Latest News

20th Anniversary of the M. Balakirev Children's School of the Arts, Petrozavodsk

on .

In November 2011 the Children School of Arts will celebrate 20th anniversary!  What kind of school is this school? It is the Children School of Arts.

Big, young and very creative, positive, endlessly energetic and cozy, this is the way the Children School of Arts.  It is not just an educational institution but also an institution that gives concerts and holds other events. During the whole academic year the School holds concerts, exhibitions, competitions, conferences and master classes, theatre performances, press clubs. 18 creative groups form the School are a kind of School’s “Visiting Card”.  These groups include the Brass Band (led by Mr. K. Kolessov), Folklore Groups “Veresok” (led by Ms. E. Potamoshneva) and “Skomoroshina” (led by O. Gabukova), the String Orchestra “Northern Light”, Choruses “Vdoknovenie” and “Podsnejnik”.

New and interesting initiatives have been implemented in School’s concerts and creative projects, including the Children’s Music & International Festival  ”Golden Keys” and the Youth Festival of Arts Movement “Vmeste! Together!”. These projects let people of arts share their experience and achievements.

The Children School of Arts has been involved in international cooperation for more than 10 years. Karelia is located close to Finland and this fact has facilitated studies of both countries’ cultures more deeply and shared experience between them. As an example, a first joint educational project was devoted to studies of pedagogical technologies and innovations and was held by the Children School of Arts from Petrozavodsk and Niinivaara School from Joensuu (Petrozavodsk). As a result pedagogical staff from each school has got new knowledge in the field of teaching process.

An individual approach to each child and the use of new technologies has made learning processes more bright and interesting. It is well known that children involved in Arts have better academic achievements; they are more adapted to modern life and open to new dialogues. Graduates from the school have continued their studies in High Educational Institutions of Arts; they have been awarded with Grand Prix at international festivals; they have become laureates and received grants at prestigious competitions. During 12 years Ms. Valentina Markova has been School’s Director.

Since 2011 the Children School of Arts has been  a member of the European Chamber Music Teachers’ Association.

A Gala concert devoted to 20th School’s anniversary was held 11 November 2011 in the Big Hall of the Petrozavodsk State Conservatorium. The list of Anniversary events can be found on the Children School’s webpage

Report from the 4th International Taneyev Chamber Music Competition

on .

Dear friends,

The IV Sergei Taneyev International Chamber Ensemble Competition was held in November 2012 in Kaluga– an old Russian city, not far away from Moscow.

The competition was organized by the Ministry of culture of the Russian Federation, the Government of the Kaluga region, the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire, the Russian Gnesin’s Academy of Music, the Association of chamber ensembles of International Union of Musicians, the Composer’s Society of Russia, along with the support of the European Chamber Music Teachers Association (ECMTA)

taneyev-jury-previewIt is one of the most remarkable chamber ensemble competition in Russia and internationally. Its history dates from 1996, when there was the first All-Russian Competition. One of the founders of the competition was Tatiana Gaidamovich – a famous Russian musician, musicologist, professor of chamber music. After her death in 2005 the Organizing Committee decided to establish a special audition round during the competition – all participants may compete for the prize in her memory and honour.

Jury of the competition consisted of such renowned musicians as Alexander Bonduryansky, Irina Anastasieva, Alla Zhohova, Sergei Roldugin, George Fedorenko, Rubin Abdullin (Russia), Saulus Sondeckis (Lithuania), Gunta Sproge (Latvia), Farhad Badalbeili (Azerbaijan). Among Jury panel there were two ECMTA members (Bonduryansky and Sproge). Due to bureaucratic difficulties Evan Rothstein couldn’t come to Kaluga, also because of health problems Michael Flaksman had to cancel his visit to the competition.

