Prominent composer Yevhen Stankovych, who chaired the jury, told The Day: “It is great to see this competition enabling young people to show off their skills. All our arbiters were highly skilled experts. All competitors were a pleasure to listen to, the best of them won our awards and may God see to it that they continue to improve and delight us with their art.”
Let us recall that the Instrumental Competition is divided into following categories: soloists, piano ensembles, chamber ensembles, big ensembles and orchestras, all divided by age groups: A is the youngest including those under 8, B group members are 9 to 11, C group performers are 12 to 14, D is for those 15 to 18 years old, while the senior group includes musicians who are 19 to 32 years old. The “piano and orchestra” and “violin and orchestra” categories’ performances involved the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine under its art director and conductor Mykola Lysenko.
“We saw over 400 participants from different regions of our country and Belarus applying this year,” remarked Svitlana Sukhomlynova, president of the VIVAT ART charity. “The pianists were highly impressive, with almost 60 of them taking part (the youngest group was especially numerous; 4th grader Maria-Luisa Plieshakova took the Grand Prix in that category), and so were the folk instrumentalists (the jury was at a loss about assigning awards in that category, because child performers were all just too good at it). Our wind instrumentalists (flutists, clarinetists, saxophonists, trumpeters, etc.) showed perfect mastery of their instruments as well. This competition might as well be called a violin competition, for we saw nearly 80 violin soloists at it! The group of 15 to 18 year-olds was very strong. The event’s main award, the Angel’s Touch bronze statue, went to 12-year-old Kyivite Kateryna Vashchenko from Music School No. 15. Following her performance of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s Concerto No. 2 for Violin and Orchestra, all musicians and members of the jury rose up for a standing ovation!”
“I started practicing music after I turned four. At first, it was my granny’s idea, but I developed a liking for it as well later on,” Vashchenko admitted to us. “I have fallen in love with the violin, for it is a fantastic instrument! I have been fortunate to study under Tetiana Shcheblykina, who is a great teacher, for the fifth year already. I dream of growing up and becoming a professional who performs at various prestigious venues...”
The piano Grand Prix was awarded to Plieshakova for her virtuoso performance of the first part of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Concerto No. 12. The girl is in the fourth grade of Kosenko Kyiv Music School No. 3 and the sixth grade of the International Relations Lyceum. Her dream is to become a professional pianist and perform on the great stage, so she spends four hours a day rehearsing. This time is Plieshakova’s third appearance at the Stankovych Competition (the maestro presented her with a special prize past year). The girl is very optimistic and firm of purpose.
“This competition is among the best investments in the future of our country,” the conductor Lysenko believes. “We have heard and seen a lot of very talented children here.”