On 21 September, Orchid Classics releases the debut album of Liya Petrova, the 28 year old Bulgarian violinist who won joint first prize of the 2016 Carl Nielsen International Competition. Featuring both the Nielsen and Prokofiev’s 1st violin concerto, the album was recorded in Odense, home of the Carl Nielsen Competition in Denmark, together with the Odense Symphony Orchestra and conductor Kristiina Poska.

Commenting on Liya’s performance during the 2016 competition, Jury President, Nikolaj Znaider, said "I was absolutely blown away by how she had absorbed the Nielsen violin concerto - how it had become hers. Liya is someone who is naturally curious, inquisitive, always searching and these are qualities which will ensure a future than only gets brighter and brighter."

"I have to admit that when I was thinking about what repertoire I should record, my first choice was Nielsen because I feel very close to this music" said Liya Petrova. "And the perfect match was Prokofiev No. 1. Nielsen is a piece with many characters. It’s like story telling – almost like a fairy tale but you need a lot of imagination to bring out all the characters in the work. The Prokofiev was written at almost the same time – six or seven years later - and is a completely different piece, but it also has its own magic and story telling throughout."

Nikolaj Znaider has meanwhile invited Liya to perform Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto in performances which he conducts this week with the Odense Symphony Orchestra (6 and 7 September). She returns to Denmark again in March 2019 to perform with the Carl Nielsen National Academy Orchestra and Marek Janowski as a part of the celebrations to launch the next Carl Nielsen International Competition. Other upcoming engagements include a performance of Beethoven’s violin concerto with the Philharmonisches Orchester Heidelberg and Elias Grandy (26 September) and a recital in Stavanger with pianist, Kiril Kutin (3 October).

Liya Petrova grew up in Sofia and studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Rostock with Petru Munteanu and then at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Belgium with Agustin Dumay. She currently lives in Berlin and studies with Antje Weithaas at the Hochschule für Musik 'Hans Eisler' in Berlin and Renaud Capucon at the HEMU in Lausanne.

The History of the Carl Nielsen International Competitions dates back to 1980 when the first violin competition was held in Odense. The first competitions for clarinet and flute took place in 1997 and 1998 respectively. Until now the individual competitions have taken place in rotation once every four years but the Odense Symphony Orchestra, which plays host to the events in Carl Nielsen’s own city of birth, has announced that all three competitions will take place concurrently for the first time from 21 - 31 March 2019. The three competitions are open for violinists, clarinetists and flautists of all nationalities under the age of 30 and the application period is open until 15 October 2018. The 1st Prize in each category has a value of 25.000 Euros comprising a 12.000 Euro cheque and a CD-recording with Odense Symphony Orchestra, to be released on the British label Orchid Records as well as performance opportunities with European orchestras and / or at festivals.

Overall President of the Competitions’ Jury is Nikolaj Znaider who himself won the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in 1992. He will preside over the Jury for the 2019 violin competition and will be joined by leading colleagues for the clarinet and flute competitions. Emmanuel Pahud and Martin Fröst join Znaider as Artistic Advisors for the flute and clarinet competitions respectively and will participate in the pre-jury, selecting the participants for the first round of the competition.


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