The members of the jury for the 30th International piano competition Young virtuoso, Zagreb, 2024:
Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Ruben Dalibaltayan (1973) currently lives in Croatia. He works as a Professor at Zagreb and Ljubljana Music Academies. As a Guest Professor he regularly holds masterclasses at the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein, Music Academy in Sarajevo as well as at the “Talent Music Master Courses” in Brescia. Ruben is the President of the Alexander Scriabin Society of Croatia and Artistic Director of Radovljica International Piano Competition in Slovenia.
Ruben raised a new generation of young pianists who achieved tremendous results and became prize winners of various international competitions as Ferruccio Busoni, Queen Elizabeth, Robert Schumann in Zwickau, Ettlingen, etc. Some of them as Ivan Krpan and Aljosa Jurinic succeeded to make an outstanding international career and became one of the most successful pianists of the young generation.
As part of his pedagogical work, he holds masterclasses on a regular basis in Croatia and abroad. His noteworthy projects include the founding of the piano summer school in Makarska, Croatia in 2005 together with Julia Gubajdullina. The seaside piano master course has since evolved into one of the most prominent events for young pianists in the region.
He studied in Komitas State Conservatory of Yerevan, Gnesin Russian Academy of Music and Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory under the guidance of Anahit Shahbazyan, Arthur Berngardt, and Valery Kastelsky. His professional and personal formation has been greatly influenced by a number of outstanding musicians such as Boris Berlin, Lazar Berman, and Alexis Weissenberg.
Ruben is a winner of many prestigious international piano competitions in Armenia, China, Croatia, and Italy. His concert tours include numerous countries. The performances range from solo recitals and concerts with Symphony orchestras to participation in chamber ensembles – a piano duo with his wife Julia Gubajdullina and the well-known “Amadeus Trio Zagreb” to be mentioned.
As a pianist he gives special attention and dedication to the promotion of the works of Armenian composers, interesting and original music inseparably linked to the culture of his native country. In collaboration with the Croatian Radio and Croatian Music Institutе, he recorded the entirety of the piano opus of the famous Croatian composer Blagoje Bersa. For this double CD, Ruben received the highest acknowledgment of the Croatian Ministry of Culture – “Vladimir Nazor Award” for greatest achievements in music and arts.
Natalia Troull began studying piano in her native St. Peterburg. She later moved to Moscow where she graduated from the Moscow Conservatory. Among her teachers were professors Y. Zak, M. Voskresensky and T. Kravchenko.
Her performance career was launched when she won first prize at the Belgrade International Piano Competition in 1983. However, the biggest success came in 1986 she won the silver medal at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition. The public was swept off its feet by her interpretation of composers such as Schubert and Stravinsky. Her “Petroushka” suite left an everlasting impression on the public and critics alike.
In 1993, Natalia Troull was awarded the Grand Prix at the Piano Masters Competition in Monte-Carlo (where only winners of international competitions are accepted as participants). Natalia Troull’s complete control and fantastic virtuosity place her in a class of her own, and she is in great demand as a performer all over the world. Among the distinguished orchestras with whom she has performed are the London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Monte-Carlo, Tonhalle Symphony Orchestra and all of the major Russian Symphony Orchestras.
Natalia Troull has also played with such conductors as Raphael Frubeck de Burgos, Raymond Leppard, Jean-Bernard Pommier, Eri Klas, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Vassily Sinaisky, Yuri Temirkanov and many others.
Her repertoire includes over 50 concertos, of which the Tchaikovsky concerto has proved to be the most popular, the pianist having performed the work on over one hundred occasions in the world’s leading concert halls. Her most brilliant performances of the Tchaikovsky concerto were in Hollywood Bowl under Eri Klas and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and in Suntory Hall with Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Koizumi Kazuhiro (1998-99 season). Natalia’s performances today are remarkable for her total absorption in the music her unique stage presence and technical mastery in presenting a wide repertoire of works. Natalia Troull is frequently invited to teach to the U.S.A., Japan, Italy, Germany and South America. She is Professor at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. She is permanently a jury
member of many international piano competitions.
Michael Davidov was born in a family of professional musicians and showed a very particular understanding of the musical ideas since the earliest childhood.
He entered the Barcelona Conservatory (Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya) in the class of the world’s renowned Catalan pianist Prof. Ramon Coll being just 16 years old. He finished his studies obtaining a total amount of nine honors and was given the University Director’s personal recommendation. His constant will of refining his knowledge and his artistic development, pulled him to study at European most prestigious music centers with world famous professors such as the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory (Postgraduate) under Prof. Mikhail Petukhov, the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar, Germany, under Prof. Grigory Gruzman (Concert Diploma) and the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria (Master degree and Postgraduate) under Prof. Pavel Gililov.
