Performers at the 26th International Festival of Accordion Artists
Tian Jianan (China)
Tian Jianan, accordionist (Professor Cao Xiaoqing) and composer (Professor Chen Xinruo) graduated from the Central Conservatory of Music. She has successfully held solos in Spain, Germany, Russia, the USA, Canada and many other places and regions, being widely well-received for her performance in the famous Festivals. Accordion international competitions held in Canada, Portugal, Bosnia invited her as a jury member.
The Ministry of Culture of the PRC sent her to have an academic and cultural exchange in Purdue University and the University of Utah in the USA, and she also become the first person to spread accordion culture in the international Confucius college.
Tian started competing at worldwide international competitions at age of twelve, has won first place 18 times in various fields such as classical, variety, electronic accordion, chamber music, etc. (8 of which were won by a Chinese for the first time.)
Tian has been conferred with Baogang Outstanding Student Special Award Scholarship in China, became the fourth student to win this special honor in the history of CCOM.
Subsequently, she has published 4 solo albums, together with 1 chamber music album. Her original chamber music, Memento, won the recognition prize in the 8th “Yanhuang” Composition Contest. Other original works of Tian include T-tango, Return, Song of Gypsum and Death of Angel (the latter two are adapted chamber music pieces), etc. Franck Angelis, a famous French composer, created suite Beijing 2011 for her, which has also been successfully published.
Neža Torkar (Slovenia)
Accordionist Neža Torkar was born in Slovenia. After finishing music high school in Ljubljana, she left for Weimar, Germany where she graduated and later finished her master's degree with Professor Ivan Koval at the University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar. She is now studying the high level of Concert exams in Weimar.
In addition, she took master classes with internationally recognized professors. She regularly performs as a soloist or in different chamber music ensembles and works for various projects such as Musicals, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Jeunesses Musicales Slovenia, RTV Slovenia, Festival Ljubljana, Weimarische Frühjarstage, Festival Echos, Rotary club etc.
Since 2003 Neza Torkar has been a winner and prize-winner of several competitions (solo accordion, chamber music, accordion orchestras) in Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Germany and Belgium. She was a winner of the Slovenian national accordion competition in the years 2008 and 2011 and the winner of the International accordion competition in Beltinci 2011.
She was awarded with 3rd prize at the International accordion competition in Belgium 2012 and with 1st prize as a soloist at the International competition in Pula, Croatia, in years 2013 and 2016.
In summer 2014 she passed an audition for Italian and Slovenian musicians and later performed at the festival ECHOS in Italy.
In November 2016 she received the Special Prize of the Cultural Festival for Soloists at the International Brothers Graun Competition for baroque music in Bad Liebenwerda in Germany and got an offer for a tour in Germany in 2017. In May 2017, Neža Torkar was awarded 3rd prize in category IV “Soloists without age restrictions” at the 54th International Accordion Competition in Klingenthal.
As an accordionist in the ensemble for contemporary music Via nova Thüringen she is working with many new Composers and playing among other things numerous premieres of chamber music and solo works. Ensemble Via nova regularly plays in Germany and was guesting in Italy in summer 2017.
Neza was awarded scholarships from the Slovenian Ministry of Culture and with Charlotte-Krupp Scholarship from Franz Liszt Foundation Germany for the best Concert Exams Students. In April this year she passed an audition in Hamburg and received an excellence CONCERTO Scholarship by Alfred Toepfer Foundation.
2017 Mayor of the town Jesenice where Neza was born awarded her with the Special Prize for all achievements she made during her studies in Germany.
Vitalij Kondratenko (Russia)
Vitalij Kondratenko (1990) began his music education at the age of 9 first with professor Sergei Jurij Nikolaevich and then with profesor Aleksej Jurij Afanasievich.
In 2007. he entered the Gnessin State Musical College in a class of professor Semenov Vyacheslav Anatolevich, a prominent Russian artist. Four years later, in 2011 he entered Gnessin Russian Academy of Music and continued his further musical education with professors Semenov.
During 2012 Vitalij Kondratenko attends a series of masterclasses with professor Frédéric Deschamps (France).
He was a laureate of numerous competitions such as: All-Russian competition "Yugoria" Surgut; the International competition "World Trophy", Portemao (Portugal); International competition "World Cup" Salzburg (Austria).
José Valente (Portugal)
José Valente was born in Lisbon in 1989. He began his musical studies at the age of 10, under the guidance of Professor Paulo Jorge Ferreira, at the Conservatório Municipal D. Dinis, Odivelas. At 18, he was admitted at Escola Superior de Artes Aplicadas do Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco (ESART), where he completed his Master in Music, in Accordion Specialization, in March 2013, under the guidance of teachers Paulo Jorge Ferreira and Maria Luísa Correia Castilho. In the academic year 2010/2011, the School awarded him a Scholarship Merit, for having obtained the best classification in the Music’s area. At this moment, his taking an Advanced Postgraduate Diploma – soloist, at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, under the guidance of the Norwegian accordionist Geir Draugsvoll.
