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Jury 2024

Milan Langer

Pianist Milan Langer /*1955 in Prague/ belongs to leading Czech music interpreters, he cooperates with prominent soloists and chamber ensembles. He has performed at concerts in most countries of Europe, in America, Kuwait, Japan, South Korea etc. While he studied at the Prague Conservatoire and at the Academy of Performing Arts with Valentina Kameníková he also took part in piano master courses with František Rauch /Weimar, Germany Německo/ and Guido Agosti /Siena, Italy/. He participated with success in numerous piano competitions, including the prestigious international competition events such as Bolzano, Santander, Moscow and the "Prague Spring" Competition, and has several laureate titles to his name. He has won Czech national competitions - the Smetana Competition in Hradec Králové and the Chopin Competition in Mariánské Lázně. Playing in the piano trio, however, has become his foremost activity - he has been member of the Czech Trio since 1994. Out of more than 30 music mediums /LP, CD/, which realization he participated in, and besides 9 CDs recorded with the Czech Trio /Bohemia Music, Supraphon, Arco Diva/, an exceptional attention was lately won for example by his solo recordings of the Piano Fugues by A. Rejcha and the Eclogues by V. J. Tomášek /Supraphon/ or in the USA edited "Dream Voyages for Piano" - compositions by the contemporary American composer Carl Vollrath /MMC Recording's/. A large sense also has his activity as a teacher and organizer. Since 1998 Milan Langer teaches the piano-solo and the chamber music at the Prague Conservatory /now in the grade of a piano department head/, both Czech and foreign students. He is the initiator and the main organizer of the project supporting young pianists from 12 to 18 years The Young Piano of the Prague Conservatory and he also founded International Summer Piano Courses of The Prague Conservatory in 2008 which used to be now regularly held on the ground of this Central European famous music school /founded 1811/ every year. He leads master-courses and seminars abroad too /USA, South Korea, Japan, Norway, Ukraine/ and is a frequent member of juries of piano and chamber music competitions.

Uwe Balser

Since his highly acclaimed CD recording of piano works by the Russian composer Nikolai Medtner,
Uwe Balser has been considered a Medtner specialist in professional circles. In 1999 he performed
this composer's 2nd Piano Concerto for the first time in Germany and Romania with the Timisoara
Philharmonic Orchestra - followed in November 2003 by a performance with the Philharmonic
Orchestra in Kaliningrad. He also impressed at the “Russian Composers in Exile” festival in
Saarbrücken in 2011 alongside artists such as Boris Berezovsky and Ekaterina Derzhavina, particularly
with works by Nikolai Medtner. In January 2020 he played the opening concert for the Medtner Year
(140th birthday of the composer) in the Zsereteli Museum in Moscow and was then a juror in the
2nd International Medtner Competition in St. Petersburg. Later in 2020, a live recording from the
Friday concert on February 20, 2015 with the Sonata Reminiscenza was used in an artistic animated
film about Nikolai-Medtner as part of the historical Russian cultural project “Living Records”.
Uwe Balser also took part as a juror at the 3rd International Medtner Competition in St. Petersburg in
2022, but online due to Corona.
In addition to his concert tours, which took him through many European countries to Japan, Australia
and Korea, he also enjoys an excellent reputation as a teacher. His students won numerous prizes at
national and international youth competitions. So far, Uwe Balser has given master classes in
Brisbane (Australia) as part of the “Stoliarsky International Festival”, at the Timisoara University
(Romania), in the piano summer in Oberbergisches Land, in Nagoya (Japan), at the Dong-A University
Pusan (Southern Korea), in the Central Music School in Moscow and in Munich.
He received his own training from Reinhold Glaeser in Limburg, Pavel Gililov at the Cologne
University of Music and Naum Grubert at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. He received
valuable artistic impulses from Paul Badura-Skoda, Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Vladimir Tropp, Halina
Czerny-Stefanska, Ilja Friedmann and Sergej Dorenski and, in particular, from his long-standing
collaboration and friendship with the great Russian pianist Igor Shukow.
In 1988 he won third prize at the international piano competition in Finale Ligure (Italy).
Uwe Balser is a member of the management team of the music and singing school of the city of
Heidelberg and was artistic director of the Jahrhundertwende-Gesellschaft Heidelberg from 1999-

