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Sergej Krylov / President of the Jury

The effervescent musicality and astonishing virtuosity always at the service of expressiveness, intense lyricism, and the beauty of sound are just a few elements that have made Sergej Krylov one of the most renowned artists on the international scene.

In recent years, the virtuoso has been a guest of prestigious musical institutions, collaborating with orchestras such as La Scala Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, National Academy of Santa Cecilia, Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France, Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte-Carlo, Russian National Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, and many others.

Krylov has worked with major conductors: Mikhail Pletnev, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Vasily Petrenko, Andrey Boreyko, Vladimir Jurowski, Andris Poga, Dmitrij Kitajenko, Yuri Temirkanov, Marin Alsop, Fabio Luisi, Ton Koopman, Roberto Abbado, Dmitry Liss, and Nikolaj Znaider.

Sergej Krylov’s repertoire is very broad, spanning from Baroque to contemporary. He regularly dedicates himself to solo violin recitals, giving ample space to the music of Bach, Ysaye, and Paganini. In duo with the piano, he has performed a large part of the classical, romantic, and modern repertoire. His passion for orchestral repertoire has led him to perform not only the most popular violin concertos but also more unusual ones such as Sofia Gubaidulina’s “Offertorium,” concertos by Philip Glass, Martiunu, Petsalis, Weinberg, and Peteris Vasks’ “Distant Light.”

Sergej Krylov is the Musical Director of the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, where he enjoys exploring a wide repertoire in the dual role of conductor and soloist, ranging from Vivaldi to contemporary music.

For several years, he has successfully dedicated himself to orchestral conducting, working with prestigious orchestras such as the Russian National Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, ORT of Florence, and the Chamber Orchestra of Pforzheim.

Born in Moscow into a family of musicians, Krylov began studying the violin at the age of five, completing his training at the Central School of Music in Moscow. His discography includes recordings for EMI and Melodya, two albums with Deutsche Grammophon, Ezio Bosso’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra for Sony, and Krzysztof Penderecki’s Concerto for Violin “Metamorphosen.”

Pierre Amoyal

Pierre is one of the most brilliant violinists of his generation. He began his musical studies at a very young age. At 12 he was awarded the First Prize at the National Conservatory of Music in Paris; at 17, he traveled to Los Angeles to study with the legendary Jascha Heifetz, with whom he studied for five years. There, he had the privilege of performing chamber music concerts and recording with Jascha Heifetz and Gregor Piatigorsky.

Since then, Amoyal has been invited to perform with the most eminent orchestras and has given performances worldwide. He has collaborated with the most important contemporary orchestra conductors, including Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa, Charles Dutoit, Eliahu Inbal, Stanislas Skrowaczewski, Günter Herbig, Georges Prêtre, Guennadi Roshdestvensky, Kurt Sanderling, Simon Rattle, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, and Myung Whun Chung. He performed the German premiere of Dutilleux’s Violin Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Lorin Maazel.

Pierre Amoyal founded the Camerata de Lausanne, an ensemble composed of 14 young talented musicians. His numerous recordings for Decca include works by Fauré (with Pascal Rogé), Chausson, Franck (with the Ysaÿe Quartet and Pascal Rogé), as well as concertos by Dutilleux, Saint-Saëns, and Respighi (Gregorian Concerto with Charles Dutoit and the National Orchestra of France). His recent recordings for Harmonia Mundi include Grieg’s three sonatas and Brahms’ violin sonatas, all with Frederic Chiu, and René Koering’s Violin Concerto with Friedemann Layer.

Pierre Amoyal is a passionate teacher. Appointed as a professor at the National Conservatory of Paris at a very young age, he has taught at the Conservatory of Lausanne, Haute Ecole de Musique. Currently, he serves as a university professor at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

Ksenia Milas

Ksenia is a Russian-born violinist who has been living in Italy for over 10 years. Currently, she maintains a consistent concert activity, performing in solo violin recitals and as a soloist in concerts in Italy, Russia, France, Germany, England, Ireland, Lithuania, Finland, Greece, Switzerland, and China. Since 2010 she has been teaching at the International Academy of Imola (Honorary Director Vladimir Ashkenazi), handing on with passion the secrets of violin technique to her numerous students. In 2021, she became an official partner of iClassical Academy. In December 2021, her CD featuring Paganini’s 24 Caprices plus 4 unpublished studies, recorded in a single session with Paganini’s Sivori violin in the violin room at Palazzo Tursi in Genoa, was released by the record label Da Vinci Classics, earning 5 stars from the Musica magazine.

