ELBA FESTIVAL PRIZE
The ELBA ISOLA MUSICALE D’EUROPA Festival has always been very active in promoting young talents. The Elba Festival Prize, created in 2003, is awarded to young musicians, recommended by the Artistic Director after a careful work of talent scouting.
The aim of the award is to enhance and encourage the (often very young) talented musicians who are taking their first steps in capturing the attention of the public, or who have already started a career abroad and are still unknown in Italy. The Elba Festival Prize is an important part of the activities of the Friends of the Festival Association: since 2004 the Association finances the Prize, and its President participates in the award ceremony.
Most of the Festival’s 17 winners have later received other important international awards and have undertaken an intense concert activity, crowned by numerous successes: the latest one is the First Prize at the Concours International de Montréal awarded in May 2023 to the Ukrainian violinist Dmytro Udovychenko, winner of the Elba Festival Prize in2014, when he was only 15 years old. The list continues: the Russian pianist Miroslav Kultyshev, awarded with our prize at the age of 18 in the first edition, subsequently won the prestigious Monte-Carlo Piano Masters and the second prize at the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow; the Italian pianist Vanessa Benelli Mosell, encouraged by our Prize (she was 17), continued her studies in Moscow and London, then settled in Paris where she became a sophisticated and brilliant interpreter of contemporary music; Alexander Gavrylyuk, Ukrainian-born Australian pianist, awarded in 2005, won in the same year a Gold Medal at the Arthur Rubinstein International Competition in Tel Aviv; the Hungarian violinist Kristóf Baráti, who from a very young age has distinguished himself in some international competitions, after the Festival’s recognition in 2006, won the first prize at the Paganini International Competition in Moscow, and his concert career exploded internationally; in 2007 the Elba Festival Prize introduced Alena Baeva, a winner of the Henryk Weniawski Competition in Poznań and the Paganini International Competition in Moscow who was unknown to the Italian public; for the Ukrainian pianist Vadym Kholodenko the Elba Festival Prize was a key event, following which he won three international competitions including, in 2013, the prestigious Van Cliburn Competition in Fort Worth (USA); for the Belgian violinist Marc Bouchkov, the Prize, received at the age of 18, marked the start of a series of awards in several important international competitions, including the Henri Koch of Liège, the Queen Elisabeth of Brussels, the First Prize at the Montreal International Competition and, more recently, the silver medal at the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow.
ELBA ISOLA MUSICALE D’EUROPA is preparing a special edition of the Elba Festival Prize for 2024 to celebrate the 20th edition of the Prize.
ELBA FESTIVAL PRIZE
2003 Miroslav Kultyshev (Russia) piano
2004 Vanessa Benelli Mosell (Italy) piano
2005 Alexander Gavrylyuk (Ukraine / Australia) piano
2006 Kristof Baráti (Hungary) violin
2007 Alena Baeva (Russia) violin
2008 Vadym Kholodenko (Ukraine) piano
2009 Marc Bouchkov (Belgium) violin
2010 Karin Kei Nagano (U.S.A.) violin
2011 Francesca Milano (Italy) flute
2012 Nelli Efimova (Russia) violin
2013 Hwayoon Lee (South Korea) viola
2014 Dmytro Udovichenko (Ukraine) violin
2015 Clarisse Moreau (France) oboe
2016 Jacopo Taddei (Italy) saxophone
2017 Ekaterina Boniushkina (Russia) piano
2018 Flavia Napolitano (Italy) violin
2019 Jonian Ilias Kadesha (Greece) violin
2021 Justus Friedrich Eichhorn (Germany) piano
2022 Diana Koval (Ukraine) violin