First prize of PLN 80,000 (£16,000) was awarded to Czech cellist Vilém Vlček, along with the prize for the best concerto performance 


Grand prize-winner Vilém Vlček © Piotr Markowski Photography | The Krzysztof Penderecki Academy of Music in Krakow

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The finals of the 4th International Krzysztof Penderecki Cello Competition took place on 3 December in the concert hall of the Krzysztof Penderecki Academy of Music in Krakow, Poland. The four finalists were accompanied by the Sinfonietta Cracovia Orchestra, performing a selected concerto as well as an arrangement of Krzysztof Penderecki’s viola concerto.

First prize of PLN 80,000 (£16,000) was awarded to 25-year-old Vilém Vlček from the Czech Republic, along with the prize for the best concerto performance. Second prize of PLN 40,000 (£8,000) was awarded to 19-year-old Sang Hyeok Park from South Korea, and third prize of PLN 20,000 (£4,000) to 19-year-old Maria Salvatori from Italy. 23-year-old French/Swiss Cyprien Lengagne was awarded both the fourth prize of PLN 10,000 (£2,000), as well as the Elżbieta & Krzysztof Penderecki Special Prize for the best solo performance. The Orlen S.A. Special Prize for the best Polish participant was awarded to 20-year-old Krzysztof Michalski.

A student of the Basel Academy of Music, Vilém Vlček has won first prize in numerous competitions including the Markneukirchen Competition, Liezen Cello Competition, Talents for Europe, Heran Cello Competition, Competition of Czech Conservatories, Jan Vychytil Cello Competition, as well as the Rahn Music Prize and the Jiří Bělohlávek Award. As a soloist, Vlček has performed with the Czech Philharmonic, the Basel Chamber Orchestra, the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and the Prague Symphony Orchestra, among others.

The competition consisted of three rounds, beginning with 45 competitors, and was open to cellists between the ages of 16 and 30. This year’s jury comprised Julius Berger, Anne Gastinel, Liwu Ji, Kangho Lee, Ivan Monighetti, Arto Noras, Csaba Onczay, and Amit Peled. Zdzisław Łapiński served as the head of the jury, and Elżbieta Penderecka as the honorary head of the jury.

The 2023 competition concluded with a prizewinners’ concert at the ICE Kraków Congress Centre on 4 December, performing with the Sinfonietta Cracovia Orchestra conducted by Katarzyna Tomala-Jedynak.

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