Giuseppe Devastato

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), National Auditorium of
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 Bydgoszcz 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.
A distinguished teacher, he is currently invited to give master classes, lecture and seminaries all over the
world in Europe, America and Asia, among the most important: in China (Lanzhou University, China
Conservatories and Academies), Romania (Liceul de Arte Ion Vidu” Timișoara, Liceul de Arte ”Marin
Sorescu” Craiova), Lithuania (Vilnius Naujoji Vilnia Music School), Poland (Academy of Art Szczecin), Italy
(Faculty of Music Talent Master Courses of Brescia), Spain (Faculty of Music UAX, Musical Arts,
Conservatories) UK (Purcell School), Belgium (Centre Musical Eduardo del Pueyo Brussels), Netherlands
(Fontys Conservatory Music and Performing Arts) (USA (University of Missouri – St. Louis).
Having much experience in teaching, was appointed President of WPTA SPAIN (World Piano Teacher
Association Spain) and written a book "The Science of Piano Technique" based on the technical and musical
criteria of the Neapolitan School of S. Thalberg, adding his own modern vision after recovering from dystonia
on his own. His compositions are performed regularly in Europe, America and Asia, performed by great
performers and published by Universal Edition. He is the Artistic Advisor of the International Piano
Competition "The Neapolitan Masters" in Naples (Italy), "Mimas Music Festival" in Procida Island (Italy) and
WPTA Spain IPC (Spain).
He is Professor at Musical Arts Conservatory of Madrid (Spain), at the Accademia Musicale Europea in
Naples (Italy), and guest professor at the Talent Music Masters Academy in Brescia (Italy), at the
International Summer Academy EuroArtsAcademy (Germany). In the last years many of his students won
more than 50 prizes (first and second) at international piano competitions, members of Alink-Argerich,
Newcastle YPN (2014), S.Thalberg (2015(, Cesar Franck (2017), Composers of Spain (2017), Maria Herrero
(2017), Riga International Piano Competition (2017), Windsor International Piano Competition (2018), 9th
International F. Liszt Piano Competition Weimar – Bayreuth (2018), Piano Campus (2023), Jurica Murai
“Gran Prix” (2024).
His students’ achievements have included places and scholarships to study in important music Institutions
(Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music of London, National Academy of Santa Cecilia of
Rome), Mozarteum University - University of Music of Salzburg) and established successful careers as
recording artists. He is often inivited as jury member in many international piano competitions worldwide.

Giuseppe Devastato is a Krause Piano Artist.

Ilja Scheps
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“His vast experience in teaching makes Mr. Ilja Scheps appear as an ideal case of
the ‘pianistadoctus’. In addition, there is the background of his musical career: the
great Russian piano school. Any university that enjoys his assistance should consider
itself fortunate.”
(Prof. Dr. h. c. mult. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau)

