

Born into a family with musical tradition, and having taken first lessons from his father, Misha Dacić has been performing in public since the age of ten. Kemal Gekić, Alan Fraser, Lazar Berman, and Jorge Luis Prats are counted among his mentors. Dacić is currently teaching at the Musical Arts Madrid, and at the Galamian Academy in Malaga, Spain. He has been a faculty member of the Miami International Piano Festival Academy since 2015 and has been a recipient of support from Patrons of Exceptional Artists since 2003.

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Joanna Sochacka has already been a very successful performing artist. So far she performed in such countries as Israel, France, Switzerland, Austria, USA, Moldova, Estonia, Italy, Spain, England, Holland, Czech Republic and Germany. She played in many renowned concert halls including Carnegie Hall in New York, Beethoven Haus Chamber Hall in Bonn, Royal Albert Hall in London, Sala cu’Orga in Moldova, National Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw, Philharmonic Hall in Lodz, Philharmonic Hall in Kielce, Philharmonic Hall in Cracow, Villa Atma in Zakopane, National Forum of Music in Wroclaw, Liszt Concert Hall in Raiding. She regularly takes part in many international piano festivals as well as in chamber music concerts. Soon there will be available her first CD dedicated to F. Chopin’s music, recorded for Sheva Collection label from London as well as CD with Grażyna Bacewicz Piano Sonatas recorded for DUX recording producers (world premiere).

Joanna is a laureate of more than 20 international and national piano competitions including 17th International Competition Citta di Padova in Italy (I prize, special prizes including concert tour and press conference and II prize in Virtuosity Prize category). Lately she has been awarded grants by scholarship foundations such as Polish Ministry of Culture – Young Poland (2020), Julian Cochran Foundation (2019), Rita Zimmermann Musik-Stiftung Bern (2019-2020), Rector of Academy of Music in Lódz for the best students (2019). From 2008 to 2012 she was supported by the Polish National Fund for Talented Children. She received several ,,Sapere auso” prizes for talented musicians (2009, 2010, 2011, 2016), Dartington Trust Scholarship (2007, 2013), scholarship from Institute of Adam Mickiewicz (2010).

At the moment she is studying at Universität fur Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz in Austria in the class of prof. Milana Chernyavska as well as she is completing her Doctoral Studies at the Academy of Music named of K.G. Bacewicz in Lodz with prof. Hanna Holeksa. She gratuated at the Academy of Music in Cracow with prof. Andrzej Pikul, and Haute École de Musique de Genève with prof. Fabrizio Chiovetta.

Furthermore she took part in many masterclasses and honed her skills under many outstanding teachers, including Dmitrij Bashkirov, Dmitri Alexeev, Jura Margulis, Paul Badura-Skoda, Jean Marc Luisada, Dina Yoffe, Anna Malikova, Kevin Kenner Tatiana Zelikman, Ronan O’Hora, Victor Derevianko, Daniel Blumenthal, Aquiles delle Vigne, Janusz Olejniczak, Akiko Ebi, Victor Derevianko, Tamas Ungar, Joaquín Soriano, Ralf Nattkemper, Andrzej Jasinski, Piotr Paleczny, Stanisław Tichonow, Uta Wayand, Waldemar Wojtal, Vida Vujic, Martino Tirimo, Konstanze Eickhorst, Tamara Stefanovich, Carlos Cebro, Elza Kolodin, Lilja Zilberstein.

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