José won several awards at national level: 1st prize at Concurso de Acordeão de Castelo Branco – Folefest (2008, junior category); 1st prize also at competition Folefest (2009, senior and chamber music category and 2012, chamber music category), 1st prize at 6º Concurso de Jovens Intérpretes de Caldas da Rainha (2009), 1st prize at competition Prémio Jovens Músicos 2014 (concert accordion category, advanced level), 1st prize ex-aequo at 17º Concurso de Interpretação do Estoril | Prémio El Corte Inglés (2015) and 1st prize on PIF 2016 - 41st Castelfidardo International Accordion Prize (Premio category). Also in competition PJM 2014, he got the European Union of Music Competitions for Youth prize (EMCY) and one Bolsa Gulbenkian from Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. He was the first soloist accordionist to receive the EMCY prize. He also won the 3rd prize at the international competition Accordion Coupe Mondiale, in Scotland (2008, chamber music category).
He has performed with Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, Orquestra de Cordas de "G.B. Pergolesi" Conservatório de Fermo, Orquestra de Câmara de Cascais e Oeiras, Orquestra Clássica da Madeira, Orquestra Gulbenkian, Orquestra Sinfónica Metropolitana, Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música and Remix Ensemble Casa da Música under the baton of the great conductors Cesário Costa, Daniele Giulio Moles, Misha Rachlevsky, Nikolay Lalov, Pedro Carneiro, Peter Rundel and Olari Elts. He attended master classes led by renowned accordionists, including Claudio Jacomucci, Friedrich Lips, Geir Draugsvoll, Matti Rantanen, Mika Väyrynen, Paulo Jorge Ferreira, Vojin Vasovic and Yuri Shishkin. He has performed concerts throughout the country, particularly in Casa da Música, Centro Cultural de Belém, Gulbenkian, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Palácio Foz, Palácio da Independência, Salão Nobre do Conservatório Nacional de Lisboa, Auditório Municipal Baltazar Dias, among many other places. He has also perfomed in many international music festivals, like Marvão International Music Festival (Marvão, Portugal), Dias da Música (Lisboa, Portugal), Akordeono Festivalis Vilnius (Vilnius, Lithuania), PIF Castelfidardo (Castelfidardo, Italy), among many other festivals.
In October 2014, his dissertation, Concert accordion in Portugal – perceptions and expectations, was edited by AvA Musical Editions. This study includes the participation of renowned portuguese musicians: António Victorino d'Almeida, Carlos Marecos, Cristóvão Silva, Fernando Ribeiro, Joaquim Raposo, Paulo Jorge Ferreira, Sérgio Azevedo and Vitorino Matono.
Nikita Vlasov (Russia)
Nikita Vlasov – one of the few young accordion players of Russia who gained European and world fame. His outstanding musical talent manifested in his six years when Nikita started to play the piano and an accordion.
After graduating from the conservatory (academy) of M. I. Glinka in Nizhny Novgorod where his teachers were professor Honored Artist of Russia V.I. Golubnichy (accordion) and professor V.G. Starynin (piano), Nikita has a busy concert schedule now.
He is one of the few musicians whose performances as the soloist of the State Chamber Orchestra "Virtuosos of Moscow" under the conduction of Vladimir Spivakov took place in Armory, the Stamp hall of the Moscow Kremlin, GKZ Russia, the concert hall "Dzintari" (Jurmala, Latvia), Royal Festival Hall (London, England). And besides, Nikita participated as a soloist in lots of other performances of "Virtuosos of Moscow" including two large tours across the cities of the USA, acted in "Millenium Hall", "Carnegie Hall", "Public Library" and also took part in the 30th-anniversary tour across 40 Russian cities from Kamchatka to Kaliningrad.
The musician achievements have been assessed at the highest level: Nikita Vlasov's performance was recorded in the book of the Roman "The Best Concert of the Year"; Nikita is a laureate of 30 international competitions and a participant in the International Marathon of the Victory under the patronage of Russian President Vladimir Putin. (London, Paris, Moscow).
The talent of Nikita is noted by grants of the Mayor and the Governor of Nizhny Novgorod, and of such programs as "New Names", "Young Talents", "Russian Performing Art", the International charity foundation of Vladimir Spivakov, the grants of the President of Russia. Moreover, Nikita is an owner of the youth independent award "Triumph".
At a meeting of Vladimir Putin and the Queen of the Netherlands Beatrix the leaders of more than 15 states became the audience of Nikita performances.
He performed in concerts of Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation at the International Festival in Colmar (France) to the government of the Council of Europe, representatives of the diplomatic and consular corps in Strasbourg, as well as to the residents of the miner's settlements of Vallerua and Omekur, who created a memorial to Soviet soldiers died in France in 1941-1945.