Martin Spangenberg, President of the Jury

Germany

Martin Spangenberg studied clarinet with Hans Deinzer at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media and was a scholarship recipient of the German National Academic Foundation. From 1988 to 2003 he was the principal clarinetist of the Munich Philharmonic and a member of the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra.
In 1997 he was appointed professor for clarinet at the “Franz Liszt” University of Music in Weimar and has been professor at the “Hanns Eisler” University of Music in Berlin since 2013. He has performed as a soloist with, among others, the Munich Philharmonic under Sergiu Celibidache and James Levine, the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin, the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Cappella Istropolitana, the Polish Chamber Philharmonic, and most recently as conductor and soloist with Ensemble M18.
As a chamber musician, he plays in a wide variety of ensembles, from his ensemble with pianist Stefan Kiefer and cellist Jens-Peter Maintz, to the Artemis Quartet and with the Albert Schweitzer Octet.
Martin Spangenberg has been the artistic director of the International Chamber Music Courses of the Jeunesses Musicales in Weikersheim for many years as well as an instructor-coach for the Federal Youth Orchestra. His diverse teaching activities in numerous master classes have taken him to many different countries. He was the winner of several first prizes at the national youth music competition and was a prizewinner of the German music competition. Various CD recordings with works by Reger, Berg, Bartók, Strauss, Molter, as well as a recording of the complete clarinet concertos and two concert overtures by Carl Maria von Weber as both a soloist and conductor are testimony to his artistic versatility.

Ante Grgin, selector

Serbia

Ante Grgin was born in Kaštel Novi, PR Croatia, FPR Yugoslavia, and started his early training at the School of Music in Split. He completed his undergraduate (1969) and graduate (1974) studies at the Belgrade Music Academy, under the tuition of renowned professor Bruno Brun.

Grgin was the second and later, principal clarinetist of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and is a member of the New Music Ensemble. As a soloist and chamber musician, he has played in the country and abroad (France, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Belarus, China etc.) and took part at various festivals, such as: BEMUS, The Days in Honour of Mokranjac, Marble Sounds and others.

Grgin has composed a number of pieces for piano, violin, viola, flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, horn. His compositions are characterized by tendency towards free forms, style models of jazzed symphony, evergreen harmonies, Balkan folklore rhythms and highly emphasized melodic as a part of instrument nature to which Grgin has dedicated his performing and creative work. Numerous artists who have performed his compositions includes world-renowned names, such as: Irena Grafenauer and Mate Bekavac.

Grgin was professor of clarinet and chair of the Department of Wind Instruments at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade up until 2014 when he retired.

As a student, Grgin won the Second Prize at the Jeunesses Musicales International Competition in Belgrade (1971) and also had remarkable achievements at various prestigious international open competitions in Geneve, Munich and Prague. Later, during his professional career, he got a number of prominent awards, such as: “Dositej Obradović” Award, The Recognition Medallion of the City of Belgrade, The Letter of Thanks of the Faculty of Music, Golden Medallion of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of this institution, Silver Medallion of the University of Arts, as well as the Association of Musical Artists of Serbia Award for the Best Concert of the Season. Grgin was a jury member at various competitions.

Andjei Maevski , selector

Norway

Andjei Maevski has been since 1999 Principal Clarinet in The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet.

Andjei comes from a family of musicians. At the age of six he started to play his first instrument, percussion. When he was twelve years he began playing the clarinet and went on K. Baiseitova Music School in Alma-Ata.

And two years later he won his first competition for clarinet. In the coming years, he was a prize winner in several competitions both nationally and internationally.

At an international clarinet competition in Moscow in 1992, he won the “Grand Prix”. This led him to further education at the Academy of Music in Darmstadt with Prof. Heinz Hepp (former solo clarinettist in Frankfurt Radio Orchester).

