Competitions - Woodwinds competition

Biography

At the beginning of last decade there was an idea of creating and organizing a quality woodwind competition. The idea was started by Zoran Marić, school principal, Periša Stanojević, clarinet professor, Miloš Gerić, retired clarinet professor from Stanković school in Belgrade, Zoran Vesić, first clarinetist of Belgrade opera and Vesna Pavlović, accordion teacher and deputy principal.

The main reason for such initiative was that at the time there were almost no competitions for woodwinds, especially for clarinet, fagot and oboe.

The competitions themselves are designed for primary and secondary school students and are a unique way of improving through competition with others, through listening to others, comparing to others and socializing with them. They are all future performers and this type of professional control of their work and advancement can be crucial for their further development. With this in mind, and to strengthen the competition, a decision was made for the competition to become international, and in the beginning to include competitors from neighbouring countries and later maybe even from the rest of Europe.

Competition rules were made so as to include students from the earliest age all the way to the final grade, in five disciplines (flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe and fagot). Since 2012 the competition also includes a competition of chamber music, which was gladly welcomed by competitors. From 2014 a new element will be the category of university students, both in the competition of woodwinds and in the competition of chamber ensembles.

In the first competition in 2004 we had 173 participants and the number changed each year, reaching up to 300. Total number of students in the first ten competitions is 2265, from all the neighbouring countries. In those ten competitions, 71 students were declared laureates which means they were the best in their categories. Eva Nina Kozmus, who was declared laureate in our Competition, went on to win Eurovision competition of young talents (Eurovision Young Musicians).

Jury members were always the most prominent teachers and artist from Serbia and abroad, because we wanted the competitors to be always judged by the best, which greatly contributes to the high rating of our competition. Competitors themselves were of the same opinion, so they gladly came again to our competition. From the fifth competition the jury members started giving their opinions on every competitor’s performance in writing, and this document was given to the competitors along with their diploma, which every competitor greatly welcomed.

Every year, during the competition, we organized quality concerts of distinguished artists, university students and students from the country and abroad, for all the participants. These concerts were given by: Janoš Balint, a flutist from Hungary, Dejan Gavrić, a flutist from Germany, Alenka Zupan, a flutist from Slovenia, Matej Zupan, a flutist from Slovenia, Aleksandar Tasić, a clarinetist, Zoran Krajišnik, a guitarist, Veljko Klenkovski, a clarinetist, Ognjen Popović, a clarinetist, Clarinet choir Art Academy Novi Sad, Woodwinds quintet Novi Sad, Ivan Kirn, the oboist, as well as large number of academy and school students of woodwinds instruments.

A large number of students from our shool took part in the competition during these years, achieving great success. The best results were achieved by Aleksandar Jankech (laureate 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010) and Anastasija Vojinović (laureate 2009).

Vesna Pavlović, accordion professor and principal assistant was a director on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd competition. Periša Stanojević, clarinet professor became a director from 4th competition. Those who bear the burden of the organization are as always the department of winds and the school management, with a lot of help from the whole teaching staff and all the school employees. Only through this selfless joint effort were we able to achieve such a high level when it comes to organizing this competition. Competition booklet is printed every year which, in addition to the information about competitors and the programme they are performing, also includes a lot of useful information about the school, the town, the jury, competition timetable, concerts... it is a true guide for the guests during the competition. The competitors have always had excellent working conditions, such as warm-up rooms and tonal rehearsals in the concert halls, timely information about the timetable and the events in the competition, recording of their performances, and the option of buying the recorded material. Competition lasts three or four days which depends on number of competitors. Competition takes place in two halls at the same time.

Every year we receive affirmation of good organization and hospitality from competitors, their teachers and jury members. Their sincerity is confirmed by the fact that they come again and recommend us to their friends and colleagues. This has always given us strength to make the following competitions better. Our wish is to attract competitors from countries which have not taken part yet and by doing this to raise the level and the importance of the competition.