At the age of 20, Ksenia Milas was admitted to the Maastricht Conservatory (Netherlands), where she graduated with honors in 2012 under the guidance of Boris Belkin. Since childhood, she has attended masterclasses with internationally renowned teachers, including Salvatore Accardo, Eduard Grach, Sergei Kravchenko, Jan Repko, Zakhar Bron, Pavel Vernikov, Michaela Martin, Krzysztof Wegrzyn, and Oleksandr Semchuk. Even at a very young age, she won various competitions: at just 9 years old, she won first prize at the International Competition in Athens; at 11, she won the first edition of the “New Names” Competition and the International Competition of the Youth Assembly of Arts in Moscow; at 12, she was awarded the “High Virtuosity Award” at the International Festival in Belarus; in 2006, she received a prize at the International “Patria Tchaikovsky” Competition in Izhevsk. At the age of 8, she made her debut as a soloist with the State Philharmonic Orchestra of St. Petersburg. Ksenia started playing the violin at the age of 4 at the Volgograd Music School (Russia) in 1993. Already the following year, based on recommendations from her teachers, she was admitted to the Special School of Music at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory.

Alessandro Quarta

Acclaimed by CNN in 2013 as a “Musical Genius,” Alessandro Quarta has received numerous accolades for his musical achievements. In 2017, he was honored at Montecitorio as the “Best Italian Excellence in the World” for Music. His composition “Dorian Gray,” performed live in a world premiere with Roberto Bolle in some of Italy’s most beautiful art venues, and “Danza con me” on Raiuno, both achieved tremendous success. He was an international guest at the 2019 Sanremo Festival on the night of duets, invited by Il Volo to perform the song “Musica che Resta.” Additionally, he was an international guest at the Night of Taranta, broadcast live on Raidue, with a live audience of 220,000 spectators.

Alessandro is a violinist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer who has contributed to the creation of original music for Walt Disney and Rai Cinema films. He grew musically under the guidance of world-renowned conductors such as Maazel, Inbal, Dutoit, Rostropovich, Chung, Pretre, and Metha. He has played roles like Concertmaster and performed in prestigious venues worldwide during major tours in Europe, America, China, Japan, and the Middle East.

Currently, Alessandro collaborates as a violinist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and arranger in international projects with artists like Roberto Bolle, Soloists of the Berliner Philharmonic, Soloists of the National Orchestra of Rai Turin, Quartet of Teatro alla Scala, Soloists of the Accademia Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Mike Stern, Il Volo, James Taylor, Amii Stewart, Toquinho, and many other international artists.

Following the success of his first two albums, “One More Time” (2010) and the autobiographical “Charlot” (2014), Alessandro presented his tribute to Astor Piazzolla in 2019: “Alessandro Quarta plays Astor Piazzolla,” an album already nominated for a Grammy. Alessandro Quarta plays a rare 1723 Alessandro Gagliano violin, known as the “ex Principe della famiglia Clelia Biondi,” a 1761 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, and two violins by Ezia Di Labio painted by the renowned set designer Emanuele Luzzati and the writer Pino Cacucci.

Massimo Quarta

Winner of the First Prize at the “Città di Vittorio Veneto” National Violin Competition (1986) and the First Prize at the “Opera Prima Philips” Violin Competition (1989), Massimo Quarta achieved further acclaim in 1991 by winning the prestigious First Prize at the International Violin Competition “N. Paganini” in Genoa. His intense concert activity has led him to perform with renowned directors such as Temirkanov, Chung, Thielemann, Gatti, Harding, Yurowsky, Axelrod, Maxwell Davies, Ceccato, Spivakov, and Oren.