The Russian pianist Ilja Scheps studied under Prof. Lev Vlassenko and Prof. Ewgeni
Schenderowitsch at the famous Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, where he later
taught himself. From 1982, he performed for ten years as a soloist with the Moscow
Philharmonic, appearing both as a soloist and with many prominent singers and
instrumentalists. Numerous guest appearances have taken Ilja Scheps to the USA,
Australia, China, Israel, Italy, Malta, New Zealand, Spain, Turkey, Hungary, among
Since 1992, Ilja Scheps has lived in Germany. He taught for a long time at the
universities of music in Rostock and Dortmund, as well as at the Music Academy in
Darmstadt. Since 2003, he has been a professor at the University of Music in
Cologne/Aachen, leading numerous international masterclasses for pianists, co-
founding and serving as artistic director for many years at the Paderewski Piano
Academy in Bydgoszcz (Poland). Additionally, Ilja Scheps has been appointed as a
visiting professor at several universities in China. Students of Prof. Scheps have won
prizes at numerous piano competitions and have been signed exclusively to record
companies such as “Sony” – Classic and “Universal” Records.
Prof. Ilja Scheps is a sought-after jury member at major international piano
competitions such as “Top of the world” and “Grieg” Piano Competition in Norway,
Shenzhen Piano Concerto Competition, and China Int. Piano Competition in Xiamen
(China), Chopin Piano Competition in Darmstadt (Germany), piano competitions in
Madrid and Campillos in Spain, Concours International de Piano “Orchestra’Sion”
Istanbul (Turkey), “Int’l German Piano Award” in Frankfurt am Main, as well as at the
Int. Piano Competition MozArte in Aachen (Germany).
Solo concerts with Ilja Scheps as well as concerts with orchestras, prominent singers,
and instrumentalists are enthusiastically celebrated by audiences all over the world.
Prof. Scheps teaches at the Talent Music Academy in Brescia (Italy), the international
music academy Anton Rubinstein Akademie in Düsseldorf (Germany), as well as the
Beethoven Conservatory in Tegelen (Netherlands).
In addition to earlier recordings with companies such as “Melodia”, “MCA” (USA), and
“Le Chant du Monde” (France), Ilja Scheps has added new CDs with companies such
as “Deutsche Welle – classic”, “Coriolan” (Teldec), “EMC-Records”, and “CPO”.

Joanna Ławrynowicz
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Joanna Ławrynowicz - polish pianist, was born in Warsaw in the family
that had been involved in music for many generations . At the age of four, she
started to learn to play the piano and her first educator was Hanna Lachertowa.
She graduated with distinction from The Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in
Warsaw in Professor Teresa Manasterska's class. After graduation, she
continued her education with Professor Halina Czerny-Stefańska until her death
in 2001.
She has won many prestigious international piano competitions, including
The Steinway&Sons Competition for Young Pianists (Berlin 1990),The
International Chopin Competition( Darmstadt 1999), The International Piano
Competition of Halina Czerny-Stefańska in Ajigasawa (Japan 2000) and The
International Piano Competition "Art Livre"; in Sao Paulo (Brazil 2001) .
For several years she has been giving numerous concerts both as a solo and
chamber pianist. She has already performed worldwide (Europe, Asia, North
and South America and New Zealand). To her credit, there are many prestigious
concerts in Poland and abroad, marked by the participation of distinguished
orchestras and outstanding conductors .
As a Polish pianist, she is renowned for running abounding phonographic
activity. She has already recorded more than 50 albums for Acte Prealable,
including the complete solo and chamber works of Fryderyk Chopin (which has
never been achieved by any Polish artist before), all compositions for violin and
piano, solo piano compositions and piano concerto by Romuald Twardowski;
the complete chamber works and piano concertos by Henryk Melcer; Władysław
Żeleński's solo piano compositions and the complete chamber works of Józef
Elsner and Zygmunt Stojowski. Most of the compositions recorded by the artist
have become the world phonographic premieres . Her albums, which are
acclaimed by the lovers of classical music and highly appreciated by music
critics, are getting very good reviews and they have received distinctions from
the best music magazines worldwide.
The pianist is engaged in holding courses and seminars both in Poland and
abroad, including the USA ( Indiana University, Bloomington), China, Japan,
Lithuania and France (The Boulogne Billancourt Conservatory in Paris). She
was one of the judges during The international piano competitions in Shanghai
(China), Petrozavodsk and Velikij Novgorod (Russia), Varenna (Italy) and in
Luck (Ukraine).
The artist has also written numerous piano performance instructions,
published by Polish Music Publishers. Now the pianist is working as a professor

at The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, in the piano class,
being also the head of the Piano Department.
Among her students there are a lot of the winners of national and international
piano competitions, taking place in Poland, Russia, Estonia, Italy, Taiwan,
France, Germany, Sweden.

