Prof. Miroslav Petráš, chairman of the jury, evaluates the 1st category:
In this category, we witnessed the first concert steps of very young competitors who are a promise for the future. And the promise is great, their talent is already beginning to show.
The winners of the first three awards showed wonderful performances, the winner Aleksandra Maria Tralla was even better. The decisive differences are so slight that the listener does not even have to register them in the concert hall, but a professional expert jury will recognize them. The winner's performance was technically pure with a well-guided phrase.
The performances were slightly different in the second two places, but the differences were so slight that we did not want to rank such young competitors.
I am satisfied with the overall level of the first category. These young cellists can play songs that are technically intended for much older. And some of them, the awarded players, are capable of playing them well in their 10 years.
Prof. Miroslav Petráš, chairman of the jury, evaluates the 2nd category:
The number of only four competitors in the under-12 category was probably caused by the fact that we came into conflict with the admissions to eight-year grammar schools, which is understandably more important for young Czech cellists.
However, the overall quality did not suffer from a lower number. It was interesting. From the second category, the specialty of the competition begins, to make it harder, there is the obligation to study the selection only from three etudes. These are short songs with a technical focus, the player plays them alone without a piano.
The best performances were balanced, the jury must then decide what value of the game it would prefer. Something little different can affect everyone. I would say the victorious Tobiáš Balkovský was the best in all respects. He made no memorable mistake, had good intonation, and showed the greatest maturity in his art.
Prof. Miroslav Petráš, chairman of the jury, evaluates the 3rd category:
The sovereign performance of the winner surprised me, I already knew her a little, and she has made great progress. Her play was the most convincing for the entire jury. Everything worked out for her, it was enriching to listen to the young artist and the unanimous agreement of the jury.
Of the nine participants, only one was from Germany, and she won the second prize, again excellent level. For divided second and third prizes, performances are always evaluated as comparable.
The third category against the first shows a significant leap that young artists will make between the age of 10 and 14. This is admirable, the performances of candidates from the third category are generally more mature, tonally more filled with beauty and meaning. Overall, I have to say that the competition is developing beautifully after the first day.
Prof. Miroslav Petráš, chairman of the jury, evaluates the 4th category:
The level of the oldest category was excellent, as it usually is. For us, these competitors are already adults in the context of the competition. For a concert artist, of course, it's still a young age.
The jury in this category perceives not only professional play but also thinking. And when this comes together, the contestant is convenient manually, has a beautiful tone, intonation, there is usually a musical sense, then it's beautiful. That applies to prize winners.
As for the third ones, the concept of the Korean contestant was softer, sometimes more vocal in the mandatory composition, Variace na slovenskou píseň by Bohuslav Martinů. On the other hand, it seemed more forceful by Jan Petrov.
Among other things, the chosen repertoire played a role in the second prize. Nadia Boulanger and her songs rarely appear in similar competitions, but the Mongolian cellist Enerel Lkhaasuren came with her. It was a wonderful experience, it is a very technically demanding song, and she managed it brilliantly.
For the winning competitor, who also won the laureate title, I would like to warn in advance that I am her teacher. In accordance with the rules of the jury, I would not evaluate in such a case, the other jurors would submit their evaluation, after adding up the points, an arithmetic average will be created, which is included in the evaluation. Once the scoring of all competitors is completed, then I chair the discussion from the position of the chairman of the jury. According to colleagues, Júlia Sofia Nagyová convinced by her beautiful sound color and wonderful intonation. From the teacher's point of view, I state that her performance was excellent, she played her maximum.
Prof. Miroslav Petráš, chairman of the jury, evaluates the whole competition
In the case of competitions for beginners and young artists, it is fairer, in my opinion, for them to be held in person. There are many factors to deal with, including stage-fright. With regard to time possibilities, the number of participants around forty is optimal. This year's thirty-three was a good number from the point of view of us jurors. And most importantly, the success of the performances was excellent overall. I experienced in each competition that one or two competitors had a bad day, and this year it did not happen to us! After about two years of "homeoffice", they all were looking forward to the public performance and the beautiful hall. Heran's competition has an experienced organizational system that works, and that's a great feeling. The expert jury found an agreement, and the debates dealt mainly with the division of some prizes, which I personally favor.