Born in 1965, Quarta began studying the violin at the age of eleven at the Conservatory of Lecce, continuing his studies at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome. He further refined his skills under the guidance of Salvatore Accardo, Ruggero Ricci, Pavel Vernikov, and Abram Shtern. In addition to his solo career, he has been a conductor for over twenty-five years. He made his debut as a soloist and conductor at the Musikverein in Vienna with the Philharmonia Wien and at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He served as Soloist and Principal Conductor of the Orchestra of the Abruzzo Symphonic Institution and was the Artistic Music Director of the Orchestra of the “Tito Schipa” Foundation in Lecce. From 2017 to 2020, he was the Music Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Mexico City. He has received the International “Foyer Des Artistes” Award and the Gino Tani International Award for the Performing Arts.

Quarta has recorded for Philips, including Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Paganini’s 24 Caprices for Chandos, and a CD with Paganini’s music, including the complete set of the 6 Violin Concertos for Dynamic, in the autograph version, both as a violinist and conductor. This integral collection is considered a “true milestone for all violin enthusiasts” (Il Giornale della Musica). Massimo Quarta is an Academician of Santa Cecilia and teaches at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano. He plays a G. A. Rocca violin from 1840.

Oleksandr Semchuk

Maestro Semchuk began playing the violin at the age of 4 and held his first solo concert with an orchestra at the young age of 8, marking the start of a remarkable career. He studied with renowned violinists and educators such as Bohodar Kotorovych, Yehudi Menuhin, Tibor Varga, Viktor Tretiakov, and Alberto Lysy. From an early age, he secured victories in various international competitions., earning absolute first prizes, including the prestigious “Youth Assembly of Art” in Moscow.

His successful concert career has taken him to perform worldwide, both as a soloist and in collaboration with other internationally acclaimed musicians. In recognition of his significant cultural contribution as the founder of the “Artists for the Renaissance of Ukraine” project, he was awarded the honorary title of “Meritorious Artist” by the Ukrainian state in 2001. Currently, Semchuk lives in Italy, where he engages in extensive teaching activities. He has taught at the Fiesole Music School and the Music Academy of Florence. Since 2010, he has been coordinating the String Department at the International Piano Academy “Incontri col Maestro” in Imola, where he continues to teach.

His dedication to teaching has been rewarded by the numerous successes of his students, who have won over sixty first prizes in major international competitions. Among his students are members of prestigious orchestras, conservatory teachers, and graduates from renowned conservatories. Maestro Semchuk regularly conducts masterclasses at internationally acclaimed institutions such as the Royal College of Music in London, the Paris Conservatory, and various Italian conservatories. Moreover, he is often asked to serve as a jury member in both national and international competitions.

In 2020, Ukrainian composer Eugen Stankovych composed and dedicated the Concerto-Suite for violin and symphony orchestra to Maestro Semchuk. His primary instrument is a 1840 Auguste Bernardel violin, played with a “Lady Bianca” bow by Navea-Vera.

Kyoko Takezawa

After winning the International Violin Competition in Indianapolis, Kyoko Takezawa has performed with renowned orchestras, including the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, and the symphony orchestras of San Francisco, Cleveland, Baltimore, Houston, Toronto, Seattle, and Montreal.

Internationally, she has played with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, BBC and London Symphony, Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich, Dresden Staatskapelle, Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Weimar Staatskapelle, Orchestre National de Radio France, NHK Symphony, and New Japan Philharmonic. She has collaborated with famous conductors including Ozawa, Sir Colin Davis, Tilson Thomas, Sawallisch, Masur, Marriner, Dutoit, Chailly, and has performed in major venues such as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center in Washington, BBC Proms in London, Wigmore Hall, Musikverein in Vienna, and Suntory Hall. She is a regular guest at the Martha Argerich Festival in Japan. As co-director of the Suntory Festival Soloists at Suntory Hall in Tokyo, she has collaborated with Isaac Stern, Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Joseph Suk.