Brenno Ambrosini
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photo by Alla Kostomarova, Samara

Liszt and Venice feature constantly in the work of this Italian pianist who was born in 1967 and who started studying the piano at the age of six, made his first public appearance aged eleven in Venice, the City of the Water, and was trained in the school of Liszt – the genius composer and performer who wrote many of his works in Venice hardly 100 meters from the very place of Ambrosini’s birth.

Brenno Ambrosini, began studying piano with M.I.Biagi (Venice and Florence) and R. Cappello (Parma), and also pursued organ, violin and composition studies with U. Amendola (Venice).

On completion of his studies in the grand tradition of the piano schools of Chopin, Liszt, Sgambati and Busoni, earning an Honours degree in piano awarded “cum laude” in recognition of his academic merits, he continued his training with G. Oppitz (a disciple of W. Kempff) in Munich in 1986-89, then went on to study further with Silva-Telles (C.Arrau’s pupil) in Paris 1989. In 1990 he continued his musical training with J.Soriano ( a disciple of M.Tagliaferro and V.Perlemuter) at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Madrid, where he was awarded the annual Honour Prize on completion of his course of studies. He completed his Ph.D. distinguished by the highest academic achievement and “cum laude” at the Jaume I University in Castellón (December 2015, Spain): “Ethics and Humanism in Franz Liszt”.

Having won public acclaim many a time for his interpretation and performances colourful and with moments of great transcendental depth, critics have said:

His Liszt sonata has been a sacred performance – a monumental interpretation (El País, Madrid - Spain)

His symphonic piano style shone at every performance. (Westfälische Rundschau, Dortmund - Germany)

The right choice, a pianist who is always elegant and refined. (Pianotime, Milan - Italy)

Winner at the XXXIV Concurso Internacional de Piano "Premio Jaén” and the  "Rosa Sabater Prize" for the best performance of Spanish music in the same election. Ambrosini won the First Prize, the Debussy Prize and the Beethoven Prize in the International Piano Competition "Cidade do Porto".  He was laureated in the X Concurso Internacional de Piano de Santander "Paloma O'Shea". Second Prize in the International Piano Competition "José Iturbi" of Valencia, he was awarded Second Prize and the "Golden Harp" Audience Award in the International Competition "Jeunesses Musicales" of Belgrade and won the “Piano Festival Alumni Prize” in the "William Kapell” International Piano Competition at College Park (Washington D.C., USA).

After his orchestral debut at the Liederhalle (Beethovensaal) of Stuttgart in 1986 performing the “Emperor” piano concerto by Beethoven, Ambrosini has performed many concerts as a soloist in cities in Europe, the USA and Japan accompanied by ensembles such as the Royal Orchestra of Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Belgrade, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, New Philharmonia of Japan, New Mozart Chamber in Munich, Orquesta do Porto, Valencia Symphony, Radio Television Symphony in Madrid and Belgrade, Slupsk Chopin Symphony, Bari Symphony Orchestra, Hermitage State Orchestra of St.Petersburg, Schnittke Symphonic in Moscow… performing with conductors such as M.Bamert, H.Vonk  and A.Ros-Marbá, I.Gromov, G.Klementiev...

In chamber music, he started in 1984 the collaboration with the cellist Claudio Ronco (cello soloist of the Clemencic Consort Wien and the Razumowsky Quartet). Since 1990 Ambrosini has performed in duets with the Russian violinist M. Lubotsky, since 1994 with a Dutch pianist David Kuyken and since 2002 with the Russian violinist I. Grubert. He also collaborates regularly with the Prazak and Brodsky string quartets and he played with Jean Pierre Rampal. Founder of the Kether Piano Trio, in 2014 he offered rounds of concerts as Tribute to Haydn, and he celebrated the 20 years anniversary of his piano duo with rounds of 4 recitals for pieces for two pianos ..."

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.

Elevato Piano Competition Artistic Director /President
Michelle Howland
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