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About Virtuosi

In 1968 a group of enthusiastic members of The Club of music associates and teachers of the former Folk School of Arts in Ústí nad Labem decided to organize a competition for young pianoplayers up to the age of 16. This intention was carefully prepared which illustrates the preserved correspondence to various institutions and industrial companies which were asked for cooperation and prizes for the winners. This effort of the organization committee whose head was the director of the music school Václav Šmerda resulted in participation of almost ninety contestants from all over the Czech Republic. The tradition was established and many new generations continue in organizing and competing at Virtuosi.

Although the competition organizers expected foreign participants already in the second year of the competition, the first young pianoplayers from abroad (Hungary and Estonia) came as late as in 1971. At that time a big difference in young talents‘ preparation between former Czechoslovakia and foreign countries appeared. Nearly professionally prepared foreign participants won all main prizes, Czech and Slovak competitors got only the third prizes and honorary mentions.

The piano competition was associated with various ideological anniversaries from its beginning. This stance went so far that the sixth year (1975) evaluation contained a recommendation block participants from the western Europe countries take part of the competition. But it is necessary to say the participants coming from the eastern block brought a high standard of piano playing and pre-contest preparation. Since 1990 the competition has been released from all ideological views and the competition quality has retained the high standard from previous years.

Finally, it is proper to thank to competition promoters who fund the international piano competition every year. The above mentioned proclaimers are The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of The Czech Republic and the City of Ústí nad Labem. It is thirty years since the competition participants have been playing first time the concert grand piano of the brand PETROF.

The main organization responsibility lies on the teachers and other staff of Eva Randová Elementary School of Arts in Ústí nad Labem.



The first year of the piano competition was held in the Interhotel Bohemia on October 26 to 28, 1968. The contestants were dividend into four age categories (under ten, twelve, fourteen and fifteen years of age). The first jury chairman was the piano teacher Jaromír Brož.

Pavel Štěpán, piano virtuoso and teacher, became a jury chairman for many years.

Contestants from abroad (Hungary and Estonia) took part in the competition for the first time this year. The number of categories was reduced to three (under ten, twelve and fourteen years of age).

The competition moved from small premises of the Interhotel Bohemia to the Community Center in Ústí nad Labem.

The jubilee 10th  year of the International Piano Contest. A new logo was introduced, which has still been in use. The logo was designed by Antonín Procházka, a painter and a graphic artist.

Owing to the high number of foreign contestants, a selection round for participants from the former Czechoslovak Republic was introduced, in which the jury selected contestants for the international competition.

Four age categories introduced again.

A final return to three age categories (under eleven, thirteen and fifteen years of age).

Radoslav Kvapil, piano virtuoso and teacher, became a chairman of the contest jury.

The competition moved to the premises of the newly renovated building of the Town Theatre in Ústí nad Labem. The selection round for participants from the Czech Republic was cancelled; all contestants were included into the International Competition. Dagmar Šimonková, a professor of the Academy of Music Arts, became the jury chairwoman. A registration fee was introduced, amount of which has been set by the organizing committee of the competition till today.

The jubilee 30th year of the International Piano Contest was held on November 6 to 8, 1997 in the Town Theatre in Ústí nad Labem. 75 participants from 15 countries entered the contest. The piano producing company Továrna na piana Hradec Králové granted a PETROF pianinoto the absolute winner of the competition.
PETROF spol. s r.o., the general sponsor of the competition, awarded USD 1,000 to the absolute winner. Petrof, poianos since 1864

The jubilee 35th year was held in the Town Theatre in Ústí nad Labem. The competition categories were not changed; Dagmar Šimonková was still the jury chairwoman.

Mr. Petr Slavík became the jury chairman that year.

General sponsor was changed – the new sponsor is SPOLCHEMIE Ústí nad Labem.
The Grand Opening Ceremony of the 40th International Piano Contest will be held in the Atrium of the Elementary School of Arts. As a part of the Grand Opening Ceremony a piano recital of Petr Slavík, the international jury chairman.

The overall winner was the contestant 42nd Year Artyom PAK from Uzbekistan which was assessed a record number of points in the entire history of the competition!

The 45th international piano contest was opened by a concert performed by the North- Bohemian Theatre orchestra, in which, besides others, also Michal Mašek, the 1995 absolute winner, was performing. The competition was supported by the Fund KS Kolbenschmidt CZ, administered by the Community Foundation of Usti, Universal health insurance company, company GW Train Regio a.s. and Noesis s.r.o. In this year is the chairman of the jury MgA Martin Kasik.

Four age categories introduced again. The 46th international piano contest was opened by a concert performed by the North Bohemian Theatre orchestra, in wich, besides others, also Kristine Ayvazyan, the 2012 absolute winner, was performing. Kristine Ayvazyan was the first of the absolute winners wich to play piano concerts accompanied by a symphony orchestra at the opening ceremonies.

The Competition gets trough the Ústí Region General Partner Net4Gas.
The overall winner was the contestant 47th Year Klyuchereva Elizaveta from Russia which was assessed a record number of points!

In the 50th annual International 71 contestants from 17 countries were registered.
The contest is held under the auspices of the President of the Czech Republic Mr. Miloš Zeman, Governor of the Usti Region Mr. Oldřich Bubeníček and Mayor of the city Ústí nad Labem Ms. Věra Nechybová

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