Guitarist from Ukraine wins 2014 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competitionby jmaloni
Marko Topchii of Ukraine sweeps prizes in international event organized by WNED ǀ WBFO and the BPO
Following Saturday's final round performance with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Marko Topchii of the Ukraine swept the top prizes in the sixth biennial JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition.
Eight classical guitarists, representing seven nations, competed last week in the competition, presented and produced by WNED ǀ WBFO Buffalo-Toronto and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
Topchii will receive a solo concert at the prestigious series Incontri Musicali, (Musical Encounter) in Milan, Italy, in April 2015 along with a $10,000 cash prize, a Carnegie Hall appearance, national and international broadcast exposure, a guitar by Master Luthier J.D Glass, a recording contract with Fleur de Son, and a return engagement with the BPO. He also won the Audience Favorite Award, and the Musicians Award presented by BPO concertmaster Michael Ludwig.
Topchii is 23 years old and has won more than 50 awards worldwide in professional international guitar competitions. His concerto Saturday was Hector Villa-Lobos' Concerto pour Guitare et Petit Orchestre. As Topchii received his award, the Buffalo Philharmonic brass section performed the national anthem of his embattled home country as the audience gave a standing ovation.
Ekachai Jearakul of Thailand placed second, and received a $3,000 prize. Chad Ibison of the U.S. took third place and a $1,500 prize.
Buffalo-based Joanne Castellani and Michael Andriaccio, a well-known international chamber ensemble duo, are the competition's artistic directors. In addition to Castellani and Andriaccio, Dale Kavanagh, Thomas Kirchhoff, Micaela Pittaluga, David Ostenberg and Ana Vidovic judged the live competitions.
Founded in 2004 and organized by WNED ǀ WBFO and the BPO, the competition is one of the foremost musical events in the world and the first concerto competition for classical guitarists. It is named in honor of the BPO's music director, JoAnn Falletta. For more information about the competition, visit www.fallettacompetition.org.