2023 jury

Professionals Category

Yuka Imamine (Japan)

Yuka Imamine was born in Kobe / Japan.

From 1988 to 1992 she was studying western history and moved to Germany in 1992 in order to study piano at the University of Music and Performing Arts (Hochschule für Musik und Theater) in Munich, first under Prof. Klaus Schilde followed by Prof. Margarita Höhenrieder and Prof. Michael Schäfer. In 1995 she was nominated for a DAAD-scholarship (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst). After her graduation in 1996 with her Concert Diploma, she took up further studies under Prof. Sergio Perticaroli at the Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome.

Being highly succesful in various inernational competitions, Yuka Imamine won the first prize at the International Schubert Competition 1993 in Dortmund, was prize-winner at the E.Porrini Piano Competition in Cagliari and Premio Jaen, won first prize in 1996 at the A. Casagrande Competition in Terni and the third prize at the Conours Geza Anda in 1997 in Zürich.

Yuka Imamine has played with international top orchestras such as the Münchner Symphoniker and the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra. Many recitals in Europe and Asia e.g. in Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria and Japan have proved Yuka Imamine´s stylistic authenticity in wide repertoire and have filled her audience with enthusiasm by her brillant technique and her inspring play. Imamine has been regularly solist at various festivals such as at the “Festival dei Due Mondi” in Spoleto or the “Stresa International Festival”. With Lorin Maazel she collaborated in the field of chamber music.

Many of Yuka Imamine´s concerts and recordings have been broadcast on the radio and TV e.g. by the Swiss Radio DRS, the Luxembourg Radio and the German Radio SDR. Her recording of works by Schubert and Ravel on CD ranks as an outstanding contribution to the world of piano music.

In May 2002 Yuka Imamine was appointed to a professorship for piano at the University of Music and Performing Arts (Hochschule für Musik und Theater) in Munich.

Prof. Yuka Imamine gives piano master classes in Italy and Japan as well.

Konrad Richter

„Her performances are riveting in the true sense of the word: they mesmerize the listener and do not let go. This may well be due to her extraordinarily subtle and delicate touch, which allows her to play with every imaginable nuance of colour.” Pizzicato Magazine

Pianist Elena Margolina, born in Lemberg (Ukraine), enjoyed a highly distinguished musical education, graduating with a piano concert diploma from the St. Petersburg State Conservatory and, summa cum laude, from the University of Music in Detmold in 1996.

Elena Margolina has won prizes at renowned piano and chamber music competitions, including First Prize at the Fifth International Schubert Piano Competition in Dortmund in 1995. She has taught at the University of Music, Media and Drama in Hanover and at the State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart and offers master classes world-wide, including in Germany, Italy, South Korea, Canada, China, Albania, Russia, the Ukraine, Israel, and the United Kingdom.
In 2014 Elena Margolina joined the faculty of the University of Music in Detmold as professor of piano.

Many of her students have launched successful international careers and won prizes at piano competitions around the world, and Elena Margolina is sought after as a juror at international music competitions.

Margolina’s busy international career has taken her to venues all across Europe and worldwide. She has performed with conductors such as Heinz Holliger, Bryden Thompson, Doron Salomon, Ravil Martynov, Jiří Malát, Stefan Fraas, Siegfried Köhler and Lior Shambadal and with renowned orchestras including the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish National Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Russian State Academy Orchestra St. Petersburg, the Philharmonic Orchestra Dortmund, North West German Philharmonic and the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra.

She has appeared at prestigious concert venues including Philharmonie Berlin, L’Auditori Barcelona, St. Petersburg Philharmonia, City Hall Glasgow, the Henry Crown Symphony Hall in Jerusalem, Konzerthaus Dortmund, UBC Vancouver Recital Hall, Casa da Música Porto, Pamplona City Hall, the Academy of Arts Concert Hall in Tirana and the Lemberg Philharmony.

Margolina has made numerous recordings for radio and television, including for the BBC, WDR, Radio Hessen, Danmarks Radio, Radio St. Petersburg, the Voice of Israel, and Deutschlandradio. She has also made several CD recordings. Her album with Franz Schubert’s Sonata D 959 and Moments musicaux D 780 was awarded the “Supersonic Prize 2008” by Pizzicato Magazine of Luxembourg.

Music critic Joachim Kaiser about Elena Margolina: “One can feel the power and idiosyncrasy of the Russian piano school in Elena Margolina’s playing. She possesses a wonderfully smooth tone and a very precise touch; her playing is highly romantic, effusive and beautifully controlled.

Mariann Marczi

Mariann Marczi is a Hungarian concert-pianist, soloist and chamber musician. She is professor at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. Her DLA / DMA dissertation deals with “György Ligeti’s Etudes for Piano” (2008).

Performing at 35-40 concerts a year, she has played in the most prestigious concert halls in Hungary and in most European countries and in the United States.

Mariann Marczi has made recordings for the Odradek Records label.

Her first album “SPLINTERS” featuring 20th Century Hungarian Works for Piano in 2013 was nominated for the BBC Music Magazine Award.

Her second album, “PAST VISIONS” paying homage to Schubert and Schumann, was released in 2019.

