Prague Spring Competition for the First Time in the Category of Viola

The 2023 Prague Spring International Music Competition will be exceptional in many respects – for the first time in its history, the competition will be held in the category of viola; the second category will be trombone, returning to the competition after twelve years. The 74th edition of the Prague Spring International Music Competition will take place from 6 to 14 May 2023 in Prague. “We have published the competition conditions well in advance with regard to the newly added category. We wanted to give the candidates enough time to prepare for the competition. Registration for the competition will open at the beginning of September 2022,” says Michal Vencl, the Competition Secretary. The complete competition conditions, repertoire, and the competition schedule can be found on our website

“The viola rightly deserves increasing attention as an instrument that is indispensable in orchestras, chamber ensembles and solo performances. We are thrilled that we have been able to invite the world’s best to the international jury and we expect a high level of interest from the performers,” says cellist Michal Kaňka, chairman of the Standing Competition Committee. The jury of the viola competition will be composed of the best in the field: Tabea Zimmermann, Kristina Fialová, Garth Knox, Pavel Nikl, Cynthia Phelps and Lars Anders Tomter. The jury will be chaired by French violist Antoine Tamestit. “We have managed to assemble a jury of exceptional personalities from all over the world and the competition programme will be a real challenge for young violists,” announces Tamestit, the jury chairman. “The competitors will have to demonstrate their skills in a wide repertoire spreading over 300 years of music, from solo to Sonata with piano, to Concerto with Orchestra. We have chosen the most challenging and most beautiful and profound Masterpieces ever written for the viola. Every decision of repertoire or jury, as well as all the precise rules and regulations have been taken in a democratic and artistic approach and aimed at obtaining fair and artistic and high-level performances in the context of one of the world’s most interesting and beautiful festivals, the Prague Spring,” says Tamestit.

“We are extremely pleased that the trombone is returning to the competition categories at such a prestigious competition as the Prague Spring Competition,” says Robert Kozánek, leader of the Czech Philharmonic’s trombone section. “This is evidenced by the numerous inquiries from fellow teachers from abroad who have repeatedly approached me for several years asking when the famous trombone competition will finally take place in Prague. Prague undoubtedly belongs on the imaginary map of important trombone centres, and therefore the organisation of such a meeting of students, teachers and leading performers in our field is an important and necessary step,” emphasises Kozánek.

Musicians interested in participating in the competition will be able to register from September 2022, when the online application will open.

The application deadline will be 1 December 2022.


Obligatory Composition Commissioned by Prague Spring

For the upcoming competition Prague Spring has also commissioned a new composition for each category. Ondřej Štochl will compose a solo viola piece. The trombone piece with piano will be composed by Jan Kučera. These compositions will be sent to the competitors admitted to the competition three months before the competition and will be performed in a world premiere during the second rounds, i.e. on 10 May 2023 in the viola category and on 11 May 2023 in the trombone category. There is also a prize from the Czech Music Fund Foundation (Nadace Český hudební fond) for the best interpretation of these works.

The results of the pre-selection round will be published on our website no later than 20 January 2023.


Renowned Artists on Juries

Renowned soloists, teachers and orchestral players have promised to participate in the juries.

The viola jury will be chaired by Antoine Tamestit (France), artistic director of the Viola Space Festival and founding member of Trio Zimmermann. Other distinguished soloists will be members of the jury: Kristina Fialová (Czech Republic) – teacher at the Prague Conservatory, Garth Knox (Ireland) – teacher at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Pavel Nikl (Czech Republic) – one of the founding members of the Pavel Haas Quartet and teacher at the P. Vejvanovský Conservatory in Kroměříž, Cynthia Phelps (USA) – soloist of the New York Philharmonic and teacher at the Juilliard School in New York, Lars Anders Tomter (Norway) – teacher at the State Academy in Oslo and the Royal Danish Academy of Music, and Tabea Zimmermann (Germany) – teacher at the Hochschule für Musik ‘Hanns Eisler’ in Berlin.

The trombone jury will be led by Zdzisław Stolarczyk (Poland), member of the International Trombone Association and teacher at the Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. He will be joined on the jury by other leading soloists: Zoltán Kiss (Hungary) – member of Mnozil Brass and international soloist, Robert Kozánek (Czech Republic) – leader of the Czech Philharmonic trombone section and teacher at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno, Fabrice Milischer (France) – teacher at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg and at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris, Lukáš Moťka (Czech Republic) – solo trombonist of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and teacher at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Oliver Seifert (Germany) – solo trombonist of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony (hr-Sinfonieorchester) and teacher at the National University of Music and Representing Art in Frankfurt, and Jeremy Wilson (USA) – teacher at the Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music.