Kyoko Takezawa has an extensive discography for BMG/RCA, including Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto with Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Elgar’s Violin Concerto with Sir Colin Davis and the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with Michael Tilson Thomas and the London Symphony, and Mendelssohn’s Concertos with Claus Peter Flor and the Bamberg Symphony. She has participated in numerous television programs, including “Concerto!”. Currently, she teaches at the Toho Music School and the Tokyo College of Music in Japan and has been a jury member at the International Violin Competition in Indianapolis, Menuhin, and Wieniawski. Kyoko Takezawa plays the Stradivari “Lady Tennant” violin (1699) on loan from the Stradivari Society in Chicago.

Anna Tifu

Winner of the prestigious George Enescu International Competition in Bucharest in 2007, Anna Tifu is considered one of the finest interpreters of her generation. Born in Cagliari, she began studying the violin at the age of 6 under her father’s guidance and performed in public at the age of 8, winning the first prize with Special Mention of Merit at the Vittorio Veneto Festival. At 11, she made her solo debut with the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, and the following year, at the age of 12, she debuted at La Scala in Milan with Bruch’s Concerto No.1. She graduated at the age of 15 from the Conservatorio di Cagliari with the highest honors and Honorable Mention.

She studied with Salvatore Accardo at the Accademia Stauffer in Cremona and later at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, where she received the Diploma d’Onore in 2004. Admitted at the age of 17 to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, she further perfected her skills in Paris, obtaining the advanced diploma as a Concertista. She has performed with some of the most prestigious national and international orchestras alongside notable conductors such as Temirkanov, Dudamel, Matheuz, Valcuha, and Axelrod. Her recent introduction to the Warner Classics label, where she collaborated with pianist Giuseppe Andaloro in a duo, has received praise. She has collaborated with musicians like Maxim Vengerov, Yuri Bashmet, Ezio Bosso, Enrico Dindo, Julien Quentin, Giuseppe Andaloro, Pekka Kuusisto, Mario Brunello, Michael Nyman, Boris Andrianov, ballet star Carla Fracci, actor John Malkovich, and Andrea Bocelli, who invited Anna as a guest soloist in numerous concerts in Italy, Egypt, and the United States in 2011.

Anna Tifu was a spokesperson for Alitalia’s 2011 advertising campaign, alongside Riccardo Muti, Giuseppe Tornatore, and Eleonora Abbagnato. On the Summer Solstice of 2020, the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Anna Tifu – adorned in three Fendi Couture dresses – performed Vivaldi’s Summer from The Four Seasons for La Maison Fendi’s online streaming project Anima Mundi.

Kirill Troussov

Nurtured and guided by Sir Yehudi Menuhin during his formative years, Kirill Troussov is now widely recognized as one of the foremost violinists of his generation. He collaborates with the most renowned orchestras and is a regular guest at prestigious festivals. The international press has praised his elegance, impeccable technique, exceptional musical sensitivity, and the beauty of his tones. He has been awarded the “Pro-Europa” prize, the “Yamaha Prize,” the “Davidoff-Prize” from the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, and numerous other awards in international competitions, allowing him to play the 1702 Stradivarius “Brodsky,” the instrument with which Adolph Brodsky premiered Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto on December 4, 1881.

Collaborations with famous conductors such as Marriner, Fedoseyev, Gatti, Jurowski, Spivakov, and with the most important orchestras like Staatskapelle Berlin, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre National de France, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Münchner Philharmoniker, have taken him to the most famous halls and some of the world’s most prestigious festivals. In 2018, Kirill Troussov conducted masterclasses at the Mozarteum Salzburg, European Music Institute Vienna, Hong Kong, St. Blasien, Berlin, Madrid, and Olso, in addition to performing at the STRADIVARIfestival in Cremona, with the Orchestra del Teatro Verdi di Trieste, and the String City Festival in Florence. The CDs recorded with his sister, pianist Alexandra Troussova, for EMI Classics and MDG, “Memories” and “Emotions,” have received enthusiastic reviews and numerous awards from the international press.

Born in St. Petersburg, Kirill Troussov began studying the violin at the age of 4 at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in Moscow. He studied with Zakhar Bron and Christoph Poppen, and the development of his artistic career was accompanied by mentors such as Igor Oistrakh, Herman Krebbers, and Sir Yehudi Menuhin.

