MBZ presents the finalists of the 5-Minute Piano Concerto Competition


In September 2016 the Competition of the 5-minute piano concerto was over with all together 182 scores. A month later, at the Croatian Composers' Society some of the greatets European authorities for contemporary music got together to evaluate the arrived scores. Johannes Kalitzke (conductor and composer, Germany), Berislav Šipuš (conductor and composer, Croatia) and Daan Vandewalle (pianist, Belgium) have chosen 10 finalists whose compositions will be premiered at the upcoming 29th Music Biennale Zagreb, in April 2017. But the competition is not over: at the concert which will take place on April 26th in the Croatian Music Institute at 8 p.m. from 10 finalists, a jury and the audience will choose a winner who will be comissioned a real piano concerto, premiered at the 30th Music Biennale Zagreb.

A few months ago we have discovered 10 finalists whose works gratified the strickt criteria of our jury, but not it is time to find something more about those composers. From where do they come from, what are they dedicated to and what kind of music occupies them... So let's start in alphabetical order.


Christina Athinodorou, Cyprus

Born at the Mediterranean island of Cyprus in 1981, Christina Athinodorou is a composer and a conductor experienced in various musical contexts. She has studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, but after her studies she has moved to Paris where she continued her musical education. Music has brought Christina Athinodorou the many European countries in which she has collaborated with symphony orchestras, contemporary music festivals, cultural centers... She nurtures her interest in the standard music repertoar of the 20th century and the contemporary music. Although she already has an opus of about 50 works, she doesn't stop to improve her compositional knowledge by attending seminars throughout the world.


Evan Gallagher, United States of America

Born in JXMS, the hometown of Milton Babbitt, in the year of Earle Brown's most famous composition, trained as a band director but never taught, symphony percussionist and modern ballet accompanist, etg moved to NYC and fell in with the then "downtown" scene and never emerged. There on the LES etg is a most obscure free improvizor (not free jazz), playing with most in that field from the late 20th century, running his own Messyansemble large ensemble which butchers his triply nested tuples (but improvs wonderously). He is the only player/prompter banned by John Zorn from Cobra. Also a contemporary classical composer with quite a number of unperformed works from solo to orchestral in his “catalogue”. He thanks BMZ for offering him his “Al-Bundy/Andy-Warhol 4'59" of fame” before he returns to the deepest of the Deep South...


Elvira Garifzyanova, Austria

Born in a family of professional musicians, from her native Russia, Elvira Garifzyanova went to study in Germany and then Switzerland, where she has studied piano, composition and electronic music. She spent one year in Paris at IRCAM. She attended masterclasses by   Brian Ferneyhough, Hanz Zender, André Richard, Ivan Fedele, Maura Lanze. Gaifzyanov points out her collaboration with different festivals in Europe and the United States. For her work she has received several international tributes and scholarships.


Daniele Gasparini, Italy

Danijele Gasparini was born in 1975 in Senigallia. At only 20 years old he graduated composition and orchestral conducting at the Music Conservatory Rossini in Pesaro. He continued his further studies at the prestige Academy Santa Cecilia in Rome in the class of Azio Corgi. Although he dedicated himself primarly to composing, Gasparini's attention is not occupied solely with music: after graduating composition he had also graduated philosophy and teathrology at the Carlo Bo University of Urbino. He is the winner of several international awards among which Premio Valentino Bucchi, Premio 2 Agosto, Premio Reina Sofia, Groot Omroepkoor Prijs, Concours Pablo Casals, Premio Monodramma, Barto Prize te Karol Szymanowski Composition Prize.


Chris Hung, Hong Kong

Chris Hung comes from Hong Kong, he has a phd in music (Chinese University of Hong Kong), and after his studies he attended masterclasses in Darmstadt  (Brian Ferneyhough, Hans Thomalla) and in the English city of Durham (CoMA Composition Masterclass Residency). His opus contains around 60 works inspired by Chinese but also Wester music as well. Some of those works have been performed in the United States, Taiwan, Singapore, China and several European countries. Chris Kung is proud with his collaborations with different orchestras like the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Sofia Soloists, Helsinki Chamber Choir, ensemble Percussions Claviers de Lyon and others.