The results of the competition:

1 Prize

Piano trio SHAIKIN Alexander, KRAVTZOV Kirill, ZEMLERUB Fedor (Russia, professors – A.Bonduryansky, I.Kandinskaya)

1st price winners

2 Prize

Piano duet Olga KOZLOVA, Nicolay KOZHIN (Russia, professor – A.Bonduryansky),
Piano Quartet GAILE Elina, JAGMANE Marta, KALNIŅA Zane, ZALITE Dace (Latvia, professor – J. Maleckis)

3 Prize

Piano trio KEKO Soedjima, TANABE Ayako, PAK Chul Gyn (Japan – Korea, professor – I.Krasotina)

4 Prize

Piano Quartet SARWIÑSKA Ewa, BRUDEREK Adam, SIENKIEWCZ Karol, WISNIEWSKA Maria (Poland, professors – A. Prabucka-Firlei, R. Kvyatkovsky)

5 Prize

Piano duet Alisa STEKOLSHIKOVA, Nadezhda GERASIMOVA (Russia, professor – D. Galynin),
Piano duet Andrey KUDRYAKOV, Alexandra STAROSTINA (Russia, professor – A.Tarakanov)


Piano duet Hripsime AGHAKARYAN, Edita HAKOBYAN (Armenia, professor – R.Tandilyan)

It is necessary to note that Piano trio SHAIKIN – KRAVTZOV – ZEMLERUB recently took the 1 Prize at the I All-Russian chamber music competition. The information about this competition will come later.

Alexander Bonduryansky

Quartetto di Cremona

on .

  • Quartetto di Cremona just signed a contract with the German label AUDITE to record all the Beethoven String Quartets in the next three years.
  • Starting from next October, the Quartetto di Cremona will teach string quartet and chamber music for strings with piano in the prestigious international Walter Stauffer Academy, whose faculty includes Salvatore Accardo, Bruno Giuranna and Rocco Filippini. Auditions will take place in October.

For complete information:

Simone Gramaglia, violist of the Quartetto di Cremona, writes:

"Master4Strings, courses for viola and chamber music founded by Simone Gramaglia and his wife Roberta Ardito, is starting its 3rd season. Based in Bari and completely financed by private funds, the program is designed to provide the highest possible level of training to young and gifted musicians in southern Italy with limited financial resources. The program has grown and this year counts 10 viola students and 5 chamber music groups. This year there will also be a guest teacher every month."

nl7_quartetto-di-cremona-coursefoto1 nl7_quartetto-di-cremona-coursefoto2

Netherlands String Quartet Academy

on .

The monthly masterclasses by internationally acclaimed string quartet specialists as organized by the Netherlands StringQuartet Academy (NSQA) are also accessible for quartets not studying at the NSQA.   Existing quartets consisting of music students or starting professionals can subscribe for masterclass participation through this form; a brief audition is required. There is no tuition fee for active participation in the masterclasses (travel/accommodation costs to be covered by quartets).

Masterclasses period Sept. – Dec. 2011 (all masterclasses take place in Amsterdam):

Masterclass I 27 – 29 October 2011: Eberhard Feltz (Hanns Eisler Hochschule, Berlin)
Masterclass II 24 – 26 November 2011: Pieter Cropper (primarius former Lindsay Quartet)
Masterclass III 15 – 17 December 2011: Ivo Bauer (violist Leipziger String Quartet - tbc)

Submission deadlines:

Masterclass I 15 September 2011
Masterclass II 15 October 2011
Masterclass III 15 November 2011

For more information contact NSQA, Liesbeth Kok (call: 020 463 7494 or mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Post submission form to NSQA, Atlantisplein 1, 1093 NE Amsterdam or email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jubilee Celebrations for Anna Prabucka

on .

The Jubilee of Prof. Anna Prabucka-Firlej took place on the 7th May 2011 in the Academy of Music in Gdańsk. This event was celebrating the 40th anniversary of the pedagogical work and 50th anniversary of the concert activity of Prof. Prabucka-Firlej.