After study in Darmstadt he continued his Master’s degree, soloist class in Munich, with Prof. Ulf Rodenhäuser (former solo clarinettist in the Berliner Philharmoniker).

In 2002 Andjei won Rikskonsertene Intro-classical, which resulted to concerts as a soloist and chamber musician both in Norway and abroad.

Aside his work in the Opera Orchestra, he is active as a chamber musician, soloist and a guest solo clarinettist in other orchestras.

He leads also various master classes in Norway and abroad.

Ognjen Popović

Serbia

Ognjen Popović was born in Pančevo in 1977. He graduated from the Jovan Bandur Elementary and Secondary Music School in Pančevo. He continued his clarinet studies at the High Academy of Music in Stuttgart in the class of Professor Ulf Rodenhäuser. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from the Munich Academy of Music.

Popović has performed worldwide as a soloist and member of chamber ensembles. As a soloist he has performed with the Munich Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Philharmonic of the Nations, the Belgrade Philharmonic, the Valencia Radio Orchestra, the Strings of St. George, the RTS Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Munich and Stuttgart Academic Orchestras. As an orchestra musician, he has collaborated with the orchestras of the Stuttgart Opera, the German Chamber Academy of Neuss, the Passau Symphony Orchestra, the Bruno Walter Orchestra of Luxembourg, and others. He won First Prize at the Felix Mendelssohn Competition in Berlin in 1998 and Second Jury Award and First Audience Award at the International Music Youth Competition in Belgrade in 1997. He won manz first prizes at national and federal competitions and he represented Yugoslavia at the Eurovision Young Musicians in Spain in 1992.

Since 2002, Popović has been a member of the Belgrade Philharmonic, as first clarinet. That same year he founded a chamber ensemble called the Balkan Chamber Academy, made up of well-known names in classical music. With his band Ognjen and Friends he has performed many concerts at home and abroad and has recorded four CDs of original music. Last year he recorded his latest album In My Heart With the Ognjen Popović Band. He recorded two CDs with the famous German chamber ensemble Villa Musica and performed with them all over Europe. The German Koebl Verlag publishing house from Munich has been publishing his compositions since 2015.

Popović is artistic director of the Pančevo-based Classic Fest chamber music festival. He has held masterclasses for clarinet in Germany, Spain, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, and many cities in Serbia. Since 2007 he has been visiting assistant professor at the Villa Musica chamber music academy in Germany and since 2010 has been teaching clarinet at the Faculty of Music (FMU) in Belgrade, where he received his PhD in 2012.

Joan Enric Llunna

Spain

Joan Enric Lluna, one of Spain’s leading musicians, combines his work as a clarinettist with orchestral conducting and teaching.
His commitment to Chamber Music has taken him to perform regularly with string quartets such as the Alexander, Tokyo, Brodsky or Jerusalem; to share a trio with Tasmin Little and Martin Roscoe or Lluís Claret and Josep María Colom among others, and collaborate with first class international artists.

His appearances at the City of London Festival, Festival Classique in The Hague, San Francisco Chamber Music series, Berlin’s Konzerthaus or the Liceo de Cámara in Madrid have been of special notice. Joan has premiered and commissioned a number of chamber works by composers like César Cano, J. Torres, I. Zebeljan, P. Barker, D. del Puerto and H.Khoury among others
In 2005 Joan formed Moonwinds, and he directs since 2009 the International Festival “Residències de Música de Cambra” in Godella, Valencia (Spain).

