The winners of 14th International Web Concert Hall Competition

Ivana and Miran Vaupotich (Duo– Croatian) Accordions

Since its foundation in 2004 the AccoDuo quickly advanced to one of the most promising classical bayan ensembles. With extraordinary personal commitment, housband and wife perform a music that brings an eclectic mixture of musical styles to the concert stage. Their extensive repertoire includes original pieces, transcriptions from various music periods, as well as popular and world music.

AccoDuo has been awarded most distinguished Special Schnittke Award at IBLA Grand Prize 2008 in Ragusa, Italy. In the recording studio, the AccoDuo's  debut for the Classic Concert Records label features CD Romance with their transcriptions of classical works and original pieces for two bayans, which was released in 2009. Just one of many stellar reviews includes the Classical Free Reed, which said: ''This husband and wife team have translated their love for their instrument, for their music, and for each other into a beautifully crafted album...Two players, four hands, and four voices blend together as one in a gentle flow and a very human pulse'', while Accordion Worldwide said: ''You will enjoy and admire the performance of every single selection on this outstanding CD''.

Eager advocates for both traditional and new concerti for two bayans and orchestra, the Duo’s recent concerto performances include those with the Padarewski Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonietta Zilina  and the Kaliningrad Chamber Orchestra at Kaliningrad Philharmonic Society.

AccoDuo collaborate with eminent composers such as John Alan Rose, Paolo Ugoletti, Eric Schwartz and many others. They performed World Premieres of pieces dedicated to them, Concerto for two Bayans and Symphony Orchestra by German contemporary composer Peter Machajdik as well as Croatian Suite and Phantasy by known Russian composer Yevgeni Derbenko.

Ivana Levak and Miran Vaupotich met in Zagreb as teenage accordion students and have been performing together for more than ten years, perfecting a sublime synchronicity and effortless performance style. The family ties of these musicians have a direct influence on the Duo’s performances. They both earned their Master’s degree at the University of Juraj Dobrila in Pula, Croatia.

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Olha Chipak and Kushnir Oleksiy (Piano Duo – Ukrainian)

When in 1998 Olha Chipak and Oleksiy Kushnir met first during their academic studies at the Lviv Music Academy in the Ukraine, it was like magical gravity. A moment later their successful, creative musical collaboration began, they won e.g. the highest award at the international contest “Rome-98”. But this achievement hasn’t been enough for them. They were keen on expanding their artistic horizon and went on studying with the German piano duo Hans-Peter and Volker Stenzl at the “Hochschule für Musik und Theater” in Rostock. In 2005 Olha Chipak and Oleksiy Kushnir completed their studies with a graduate recital.

They gathered a wide repertoire of concerts with artworks of several eras. Within the scope of international festivals like “Heinrich Neuhaus Festival”, ”Virtuosi“ (Ukraine) and “Mecklenburger Festspiele“ as well as on solo concerts in the Ukraine, Poland, Italy, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, USA, Russia, China etc. they met national and international appreciation. Their appearances led them to the Concert Hall in Berlin, the famous Sala Baldini in Rome, the Glasunow Hall in St. Petersburg, the large hall of the Warsaw Chopin-Academy as much as to the Philharmonics Bialystok, the Steinway-Hall and the Lincoln-Theatre of Miami.

Their interpretations of musical works were already played on North German Broadcast and on radio and television in the Ukraine, Poland and San Marino. Their career is attended by numerous awards Olha Chipak and Oleksiy Kushnir achieved with several international competitions.
Their first CD with works by Brahms, Reger and Rachmaninov was released in 2007. The musical views by Piano Duo connect us with a whiff of that, what the composers primarily kept in mind. A panorama between the presence and past of the cultural creative power of the occident is formed virtuous-colourfully on this CD with plenty of artistic seriousness. For enthusiasts of classical music the notable musicality of Olha Chipak and Oleksiy Kushnir gets more than considerable.

OLHA CHIPAK  was born in Odessa (Ukraine). Her first musical education she got in the Ukraine at the music school (class of I.Zhukovska) and at the music college in Uzhgorod (class of - Doz. V.Pastelyak). At the National M. Lyssenko Music Academy (Lviv, Ukraine) she studied in the classes of Prof. M. Krushelnytska as well as Doz. N. Pastelyak and finished with a graduate recital in the principal subject piano.

Already in her student time her successful stage career began. She gave a lot of concerts in the Ukraine and Poland and became the prize winner of the international M. Lyssenko piano competition in 1997 as well as of “Premio Seiler“ in 2003 in Italy. Notably intense and accompanied by a lot of concerts was her collaboration with the “Ukrainian National Symphonic Orchestra” as well as the “National Philharmonic Orchestra” and the “Symphonic Orchestras of Lviv”. There were a lot of solo shows at several festivals, e.g. at “Virtuosi-Festival“ in Lviv and during the anniversary of the “National Philharmonic Orchestra” in Kyiv. Her concerts were added to the Ukrainian National Music Stock.

In 2007 the chamber musical collaboration with the violinist Mo Yi and the cellist Prof. Gert von Bülow was induced - the trio called “Trio Quintilian“ was created. In the following period they gave a lot of performances in Germany, Denmark, Ukraine and China. Their interpretations of the musical works of L. v. Beethoven und J. Brahms were awarded with appreciative criticisms. Presently she is an assistant lecturer at the “Hochschule für Musik und Theater” in Rostock.

OLEKSIY KUSHNIR was born in Lviv (Ukraine) and got his first education at the music school S. Krushelnytska (class of J. Moysyak). During 1993 and 1999 he studied at the National M. Lyssenko Music Academy (Lviv, Ukraine) in the classes of Prof. M. Krushelnytska and Doz. J. Örmeny. He attended master classes of international acknowledged artists like Eric Lesage, Katja Koleva, Alberto Lisio and Bogodar Kotorovych. In 2006 he completed his studies with a graduate recital in the principal subject piano.

During his study time he began to give concerts in the Ukraine and Poland, e.g. with the “Symphonic Orchestras of Lviv”. His activities according to chamber music were also very intense. Eminently fruitful was the collaboration with the violinist Ostap Shutko, which led them to combined appearances in Ukraine, Poland and France. In 1996 they became prizewinners of the international “M. Canals Chamber music contest” in Barcelona.

From 2004 to 2006 he went on with his studies in the subject opera correpetition at the “Academy for Music and Theatre” in Rostock at the classes of Prof. Chr. Göckeritz and Chr. Hammer. Since 2005 he’s an assistant lecturer at the Rudolf-Regeny-Conservatoire and at the “Hochschule für Musik und Theater” in Rostock.

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