The ceremony consisted of three parts:

  • In the first part Prof. Anna Prabucka-Firlej performed Joseph Haydn's Piano Concerto in D major with an orchestra consisted of pupils, students and friends, conducted by Robert Kwiatkowski. The concert was the repetition of a concert that was a debut of Prof. Anna Prabucka-Firlej 50 years ago.
  • The second ‘official’ part included speeches and acknowledgements
  • The third part was a chamber music concert performed by the Jubilarian and her assistants in the field of chamber music.

The program of this part was as follows:

Franz Schubert - Trio in E-flat major Op.100 (mov. 3 and 4)
Anna Prabucka-Firlej - piano, Paweł Kukliński - violin, Tadeusz Samerek - cello

Krzysztof Penderecki - 2nd Violin Sonata (mov. 4 and 5)
Robert Kwiatkowski – violin, Anna Prabucka-Firlej – piano

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Andante with Variations in G major K.V. 501 (for one piano four-hands)
Witold Lutosławski – Variations on the theme by Paganini for two pianos
Anna Prabucka-Firlej – piano, Mirosława Lachowska – piano

The ceremony was accompanied by an exhibition prepared by the Main Library of the Academy of Music in Gdansk, which presented the achievements of the Jubilarian.

Scuola di Musica di Fiesole

on .

Starting in October Simone Gramaglia (violist of the Quartetto di Cremona) will also be teaching viola for his second year at the Scuola Di Musica Di Fiesole. His wife, Roberta, will be his assistant. “In order to try to bring Italy near to other European nations, we'll start to teach viola directly to young children. We'll have 5 or 6 children in our class between 4 and 7 years of age that will start immediately with the viola. We obtained violas and viola strings specially made for children. It will be probably the first viola class in where is possible to study viola from the beginning, outside of Suzuki programs, developing immediately the sensibility for the sound and the role of this wonderful instrument. The idea is to write also a viola tutor in Italian language, which for the moment does not exist. All suggestions and experiences are welcome!”

International Johannes Brahms Chamber Music Competition

on .

The 6th edition of the International Johannes Brahms Chamber Music Competition will be held in Gdansk, 18-22 April 2012. It is organized by the Academy of Music in Gdańsk and the Chamber Music Faculty every 3 years. The initiator of this event is the Chair of the Chamber Music Faculty, Prof. Anna Prabucka - Firlej.

The competition is open to musicians born after April 18, 1982.

There are 3 categories of chamber music ensembles:

  • Category A: TRIO  violin – cello – piano
  • Category B: TRIO  clarinet – cello – piano
  • Category C: QUARTET  violin – viola – cello – piano.

More information is available on the website:
or at the following e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pedagogical Activity of the Debussy Quartet

on .

The 13th edition of the Cordes en Ballade Festival brightly ended with the students’ concert on July 17th. This year, quartets of all levels and horizons immersed themselves completely in the festival’s atmosphere, learning to work together, deepening their chamber music knowledge Quartets. And of course everyone could attend concerts of the festival’s renowned guest artists such as Marielle Nordmann, Emmanuel Rossfelder, Laurent Stewart….

Emotion, sharing, and fun were the key words of this edition.

In the continuity of this desire of transmission, a string quartet class will open early January with the collaboration of the “Conservatoire de Lyon – CRR”. Important project to the Debussy Quartet, this new step will provide regular gatherings throughout the year.

Summing up the pedagogical activity of the Debussy Quartet, there will be three meetings this year :

Results of the Jurmala Competition

on .

Results of Jurmala 2011 CHAMBER MUSIC, the 12th Competition in Academic Music

The event was a complete success. The 12th Competition in Academic Music Jurmala 2011 CHAMBER MUSIC was held in Jurmala Music Secondary School, with the support of Jurmala Municipality, the State Fund for Culture Capital, SEB Bank, Jurmala Music Secondary School and the Concert Agency „Mūza”. The international jury was presided by Prof. Alexander Bonduryansky (Russia). Other members of the jury were: violinist Anna Vayman (USA), viola player Tim Frederiksen (Denmark) and pianists Natalia Sakkos (Estonia), Normunds Viksne, Janis Maleckis and Gunta Sproge (Latvia).