Veljko Klenkovski

Serbia

Veljko Klenkovski was born in Pančevo (Serbia) in 1975. He completed Secondary Music School Kornelije Stankovićin Belgrade and then pursued further music education at the Georges Bizet Conservatoire in Paris. He graduated with the highest honours at the CNR in Paris. Two years later, he completed the post-graduate course at the École Normale de Musiquede Paris and, in 2008, he also earned a Master degree at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. Since 2015, he has a PhD degree from the Faculty of Music in Belgrade, where he also received the Bruno Brun Award as the student with the best GPA at the doctoral level of studies. Klenkovski is the laureate of several national and international competitions. The most significant ones include the first prizes at the ConcoursInternational Leopold Bellanin Paris, International Competition in Picardy, National Competition in Ljubljana, the first special prize in the International Competition in Paris and the third prize in the International Jeunesses Musicales Competition in Belgrade. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Royal Orchestra of Brussels, Philharmonie der Nationenfrom Germany, Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, Harbin Symphony Orchestra, RTS Symphony Orchestra, Niš Symphonic Orchestra, Belgrade string ensemble Dušan Skovran, St. George Strings, etc. He has also performed with many chamber ensembles at home and abroad, including notable guest appearances in Spain, Russia, China, Germany, France, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Slovakia, Czech Republic, the United States and India.

Until 2002, Veljko Klenkovski was the first clarinetist of the Philharmonie der Nationen, Germany, as well as the first clarinetist of the Madlenianum Chamber Opera and the RTS Symphony Orchestra in Belgrade. Since 2002, he has been the solo clarinetist of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and, since 2015, the solo clarinetist of the Opera in Belgrade. Veljko is a founder and member of the Belgrade Philharmonic Wind Quintet and the Belgrade Wind Trio. He has appeared with the Bruno Walter Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Cyprus National Orchestra. Over the years, he has cooperated with many eminent musicians, including Zubin Mehta, Christian Mandeal, Barry Douglas, Muhai Tang, Leopold Hager, Paul Angerer and others. Veljko Klenkovski has also been active as a professor. He has held master classes in France, Serbia, China, Slovenia, Macedonia and, every year since 2009, he holds summer master classes in Tivat, Montenegro. He is a jury member of international competitions in Macedonia, Serbia, China and Montenegro. He is the laureate of the October Prize and the recipient of the award for pedagogical achievements.

He holds the docent position at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. He is also engaged in mentorship in Harbin Symphony Orchestra, China.

Veljko Klenkovski is an artist of “Buffet Crampon” and plays on model “Légende“.

Zsolt Szatmári

Hungary

Zsolt Szatmári began his music education on the violin and clarinet in Sátoraljaújhely, then continued his studies at the Béla Bartók High School of Music in Miskolc, with a specialisation in clarinet.

In 1986, he won first prize and the Art Fund’s special prize at the János Richter National Woodwind Competition in Győr, allowing him to study at the Liszt Academy under Béla Kovács without having to go through the admissions process. In 1988, he received a special prize at Hungarian Radio’s National Woodwind Competition. In 1990, he won first prize and the grand prize at the international competition organized by the International Clarinet Association (ICA) in Quebec, Canada.

As a university student, he received a Yamaha scholarship. He earned a degree with honours in clarinet and art pedagogy in 1991. In that same year, he gained a spot with the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra as first clarinetist. At the same time, he also became a member of the Budapest Wind Ensemble (under the artistic direction of Kálmán Berkes).

Between 1992 and 2000, he served as the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s solo clarinetist. Zoltán Kocsis invited him to join the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra as its solo clarinetist in 2000. In 2002, he was voted the ensemble’s Artist of the Year. He has been teaching at the Liszt Academy since 1993, initially as a teaching assistant, then as an assistant professor, and later as an associate professor.

In 2013, he obtained his doctorate (DLA). He completed his habilitation in 2019 and became a full professor the following year. He took over the leadership of the wind department at the Liszt Academy in 2022. He holds master classes at the most famous universities in the USA, Europe, Israel, Japan and Iceland, and regularly serves as a jury member or the jury chairman at clarinet and chamber competitions both in Hungary and abroad.

As a soloist, he has performed with most of Hungary’s leading symphony orchestras. As a chamber musician, he has performed with the Budapest Wind Ensemble and other chamber groups in various configurations in the USA, Israel, Europe and Japan at international festivals and on concert tours.