Ibrahim Maalouf Claims 1st Prize in 2nd International Trumpet Competition in Pilisvörösvár, HungarySeptember 13, 2002 
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Ibrahim Maalouf and mayor of Pilisvörösvár, Hungary
Ibrahim Maalouf was the 1st prize winner of the 2nd International Trumpet Competition for young trumpeters at Pilisvörösvár, Hungary, May 16-20, 2002. In addition to the Hungarian competition, Maalouf won 1st prize of the Master's Division at the 2002 National Trumpet Competition, March 14-17, 2002, Fairfax, Virginia, USA.

Ibrahim Maalouf was born in Beirut, Lebanon, Dec. 5, 1980, but soon moved to more peaceful Paris, France, where he spent his childhood and received his training as a trumpeter. His first teacher was his father, Nassim Maalouf, a former student of Maurice André, and also the inventor of the quarter-tone trumpet (with a fourth valve) designed for performing Lebanese ethnic music as well as classical music.

At age 17 Ibrahim started his studies with Gérard Boulanger and Guy Touvron at the Paris Regional Conservatory. In 1999 and 2000, he won two national trumpet competitions, and the jury of the Paris Regional Conservatory unanimously awarded him 1st prize in 2000. At age 19 he joined the class of Antoine Curé at the French National Conservatory, Paris. Maalouf was unanimously awarded 1st prize of the European Interpretation Competition in Moulins, France, March 2001. He is currently Lauréat of the French Cziffra Foundation and of FMAJI (Festival of Young Musicians).

Ibrahim also runs his own band performing his own compositions, which reflect his Lebanese influence in a jazz style. "It's a kind of jungle of music where the musical expression is much more important than technique!" says Ibrahim enthusiastically.

The 2nd International Trumpet Competition in Hungary, May 16-20, was hosted by Sándor Hoós, and sponsored by the Hungarian Trumpet Guild and the City of Pilisvörösvar. It took place at the György Cziffra School of Music, and all three rounds were open to the public.

The adjudicators were Reinhold Friedrich, (chair) Hochschule für Musik, Karlsruhe, Germany, Carole Dawn Reinhart, Hochschule für Musik, Vienna, Austria, Jouko Harjanne, Finish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Finland, Frigyes Varasdy, Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, Budapest, Hungary, and István Palotai, Hungarian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, Hungary.

Contestants in the Competition
Twenty-one young musicians from eight countries were accepted for the competition, those being Hungary, Slovenia, Yugoslavia, Russia, Switzerland, France, Poland, and Israel. Seventeen young trumpet players participated in the Hungarian competition.

In the first round, one of the following pieces was to be performed by each contestant. These included: Oskar Böhme's Concerto in f minor, Brandt's Concert Piece No. 2, or Honegger's Intrada. Eight contestants were advanced to the semi-finals and performed Zoltán Kovács's Capriccio Brasiliano, which was specially written for this competition.

Performances of piccolo trumpet works by Hertel, Molter, L. Mozart, and Telemann followed, which easily determined those who would advance. From the semi-final round, only players receiving 20 points out of 25 were placed into the final round of the competition.

Three young players performed in the final round; they were Ibrahim Maalouf from France, and two Hungarians, Zsolt Skultéty and Gábor Richter. All performed, from memory, the Haydn Concerto in Eb, followed by the player's choice of repertoire. Two chose Desenclos' Incantation, Thréne et Dance, while Gábor Richter performed Szokolay's Concerto.

After the compulsory round of the Haydn Concerto, the jury faced a difficult choice. However, the real opportunity for the jury to name the winner was through the contemporary pieces. Ibrahim Maalouf's performance fascinated both the officials and the public.

The final results of the competition:

  • 1st prize: Ibrahim Maalouf, $ 1,300.
  • 2nd Prize: Zsolt Skultéty, $ 800, and an invitation to give a concert at the Marble Hall of the Hungarian Radio and to perform together with the Gyor Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2002.
  • 3rd Prize: Gábor Richter, $ 500 and the HUF 100.000 scholarship of the Liszt Ferenc Music University.
  • A special prize of a Challenger trumpet offered by B&S was given to Kirill Soldatov who was the youngest competitor and was a high-ranking semi-finalist.

"It was a good competition with well-prepared young trumpeters", said Reinhold Friedrich, "the difficulty level of the performed music met the international requirements." "The artistic level could be even higher if more countries would be represented", replied Sándor Hoós, "Come to Pilisvörösvár in 2005!"

On the web, visit http://www.fw.hu/cgyzeneiskola

Source: Sándor Hoós and Vera Hřrven

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