Zoran Imširović

Zoran Imširović

Zoran Imširović was born in 1979 in Yugoslavia. He finished his music education in Munich, his main professors having been distinguished pianists and pivotal musical impulses arose from the longtime work with Klaus Schilde and Eliso Virsaladze and from master classes with diverse prominent artists; Rudolf Kehrer, Michail Voskresensky, Amadeus Vebersinke, Georg Sava, Karl Betz, Naum Starkman, Konrad Richter and Menahem Pressler.

After completing his studies, he started an international concert career.

Among other awards and distinctions, he has won the Golden Lion of Veneto in Italy.

As an artist, Zoran in constant search for new ways to bring music closer to the audiences and for this reason he initiated in 2014 the PIANO SUMMER project. Zoran has participated in many international festivals.

Michael Leslie

During his studies at the Conservatorium of Sydney he made several appearances with leading Australian orchestras. As a student of Rosl Schmid at the Munich Hochschule für Musik he won 1st prize in the Competition of the West German Hochschulen and 3rd prize in the International Competition of the Bavarian Radio.

His repertoire ranges from William Byrd to Lutoslawsky and includes the Bach Goldberg Variations and The Art of Fugue, all the Beethoven Piano Sonatas and the complete piano works of Schönberg.

His concert activity includes tours of Germany, Austria, England, Scotland, France, Italy, Sicily, Norway, Ghana, Serbia, Sweden and Australia.

Danica Stojanova

Danica Stojanova completed her primary music education at OMU Boro Johnny in Strumica in the class of Sofia Veta. She finished high school at the High school “Ilija Nikolovski Luj”, Skopje in the class of Professor Snezana Panovska and in the meantime collaborated with professors Dušan Trbojević and Arbo Valdma at the Music Academy in Belgrade, Serbia. She completed her piano studies with prof. Jokut Mihailović in Serbia and received her master’s degree at FMU, Skopje with prof. E. Trpkova. She has actively participated in international piano music academies in Belgium, Russia, Bulgaria, Morocco, Germany, the Netherlands and has worked with world-renowned pedagogues such as Jenny Zaharieva, Achilles del Vigne, Jacques Rouvier, Lyudmila Rocchina, Heribert Koch.

Danica Stojanova became a professor at the high school “Ilija Nikolovski Luj”, Skopje. She is a member of the juries of the prestigious piano and chamber music competitions in the region (Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Kosovo). He holds piano master classes in Macedonia, Malaysia, Kosovo, as well as professional lectures at international festivals such as Chopin Fest, Epta and others.

She performed as a soloist with the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vidin Philharmonic Orchestra from Bulgaria. As a piano accompanist she collaborated with the artists Blagoja Angelovski, Anastazija Nizamova, Ana Durlovski, Oleg Kontradenko, Robert Cekov and others. As a soloist she has performed semi-recitals and evening concerts in Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Malaysia, Germany, France, Kosovo, Serbia, Italy, USA.

For her work she has won the “Best Art Piano Collaborator” award at the 22nd International Music and People Competition in Sofia in 2004, an award for one year of successful work in the field of music pedagogy awarded by the Association of Music and Ballet pedagogues of Macedonia (2007), Award for excellent pedagogical achievements in 2009 in Bulgaria, Award for many years of successful work in the field of music pedagogy in Macedonia in 2011. Since 2016 she has been an honorary member of the Tomislav Zografski Foundation. He is the author of the book “Frederic Chopin – Poet of the Piano”. She has released two sound carriers with works by world and Macedonian composers.

Since 2021 she is the director of SU “Ilija Nikolovski Luj”, Skopje.

Goara Nona Lazić

An expert with more than 30 years of work experience in the field of music education. She graduated from an 11-year special music school for talents named Prof. Stalarsky in the city of Odessa, Ukraine. She studied in the class of Professor Nikolai I. Krizanovski, who is a representative of the well-known piano school of Vladimir Nielsen. She graduated from the National Academy of Music in Odessa in the class of E.D. Kovalenko and received the following qualifications: concert performer, pedagogue, soloist of the chamber ensemble, concertmaster. She started her pedagogical activity as a student in the music school at the state academy. In 1992, he moved to Serbia, where she worked at a music high school and began to develop her personal pedagogical method based on the best tradition of piano schools. In 2005, she moved to work in Slovenia and returned to Serbia, where she works today.

The collection of awards of Goara Lazić and her students is rich in numerous significant awards from national and international competitions in the country and abroad (Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Czech Republic, France, Italy). She has developed many talented students who continued their education at the academy and still work across Serbia and perform concert activities. She has given master classes in Serbia and a seminar in Slovenia. She performed both in chamber ensembles and as a soloist with the school symphony orchestra. In addition to pedagogical work, she also participated as a jury at numerous competitions in the country and abroad. Goara is the ldea initiator of the competition in Šabac, which has a tradition of 25 years and which has grown into an international competition, where she is a permanent member in the organization committee, and in 2020 she was the artistic director of the competition.

Goara Lazić received the award for long-term results and commitment to musical talents from the Association of Music and Ballet Schools.