Juro Kim Feliz, Canada

Juro Kim Feliz was born in 1987 at the Philippines where he graduated composition at the local university. After graduation he has moved to Canada and continued his studies with a masters degree from the MicGill University in Montreal. In 2009 he has received the Goethe South East Asian Young Composer Award. His composition has been performed to audiences throughout Asia, United States, Canada, Greece, Italy and Switzerland. He has collaborated with some festivals of contemporary music in Asia -  Yogyakarta Contemporary Music Festival in Indonesia, Asian Composers League Festival in South Korea and Manilla Composers Lab at Philippines.


Theofilos Lamprianidis, Greece

In his home town of Thessaloniki Theofilos Lamprianidis (born in 1986.) has graduated music theory and piano at the local university. But he has also studied at the Macedonian-Greek Music Consevatory for Music and Art. He continued his studies in Utrecht (Netherlands) where he obtained a masters degree in piano, but he also improved his compositional knowledge with Caroline Ansink. He hasn't finished here his formal education, since he is currently taking his phd at the Macedonian-Greece University where he also teaches contemporary music. Theofilos Lamprianidis has collaborated with contemporary music festivals among which the 1st Biennale of Contemporary Music and the 1st Piano Festival in Thessaloniki where he represented the works of his colleagues. 


Harald Muenz, Germany

Born in 1965 in the German small town of Schwäbisch Hall, Harald Muenz has studied composition at Universities in Detmold, Cologne, and Stuttgart in the classes of Helmut Lachenmann, Krzysztof Meyer, Martin Redel, and Clarence Barlow. His music has been performed at many festivals and ensembles in Europe, South Korea and the US, among which KNM Berlin, Hand werk (Cologne),  Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt), Ensemble mosaik (Berlin), Apartment House (London), Alter Ego (Rome), Neue Vocalsolisten (Stuttgart), Black Jackets (Bruxelles), Fromm Players (Harvard University), Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. He has received numerous awards of which we’ll mention: Research Grant NRW, “Förderpreis Musik NRW, Bernd-Alois-Zimmermann-Stipendium Köln and Villa Aurora Los Angeles. Muenz is a member of the unique vocal trio sprechbohrer, which explores the use of the speaking voice in music. He is also active as a writer on music.


Bruno Vlahek, Croatia / Spain

Pianist and composer Bruno Vlahek was born in 1986. in Zagreb (Croatia), where he graduated from the Music Academy. He continued his postgraduate studies in Laussane, Cologne and Madrid (in the class of the famous Dmitri Bashkirov). He studied composition at the University in Cologne. He started to give concerts througout Europe, some Asian and African countries, Russia and Israel. In 2010 he won the 1st prize at the Alexander Scriabin Piano Competion (Paris), the 6th Chinese International Piano Competition in Shanghai 2012 and at the International Piano Competition in Lyon 2016. He has composed more than 50 orchestral, chamber, solo and choral works of various genres which have been performed on five continents in cities such as New York, Chicago, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Cambridge, Lisbon, Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, Moscow, St. Petersburg, or Seoul, and at the ISCM’s World New Music Days 2010 in Sydney (Australia). In 2012 he won the first prize at the XXXIII International Competition for Organ Works "Cristobal Halffter" in Spain. In 2013 he was a scholarship holder of the „Rudolf & Margita Matz“ Foundation of the Croatian Composers' Society. His works have been published in United Kingdom and USAHe is currently teaching piano a the Katarina Gurska Music Conservatory in Madrid. He also received an Honorary Diploma from the hands of Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain.


Josué Zamora, Mexico

Josué Zamora, born in the Mexican town of San Luis Potosi in 1977, started his formal musical education  at the local musical conservatory, studdying composition and electronic music. He took part at composition masterclasses in Latvia, Spain and Mexico. His music has been performed at different festivals: International Festival Cervantino, Instrumenta Contemporanea, Contemporary Art Festival León, Festival Callejón del Ruido, Sound Art Festival... His work Diffracion for soprano and chamber ensemble was awarded the at the 3rd International Composers Competition in Boston in 2008.


See you at the final evening of the 5-Minute Piano Concerto Competition on April 26th at the Croatia Music Institute when each of the represented finalists will have his 5 minutes!