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 every year to a young musician, recommended by the Artistic Director after a careful work of talent scouting.

The aim of the award is to enhance and encourage the young (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.

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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 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.

The Elba Festival Prize 2019 was awarded to an exceptional Greek violinist, Jonian Ilias Kadesha, an artist already in great demand in several European countries, but still unknown to the Italian public. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was decided to call off the 2020 Elba Festival Prize ceremony, but 2021 and 2022 have seen the Prize awarded to two outstanding new talents.

2022 AWARD

Diana Koval



To give a tangible sign of solidarity with the suffering of Ukrainian population, the Elba Festival Prize will be awarded to an exceptional 13-year-old violinist from Ukraine, who was forced to leave the country. This young artist will perform a new composition commissioned by the Festival to a refined Roman composer, Alessandro Annunziata.Diana Koval was born in 2009 in Kyiv, Ukraine, and started to play violin at the age of 6. Since 2021 Diana studies in the Kyiv Lysenko Music Lyceum in the class of Bogdana Pivnenko. At the moment, Diana lives in Germany and studies in the Folkwang Music University in Essen-Werden in the class of Boris Garlitsky.She participated in a number of Ukrainian and International violin competitions with outstanding results. Since 2019 Diana acquires experience playing solo and in the orchestra. She played with Philharmonic and chamber orchestras in Kyiv, Mariupol and Kharkiv orchestras among others.