Michael Davidov performed as soloist with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, the Symphony Orchestra of Rostov, the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica Ciudad de Granada, the Orquestra J. Strauss of Roma, under the conductors Enrique García Asensio, Paul Mann, Salvador Mas, Valery Khlebnikov, Dariusz Mikulski, Rastislav Stur, Nicola Samale, Haris Iliadis, to name a few.
M. Davidov is a prizewinner of many international piano competitions: he won the 1st Prize at the International Piano Competition Delia Steinberg in Madrid, the 1st Prize and the Audience Prize at the International Piano Competition A. Skavronsky–Inspiration in Volgodonsk, the 1st Prize at the Concorso Pianistico Internazionale G. Pecar in Gorizia, the 2nd Prize at the Concorso Pianistico Internazionale F. Chopin in Roma, the 2nd Prize at the International Piano Competition G. Thymis in Thessaloniki, the 2nd Prize at the Concorso Internazionale di Pianoforte M. P. Monopoli in Barletta, the 2nd Prize and the Audience Prize at the Concorso Pianistico Internazionale Città di Massarosa, the 3rd Prize at the International Piano Competition J. N. Hummel in Bratislava, the 3rd Prize at the International Piano Competition Cidade de Ferrol, the 3rd Prize and the Prize for the best performance of Contemporary Music at the International Piano Competition in Jaén and four special prizes at the International Maria Canals Music Competition in Barcelona.
His wide artistic activity made him win other prizes and scholarships. He won four consecutive times the Catalonian’s State Council Scholarship for the Culture and the Arts (2008-12), the Prize of the Foundation R. Parramon (2009), a Medal given by the Town hall of Palau Solità i Plegamans (Barcelona, 2011) and two scholarships given by the Association of Interpreters and Performers of Spain (2013 and 2014).
Besides his concert career, Davidov is also a pedagogue and a composer. In 2010, Michael Davidov became Germany’s youngest piano dozent, after winning an Associate Professor position at the Hochschule für Musik F. Liszt in Weimar. During the academic year 2011-2012 M. Davidov headed the piano class at the University of Augsburg in Germany.
In 2013 Michael Davidov has founded the Marbella International Music Festival and became its Artistic Director. The MIMF organizes yearly the Marbella International Music Competition and a Piano Masterclass Series with world top piano professors.
Michael Davidov has been invited as a juror at international piano competitions and has headed piano masterclasses in different countries. Nowadays, M. Davidov is professor for piano at the Conservatori Superior del Liceu in Barcelona.
To be published…
Jelica Kuzmin finished her primary and secondary musical education at the Pavao Markovac Music School in Zagreb in the class of professor Vilma Klajner (parallelly finishing the III. Gymnasium in Zagreb), and she graduated from the Musical Academy at the Zagreb University in the class of professor Ladislav Šaban in 1978. From then on she began building her teaching career at the Pavao Markovac Music School, where she was the head of the piano, harpsichord and organ department from 1997 to 2020. She had 38 high-school graduates, 21 of which continued their musical education at the Musical Academy of Zagreb and other renowned musical academies abroad, e. g. Kunstuniversität in Graz, Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe, Mannes School of Music and the City University of New York in New York, Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington and University of Miami, Florida, USA. In her 42-year long teaching career her students won more that 120 national and international awards, most of which are first places.
Jelica Kuzmin is the winner of the annual award of the Croatian Association of Music Teachers for great achievements in her work. She is a regular member of juries in national and international competitions and gives master classes for students and colleagues from music school all over Croatia.
As an active member of EPTA – Croatia, she participated with her students in conventions in Norway, Hungary and Slovenia.
In her work, she has been systematically showing the importance of chamber music-making at the earliest student age, she founded the piano chamber music festival in her department, and, in cooperation with her colleagues, she has been very successful and won many awards teaching piano four hands, six hands and eight hands.
Jelica Kuzmin conceived and started the Young Virtuoso – Zagreb international competition.
In 2004 she was elected by the Agency for education to be the head of professional boards of piano teachers.
In 2006 she has been promoted to the professor-mentor teaching rank and in 2008 to the rank of professor-counsellor.
Jelica Kuzmin, along with some of the music students’ parents, founded the Leopold Mozart Association, which has been taking care of ZOKOR, the Zagreb Youth Chamber Orchestra, for many years.