Note: The setup of the Jury is a subject to change. The final setup for each upcoming competition will be announced in due time.
Note: The setup of the Jury is subject to change for each competition. Possible changes for the next competition in 2014 will be announced in due time.
Pianist Vladimir Babin was born in Osijek in 1964. He graduated from the Music School Franjo Kuhač in the class of prof. Dora Sobović, and at the age of 16 enrolled at the Zagreb Academy of Music, where he graduated in 1985 in the class of prof. Damir Sekošan. He received his master's degree in 1989 from the FMU in Belgrade, in the class of prof. Duško Trbojević. His music education, as well as his professional career, is accompanied by a number of awards and distinguished solo recitals, both in Croatia and abroad. As a student, he won first prizes at national competitions and in 1977 he received the “F. Kuhač” award and the May Youth Prize. He also received the Rector's Award as the best graduate student in 1985. In 2017 he received the important professional award of the HDGU "Milka Trnina" for his solo recital at Croatian Music Institute in 2016.
Since 1997, he has been employed as Assistant Professor of Piano at the Zagreb Academy of Music, Regional Department of Rijeka, in 2009 he was promoted to the title of Associate Professor, and in 2019 he was elected to the position of Full Professor. From 2007 to 2017 he was the head and artistic director of Regional Department of Rijeka and from 2017 he is a Professor at the Zagreb Academy of Music. He holds a series of seminars each year in the field of piano interpretation, is a regular member of juries at national and international competitions, and since 2013 he is also a member of the Expert Committee of the Ministry of Science for conducting professional exams. He is a member of EPTA, HDS, HDGU, HDGPP and HJC.
So far Vladimir Babin has recorded and released 5 solo live CDs of classical music, the first with works by Bach, Beethoven, Szymanowski and Papandopulo (Aquarius, 2008), the second with works by Schumann and Chopin (Aquarius, 2009), third CD XX century - from classical to jazz, with works by Bolling, Turin, Albeniz, Ginaster, Papandopulo, Granados, Brubeck, Ellington and V.Babin (Aquarius, 2011), the fourth is the Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto with the Rijeka Philharmonic and maestro A. Nanut (Campus, 2014), and the fifth, double CD with works by Bach-Busoni, Beethoven and Brahms (Croatia records, 2019). Babin is also a prominent jazz pianist, his CD Jazzyland has received excellent reviews, and the eponymous composition has been included in the 6th grade curriculum as an example of jazz variations. In addition, Babin recorded CDs with soprano Mirella Toić (Orpheus, 2008), Kristin and Robert Kolar (HDS, 2006), jazz tenor saxophonist Z. Barač "Moodology" (Campus, 2015) and the double CD "As Time Goes By" with a jazz trio and world-renowned vocal soloist Radojka Šverko (Croatia records, 2018).
Srđan F. Čaldarović, born January, 8th 1973 in Zagreb, Croatia, started to play piano at the age of five in the music school „Pavao Markovac“ where he graduated in 1990. in the class of prof. Jelica Kuzmin. During his music education in primary and secondary music schools in Zagreb, he had appeared in many public performances. He had played as a soloist with several orchestras, including the Zagreb Soloists ensemble (at the age of 13), Zagreb Symphony Orchestra, Budafok-Dohnany Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra dell’Amministrazione di Bari. From 1990 onwards he gives solo and chamber music recitals on a regular basis in Croatia, Germany, Italy, USA and Canada. For several of his performances, Čaldarović has won outstanding awards (Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1, Liszt: Sonata in B minor). For his Washington debut music critic Cecilia Porter wrote –“Čaldarović's playing reveals consummate artistry in coupling an introspective approach with refined sensitivity for phrasing...” After graduating as a piano major at the Music Academy, University of Zagreb in the class of Prof. Vladimir Krpan (1995) Čaldarović went onwards to perfect his pianist skills at Indiana University in Bloomington with Prof. Leonard Hokanson (1996), and later at the Trinity College of Music with Prof. Philip Fowke (2000). After completing these performance-oriented programs, Čaldarović became a Teaching assistant at the University of Miami School of Music where he obtained a Master’s degree in Piano performance, under the guidance of J.B. Floyd (2002). He has actively participated in masterclasses held by E. Timakin, S. Costa, R. Kehrer, J. Rose, and R. de Waal. From 2013 he holds a position as the Full Professor at the Music Academy, Piano Department in Zagreb, Croatia. He records regularly for Croatian radio and TV, and has published two CD’s.
Ruben Dalibaltayan was born in Yerevan, Armenia. After completing music school in the class of Anahit Shahbazyan, he moved to Moscow and continued his musical education at the Gnesin music Academy under the mentorship of professor Arthur Berngardt. Prof. Dalibaltayan obtained his master’s degree at the Moscow State Conservatory under the guidance of professor Valery Kastelsky. His professional and personal formation has been greatly influenced by a number of outstanding musicians such as Boris Berlin, Lazar Berman and Alexis Weissenberg, who gave Ruben his personal international prize in 2001.
He has won awards at ten prestigious international piano competitions in Armenia, China, Croatia and Italy. His performances range from solo recitals and concerts with symphony orchestras to participation in chamber ensembles – a piano duo with his wife Julia Gubajdullina and the well-known trio “Amadeus”. In collaboration with Croatian Radio and the Croatian Music Institute he recorded a significant part of the piano opus of the great Croatian composer Blagoje Bersa. Prof. Dalibaltayan also gives special attention and dedication to the promotion of the works of Armenian composers, interesting and original music inseparably related to the culture of his homeland.
Since 2005 prof. Dalibaltayan has been a professor of piano at the Zagreb Academy of Music. Over the last ten years he has raised a large number of young pianists who went on to become finalists and prize winners of more than 50 prestigious international competitions, including the Frederic Chopin in Warsaw, the Robert Schumann in Zwickau, The First Zhuhai International Mozart Competition, the Shura Cherkassky in Milan, the International Piano Competition in Enschede, Netherlands, etc. Prof. Dalibaltayan regularly holds masterclasses and seminars in Croatia and abroad. He is also frequently invited to serve as a jury member at various international music competitions. His noteworthy projects include the founding of the piano summer school in Makarska (Croatia) in 2005, together with Julia Gubajdullina.
Peter Eicher was born in Germany in 1944. He studied piano at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in München, and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, under the influence of the Vienna school and the Leimer-Gieseking circle.
Several awards that he won enabled him to start giving concerts in numerous European countries, America and the Far East, and also Japan, where he played in over 20 cities. Apart from concert work, teaching has always played an important role in the life of Peter Eicher, especially after the injury that forced him to reduce his concert activity. Prof. Peter Eicher leads an international pianist class at the Karlsruhe State College of Music. In addition, he regularly gives masterclasses, holds seminars and participates in juries in over 30 countries, attending major music venues and festivals around the world.
Many students of prof. Eicher are laureates of national and international piano competitions, performing in major internationally renowned concert halls, often accompanied by famous orchestras conducted by world-renowned conductors such as D. Gatti, F. Luisi, H. Griffiths and P. Järvi.
Prof. Peter Eicher is an active member of several German and international associations. He is an expert advisor to the Organization of Music Schools in Germany. He also serves as the Artistic Director of the Mannheim Masterclass International Course and the North-Scandinavian "Lapland Piano Festival".
Venceslava Ilievska (1958) graduated the piano and music pedagogy at the National Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria, in the classes of Ljuba Encheva and Ljuba Obretenova.
She completed her specialization in 1983 at Frederic Gevers in Brussels. She has attended many masterclasses in Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Spain and France as well as some international competitions and festivals (Italy, Germany, Belgium, Greece).
Venceslava Ilievska has been living in Slovakia since 1991. She teaches at the Bratislava State Conservatory and actively collaborates in the classes of conductors. She also teaches at the Jan Albrecht School of the Arts where she is the head of the piano department. Her students have won many awards at national and international competitions, including the Svetoslav Obretenov (Bulgaria), Carl Czerny (Czech Republic), Virtuosi per musica di pianoforte, Usti nad Labem (Czech Republic), Kosice (Slovakia), Salerno (Italy), Maria Kanals (Spain), Stainway (Berlin) etc. Venceslava Ilievska is a member of the jury of the international competition in Kosice and Klavirna Orava, Dolny Kubin (Slovakia). She has received several awards from the Mayor of Bratislava and the Slovak Ministry of Education.
German pianist and music manager Florian Koltun studied with Ilja Scheps at the Cologne University of Music. Since 2013 he has worked with Tomislav Baynov at the Trossingen University of Music. He also attended masterclasses of prestigious teachers like B. L. Gelber or G. Rosenberg. His concert activity started at the age of 14 when he had already attracted attention as a winner of several first prizes at the German competition Jugend musiziert as well as the national Bach Competition in Köthen. He is the winner of the first prizes at several international piano competitions, like the Caraglio International Piano Competition, Italy, the international Competition for Young Soloists in Luxembourg, the Henri Herman Concours in Maastricht, the Netherlands or the international piano competition “Notes in harmony” in Bettona, Italy. Florian Koltun is regularly a welcome guest at diverse well-known concert places in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Spain or China. He performed recitals in prestigious places such as the Alte Oper Frankfurt, Berliner Philharmonie, Thürmer-Saal Bochum or Schloss Koethen. He is the artistic director of different concert series and festivals in Germany (Heinsberg, Aachen, Windeck, Geilenkirchen, Boltenhagen and Monschau) and has held several masterclasses at different music universities in China and Europe since 2012. From 2015 until 2017 he was teaching piano at the Cologne University of Music.
Jelica Kuzmin completed her primary and secondary music education at the Music School Pavao Markovac in Zagreb, in the class of professor Vilma Klajner. She graduated in 1978 from the Zagreb Music Academy, in the class of prof. Ladislav Šaban. That same year she started her teaching activity at the Music School Pavao Markovac, and in 1997 she has become the head of the piano and organ department. Many students of prof. Jelica Kuzmin have won numerous awards in Croatia and abroad, and have continued their music education at the Zagreb Music Academy and other respectable music academies, such as the Graz College of Music, Mozarteum in Salzburg, Bloomington University Indiana and Miami University of Music - Florida.
Jelica Kuzmin is the recipient of the annual award of the Croatian Association of Music and Dance Pedagogues for outstanding pedagogical achievements. She regularely participates in the work of juries at national and international competitions. As an active member of the EPTA Croatia, she and her students regularely participate at EPTA congresses.
Jelica Kuzmin is the founder of the International Competition Etudes and scales and of the Parent Association Leopold Mozart, which runs the Zagreb Youth Chamber Orchestra ZOKOR and organizes concerts all over Europe.
Born in Zagreb, Nina Patarčec begins her music education in Pavao Markovac music school with prof. Vilma Kleiner. From the earliest times she is involved in the musical life of her city - playing solo recitals, performing with orchestras and on competitions. She continues her studies at the Ljubljana Music Academy where she graduates in 1985 in class of prof. Dubravka Tomšič.
A year later she wins the first prize at the International Competition Boesendorfer Empire in Brussels. She continues her musical training at the renowned Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris in class of prof. Nelson Delle Vigne, where she achieves the highest degree "Diplôme Supérieur de Concertiste" for piano and chamber music.
For many years now, she is a professor of chamber music at the above mentioned ENM de Paris. Her concert career is devoted to cooperation with Paris orchestras and numerous chamber music concerts; starting with piano duo, through sonata (violin, cello, clarinet, flute, etc.), trio, quartet, quintet. Nina Patarčec collaborates with renowned musicians all over Europe, in Korea and Japan.