Young musicians compete for the Seifert

According to world-class violinist Mark Feldman, who has been a juror in the Seifert Competition since its first edition in 2014, the quality of the recordings submitted for this year’s edition is exceptionally high, and the competition is promising to be wonderfully exciting. This year’s jury consists of other jazz violin stars apart from Feldman, but not only them. For the second time in its history, the Seifert Competition is open not just for violinists and violists, but also for cellists. This is why young virtuosos of the art of jazz violin playing will be judged also by one of the most outstanding jazz cellists of our times, an icon of the New York record label Tzadik, Erik Friedlander. The jury will also include two giants of the jazz violin – Dominique Pifarély, affiliated with the prestigious record label ECM, and Michał Urbaniak, a Polish jazz violinist highly regarded all over the world.

The jury have decided to qualify for the competition the following artists from nine countries: Tadas Dešukas, a violinist from Lithuania, George Dumitriu, a violin and viola player from Romania, Layth Sidiq, a violinist from Jordan, Francisco Palazón González, a violin and viola player from Spain, Benjamin “Benni” von Gutzeit, a violist from Germany, living in the USA, and a violinist from an Italian-French family, also living in the USA, Mario Forte – winner of the third prize at the Seifert Competition in 2016. Poland will be represented by two violinists – Amalia Obrębowska and Marcin Hałat. France will have a similar representation, with two violinists qualified for the competition – Cécile Delzant and Youenn Rohaut. Two artists will also come to Poland from the USA – Greg Byers, a cellist, and Gabriel Terracciano, a violist. The number of musicians qualified for the competition had to be increased, which shows how difficult the decision was for the jury. In the past, only 10 artists qualified for the competition, but this year we will hear as many as 12.   

‘The choice was not easy because, as Mark Feldman noted, the standard of the violinists, violists and cellists who enter the competition is rising with every year. This year, three musicians received the same marks from the jurors in the qualifications. This is why we decided that the fairest outcome would be to qualify all three for the competition,’ said Aneta Norek-Skrycka, President of the Zbigniew Seifert Foundation, which organises the competition.

The auditions will be conducted in form of concerts open to the public, held in the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice from 25 to 27 July. The young virtuosos will compete for prizes amounting to 17,000 euro (10,000 euro – 1st prize, 5,000 euro 2nd prize, 2,000 euro – 3rd prize).

‘The auditions will have two stages: semi-final, where we will hear all 12 artists qualified for the competition, and the final, in which only the best five musicians selected by the jury will compete. At every stage, the competitors are required to perform one piece by Zbigniew Seifert. We believe that this will bring the work of our patron to new corners of the world. It has happened before that the competitors who undertook to interpret Seifert’s compositions then introduced them into their standard concert repertoire. This is how we are fighting together to ensure this remarkable Polish artist his due place in the pantheon of international stars,’ said Aneta Norek-Skrycka.

Every competitor will be accompanied by the trio led by Dominik Wania, hailed the most outstanding Polish jazz pianist of 2017. The winners will be revealed at the gala concert on 28 July at the Kijów Centre in Krakow.

Admission to the auditions held at the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice is free.

Tickets for the gala concert (28.07.2018) will be available for sale in 15th June (, InfoKrakow).

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