Competition Orchestra

Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra

Founded in 1960 by Professor Saulius Sondeckis, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra (LCO) is one of the most important and acclaimed Lithuanian ensembles worldwide. 

From 2008 onwards, the esteemed violin virtuoso Sergej Krylov has held the position of artistic director and conductor for a span of twelve years with the orchestra.

Over the years, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra has toured major European nations, the United States, South America, South Africa, Japan, China, Australia, and Iceland, performing in renowned venues such as the Berlin Philharmonic and Vienna Musikverein, London’s Royal Festival Hall, Rome’s Sala Santa Cecilia, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Paris’s Salle Pleyel and Salle Gaveau. The LCO has collaborated with musicians like Mstislav Rostropovich, Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, David Geringas, and other significant artists, including Lord Yehudi Menuhin, who profoundly influenced the orchestra’s history. The LCO has performed with violinists of the caliber of Julian Rachlin, Vadim Repin, and Sergej Krylov, violists Maxim Rysanov and Hartmut Rohde, cellists Mischa Maisky and Denis Shapovalov, pianists Muˉza Rubackyt˙e, Andrius Žlabys, Lukas Geniušas, Dmitri Bashkirov, and Alessandro Deljavan, flutist Denis Bouriakov, conductors Ronald Zollman and Modestas Pitr˙enas, as well as composer, pianist, and conductor Ezio Bosso. In recent years, the LCO has held numerous concerts in Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, Slovenia, Poland, China, Italy, Costa Rica, and Lebanon. The Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra has recorded over 100 albums covering a wide range of repertoire. In 2016, Deutsche Grammophon, the world’s most famous classical music label, released the ensemble’s first album featuring Antonio Vivaldi’s renowned Four Seasons and Concertos No. 8 and 9 for violin and strings performed by the LCO with Sergey Krylov. Thanks to this album, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra became the first Lithuanian ensemble to enter the global elite of classical music.

Competition Artist Director

Roberto Codazzi

Cremona stands as the worldwide capital of the violin.Across the globe, Cremona is synonymous with lutherie. Here, even the walls resonate like the strings of a bowed instrument. In the 16th century, the modern violin was born here. Amati, Guarneri, and Stradivari were born here, and so was the most important composer of his time, Claudio Monteverdi, who, with his music, facilitated the spread of Cremonese instruments to the major courts and musical chapels of the era, from Mantua to Venice. From this wonderful, unique, extraordinary backdrop arises the idea to establish the “Concorso Città di Cremona,” an international prize for violin performance born from the initiative of Cavalier Giovanni Arvedi and inspired by the celebrations for the tenth anniversary of the Museo del Violino, a cultural complex of which the Cremonese patron is the honorary president and main supporter.

This initiative looks to a glorious past, filled with art and wisdom, but it propels Cremona into the future through the promotion of young talents. Since 1976, the city’s tradition in the art of lutherie has been consecrated through the Triennial International Violin Making Competition Antonio Stradivari,a more casual reference as the “Triennale” due to its once-every-three-years occurrence.

In 2024, it will reach its 17th edition and, as always, will take place in the fall. Over the years and editions, it has become a reference point, an absolute excellence, so much so that it is called the “Olympics of Lutherie.” A showcase that renews the glory of historical lutherie, keeping alive its proverbial quality and myth. It is true that the best luthiers, then as now, conceive their instruments for the finest performers. Therefore, combining a violin making competition with a violin performance competition in the same year is the ideal combination, the proverbial closing of the circle. For this reason, from June 3 to 9, 2024, the best talents of the bow will gather for the first edition of the “Concorso Città di Cremona” to demonstrate their skills before a qualified international jury chaired by Sergej Krylov. The characteristics of the Auditorium Giovanni Arvedi, a hall with formidable acoustics but a smaller stage space compared to the average of large theaters, limit the repertoire for the final rounds to chamber-sized Violin Concertos. However, this specificity gives this award a distinct identity, setting it apart from other prestigious international competitions right from the start.

Fondazione Museo del Violino
Antonio Stradivari
© Concorso Città di Cremona. All rights reserved.