Orlando Festival

on .

Founder and Director Stefan Metz was honored during the 30th anniversary festival this summer, including a gala final concert which featured Metz playing Schubert’s great string quintet with the Casals Quartet. Metz had previously announced that he would be retiring as artistic director of the festival, and would be succeeded by Maarten Mostert. Mostert organized a moving tribute to Metz and his wife Isabelle Bensa at the final concert by providing the entire audience and festival musicians with a Dutch version of the famous “Adieu, Monsieur le Professeur”, which was then sung and played by the standing, capacity crowd as a collective encore to the Schubert Quintet. ECMTA Chairman Evan Rothstein attended the final weekend of the festival and presented Metz with a certificate expressing appreciation "for his inspired leadership, distinguished artistic career, and exemplary devotion to the teaching and the promotion of chamber music."

Take a look at photos in the photo gallery >>

Quartetto Prometeo and Amadeus Online

on .

The September issue of Amadeus features a cd of the Prometeo Quartet playing the Schumann Opus 41 quartets, as well as in depth articles about Schumann, the writing of these quartets, and the career of the Prometeo. Excerpts from the cd can be listened to online:

We Play Music With Friends

on .

E-Newsletter No. 5 from the “We Play Music With Friends” Foundation is now online:

Articles by Daiva Stulgyte, Composer Gundega Smite, Juta Berzina, Pille Taniloo, Alexander Kulikov, Evan Rothstein, and Carsten Dürer.

Read the Newsletter >>

QuartetWeb: A new website devoted to string quartet history

on .

This website is an international professional resource devoted to string quartet performers and compositions of the last hundred years or so and to connections between them. At its core is a database, although it will present much more.

Among other things, the database lists quartet groups, including who their members have been, and links them to compositions by first performances, recordings, and other information. It includes references and a bibliography, as well as photos, video, and audio, although its basis will remain text.

Overall, it is anticipated to be an Internet community for string quartet information and lore. Because the subject is large and growing, the site is a continual work in progress, with material being added frequently.

Concerning languages which can be used to send information, Dr Paul Rapoport, the creator of this website sent the following:

Short messages mostly with information about quartets I may understand in any European language. (I have an advanced degree in linguistics as well as music.) I'm comfortable reading extended texts in the following, having studied or translated from them:

  • English German Dutch
  • Danish Swedish Norwegian (either one) Icelandic
  • French Spanish Italian Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Latvian

Extended texts are a problem for now in anything else, including Polish, Finnish, and Romanian, all of which you mentioned, although I wouldn't want that to prevent people from contacting me.

The best for me to write in are English, French, Danish, and German.

The 5th Sforzando Competition for university amateur chamber ensembles took place in Paris April 8-9

on .

14 excellent ensembles from France and Germany participated in the finals at the magnificent College des Bernadins in the center of Paris. The competition is co-organized by Aurélien Bernard (France) and Benedikt Strauss (Germany) with a team of enthusiastic volunteers, and offers non-monetary prizes of concerts, CDs, and workshops. 1st prize was awarded to the duo Stephenson-Barbin, 2nd prize to a piano quartet performing Dohnanyi’s Quartet in F-sharp minor, and 3rd prize was awarded to a young German string trio which played Reger’s Trio op. 77b. The finals, presented as a formal concert, drew an exceptionally supportive full house, about 400 listeners. President of the jury, ECMTA Chairman Evan Rothstein was joined by pianist Simon Zaoui, clarinetist Franck Amet, violinists Eva and Emmanuel Hahn from the Arnon Quartet, and Veronique de Boisséson, musical artistic director for the College des Bernardins.

SforzandoPrix1-preview SforzandoPrix2-preview
Program >>

FNAPEC has announced the 2011 winners of its international chamber music competition

on .

The Fédération nationale des associations de parents d’élèves de conservatoires (FNAPEC) has announced the 2011 winners of its international chamber music competition Musique d’ensembles: