Jury 2022

Wojciech Kubica
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Wojciech KUBICA was born in Cracow in 1980. He began to study piano at the age of 8 in the State Primary Music School in Goleniów in the class of Magdalena Kochan. In 1999 he graduated from the State High School of Music in Szczecin

in the class of Mikołaj Szczęsny. In 2004 he became a graduate of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in the class of Prof. Joanna Domańska. In 2005 he graduated with excellent grade from the Master Postgraduate Studies in the class

of Prof. Grzegorz Kurzyński at the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław.

He experienced his first performance with the orchestra at the age of 12. As a soloist and chamber musician, he has given concerts in entire Poland (e.g., Wrocław, Szczecin, Wałbrzych, Łódź,Lublin, Olsztyn, Płock, Łomża, Poznań, Cracow, Warsaw, Zakopane) and abroad (Belarus, Belgium, China, Germany, Italy, Jordan,

Russia, Spain, Thailand, Ukraine).

He is winner of a number of prizes at national and international competitions, e.g.,

the 1st prize at the International Piano Competition in Kiev (2003), the 4th prize and a

special prize for the performance of César Franck’s sonata at the Val Tidone International Chamber Music Competition in Italy (2004) and the 2nd prize at the Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz International Chamber Music Competition in Łódź

(2013). In September 2004 he performed at the Youth Stage of the Polish Piano Festival in Słupsk. In 2007, at the Dezyderiusz Danczowski Polish Cello Competition, he received a diploma for pianist for a particular contribution to the artistic value of the competition performances. He has also received similar distinctions at subsequent cello and violin competitions.

Since 2008, Wojciech Kubica has also been working as a pianist-chamber musician with the Summer Academy of Music in Żagań and the Music Masterclass in Szamotuły and the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice, working with, e.g., Arto Noras, Michael Flaksman or Markus Nyikos.

He has polished his skills under the direction of such professors as: Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Kevin Kenner, Vladimir Krainev or Vladimir Viardo.

Wojciech Kubica’s rich repertoire includes pieces ranging from Baroque to the contemporary music. In 2003, during his recital in Atma at the Karol Szymanowski Festival in Zakopane, he premiered Kyrie by Jan Wincenty Hawel.

In 2005–2007 he worked with the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice; since 2005 he has been employed at the Academy of Music in Wrocław and since 2008 he has been assistant in the piano class of Prof. Cezary Sanecki

at the Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź. In 2014, he received the title of Doctor of Arts of the Academy of Music in Łódź, where he is an active pedagogue, cooperating with the piano class of Prof. Cezary Sanecki.

 In 2017 pianist recorded a CD with cellist Stanislaw Firlej including sonatas for piano and cello by Ludwig van Beethoven, for the polish label – DUX.

In 2019 Wojciech Kubica received degree of DSc (habilitation) and leads his own piano class in the Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź. Currently, from 2020 Wojciech Kubica is dean of Instrumental Performance Faculty at the Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź.

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Pianist, born in Częstochowa, Poland, 1961, an alumnus of the Academy of Music in Łódź, where he studied piano under Prof. Tadeusz Chmielewski (diploma with honours in 1987) and chamber music under Prof. Rajmund Ambroziak and Prof. Bronisław Hajn. He is the winner of the 1st Award and the Krzysztof Penderecki Special Award in the Polish National Chamber Music Competition in Łódź in 1986.

As a soloist and a chamber musician, he performed in Poland as well as in Europe and Asia. A significant part of his recitals and chamber music concerts covers Polish as well as 19th- and 20th-century music. He boasts numerous first performances of works by contemporary composers, which he presented, inter alia, at the International Festival of Sacred Music Gaude Mater in Częstochowa, the Musica Moderna festival in Łódź, the International Contemporary Music Festival in Krakow, the Frȕhjahrstage fȕr zeitgenössische Musik (Weimar, Germany) and other festivals of Polish music in Germany and Israel. On the occasion of the 2007 Year of Szymanowski Jubilee, he performed in a series of monographic concerts, concluded with a recital at the Atma Villa in Zakopane (with violinist Aleksandra Szwejkowska-Belica) and the recording of works by Karol Szymanowski for violin and piano (the resulting album was nominated for the Fryderyk music award). 

He collaborated with numerous artists, such as Andrzej Orkisz, Piotr Pławner, Tomasz Król, and Urszula Kryger. A particular place in his artistic activity is reserved for piano duets, performed with great success with artists, such as Joanna Hajn-Romanowicz, Beata Cywińska, and Robert Gawroński. With flautist Agnieszka Respondek and cellist Małgorzata Jóźków, he co-founded the Trio Con Fervore – a music initiative which resulted in the recording of an album with works by Astor Piazzolla and an original double album with Polish Christmas carols by Tadeusz Trojanowski. 

His artistic achievements include television and radio recordings for, among others, Łódź Radio, Katowice Radio and TV, Polish Radio 2, MDR Figaro (Germany), TV Muziek (Netherlands). He recorded over twenty albums with works by composers such as H. Wieniawski, J. Brahms, M. de Falli, M. Ravel, B. Bartok, M. Bruch, I. J. Paderewski, G. Bacewicz, R. Schumann, K. Szymanowski, as well as Polish contemporary composers, such as H. M. Górecki, J. Łuciuk, J. Bauer. 

He holds a piano class at the Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź. He often sits on juries of piano competitions. Between 2008 and 2012, he served as dean of the Faculty of Piano, Harpsichord and Organ at the Łódź Academy of Music, and in September 2012, he became the Academy's rector. In June 2013, he received the Professor of Musical Arts degree.

Walter Prossnitz
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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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Yi Fan-Chiang has been gifted with a wonderful technigue and rich, lustrous sound and his mastery on the instrument has been abled him in tastefully communicating his ideas very expressively to his audience.” Arie Vardi, Chairman of Arthur Rubinstein international Piano Master Competition Japanese Pianist Anna Azusa Fujita and music critic Satoru Takaku once commented in Japanese classical music magazines, the latter being the music critic of the Japanese magazine Chopin Lover, that the performance by the Germany-based pianist Yi Fan-Chiang is “undoubtedly the most remarkable among the performers tonight; unquestionably, in his superb playing, we see the endless future of the piano circle in Taiwan.” Pianist Yi Fan-Chiang emigrated to study in Germany at the age of thirteen. He graduated from Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover and received Konzertexam. During his working on PHD, he was qualified for piano instructing as a lecturer, and simultaneously substituted for Professor Tomislav Baynov at Musikhochschule Trossingen, instructing piano in master and doctoral degrees for three years. Up to the present, he has been receiving more than 30 awards from international competitions and musical governmental institutions. While teaching and performing intensively, pianist Yi Fan-Chiang spares no effort in popularizing artistic and cultural activities. He participated in charity performances at fundraising events for patients suffering from Osteogenesis Imperfecta, as well as the 40th anniversary evening party held by St. Anne’s Home. Since 2013, he has been instructing music talented students at Special Education in New Taipei City; meanwhile, he was invited to be the distinguished professor of master classes for high quality educational project, held by National Wu-Ling Senior High School, during which he put numerous efforts in nurturing the young talents. His pupils have not only achieved great results in nationally representative competitions in Taiwan, but also won awards in international events from Japan, Macau, America, France, Germany, Italy to Spain; some of them even had the opportunity to perform at the celebrated Carnegie Hall. Yi Fan-Chiang has been invited to assume the office of the councilor of National Theatre and Concert Hal for two consecutive years, the director of the board in Frederic Chopin Foundation of Taipei and the chief consultant of 2016 Virtuoso Taoyuan Music Competition The performance of Pianist Yi Fan-Chiang has been regularly requested in countries among the U.S., Europe and Asia; his piano lectures and master classes have also been held in Germany, China and Taiwan for many times. The video recording of his performance has been widely broadcast on public TV channels and radio stations in Germany, Poland, Russia, Belgium, France, Italy, Romania, Spain, Israel, America and Taiwan. He also cooperated with orchestras such as National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan, Evergreen Symphony Orchestra, Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra, Kaohsiung City Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Moments Musicaux, Taipei Symphony and Chinese Orchestra, Chiuko Traditional Orchestra, TNUA (Taipei National University of Arts) String Ensemble, NTUA (National Taiwan University of Arts) Wind Orchestra, along with others. Click-throughs to the videos of his collaborative concerto concerts with Evergreen Symphony Orchestra are available in the audio and video programs provided by Eva Air. Moreover, he has been participating in at art festivals including Braunschweig Classix Festival and Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, Concurso y Festival Internacional de Piano de Ibiza in Spain, Fête de la Musique in France and also on similar occasions in Austria, Russia, Israel, China and many countries. Inheriting from the German and Russian piano schools, pianist Yi Fan-Chiang has been instructed, supported and influenced profoundly by many important contemporary musicians, such as maestro Lazar Berman, the Russian pianist and conductor Igor Zhukov, who is of paramount importance in interpreting the works by Scriabin; Paul Badura-skoda, the heir to German-Austrian traditions; the late German pianist Conrad Hansen, who played and recorded with the legendary conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler in the performances of concertos; Pavel Gillilov, the winner of International Chopin Piano Competition and the chief-judge of International Telekom Beethoven Competition Bonn; Dan Zhao-Xi, the respected teacher of the pianist Li Yundi. Additionally, Yi Fan-Chiang is particularly fond of the accompaniment of art songs, and has studied for many years under Justus Zeyen, who was the piano accompanist in collaboration with Thomas Quasthoff, the German Baritone who won numerous Grammy Awards. Until now, pianist Yi Fan-Chiang has collaborated with various musicians abroad, including: the internationally renowned violinist Joshua Bell; Szymanowski Quartet; Eric Wilson, the professor of cello in UBC University in Canada; the Swiss violinist Robert Rozek, Professors from Germany like Pianist Gesa Lucker, Ilya Scheps, Violinist Kathrin ten Hagen and Cellist Katharina Deserno, Wen-Sinn Yang ; Li Fang-Yi, the professor of piano at Villeneuve Saint-Georges Conservatoire in France; famous Chinese Erhu (Chinese two-stringed fiddle) players Zhao Lei and Gao Shao-Jing; Conductor like Klaus Arp, the German conductor of South German Radio Symphony Orchestra; the German conductor Gernot Schmalfuss, Gilbert Varga and many others. Pianist Yi Fan-Chiang recorded many albums with the repertoire Piano Concerto, Solo Pieces, Piano Duo and Chamber Music. His last album “Four Seasons in Taoyuan”Piano Concerto was awarded with Golden Melody Awards in the category“the best soloist

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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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Michelle Howland is the artistic director of the Elevato piano competition and Stanza junior piano competition. She comes from Canada, and is currently teaching in Germany. Michelle has organized many charity events and concerts, and has worked to promote classical music, especially to a younger audience. She has been organizing the Elevato competition since 2020.