Girolamo Fantini Competition in Rome
The Girolamo Fantini International Trumpet Competition, organized by AIMART and Giuliano Sommerhalder, took place in the halls of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music and the Conservatory of the National Academy of St. Cecilia in Rome from April 23 -30, 2017.
Sponsors included the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNP Paribas Group), two amateur musicians from Switzerland and Italy, the Schagerl and Yamaha instrument companies, and the eight-member Ensamble de Trompetas "Simón Bolívar" (with Eric Aubier and Thomas Gansch as soloists) from Caracas who donated a full-length opening concert that earned them a standing ovation and several encores.
The competition was unique in that, rather than eliminate competitors with each subsequent round, the ratings attained in each round of the actual competition were added up (the ratings for the final round with orchestra counting double), and the prizes were awarded on the ground of the overall scores calculated in this way. The other innovation was that in the second round, apart from the commissioned piece Sola Beatitudo by Cristian Carrara, the competitors could perform any music of their choice that "showed them at their best," including jazz or a set of orchestral excerpts selected from ten works by the jury.
Carole Dawn Reinhart (U.S.A.), Eric Aubier (France), Vincenzo Camaglia (Italy), Frits Damrow (Netherlands), Thomas Gansch (Austria), Giuseppe Pelura (Italy) and Max Sommerhalder (Switzerland/Germany) officiated as jury.
Of the 76 applicants from Europe and from Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Cuba, India, Israel, Japan, South Korea, the U.S.A., and Venezuela, 47 candidates were admitted to the actual competition. The set piece in the first round was Stanley Friedman's Solus. The participants could select an additional piece from Henri Tomasi's Triptyque, Raymond Gallois-Montbrun's Sarabande et Finale, Eugène Bozza's Cornettina, Joseph Jongen's Concertino or Vladimir Peskin's Concert Allegro in B-flat minor. Tomasi and Peskin were the favorite choices.
The finalists, accompanied by the AIMART Chamber Orchestra under Luca Bagagli, were Marco António Carneiro da Silva (Portugal), Samuele Del Monte (Italy), Ramón Figueras Alsius (Spain), Dimitris Gkogkas (Greece), Román Granda (Cuba/Venezuela), Maximilian Morel (France), Huw Morgan (United Kingdom) and Floris Onstwedder (Netherlands). They performed Johann Georg Neruda's Concerto a Corno primo with strings and basso continuo from memory, using instruments ranging from piccolo horn and flugelhorn to trumpets in Bb and Eb.
Five players made it to the second part of the finals, where four of them played the André Jolivet's Concertino for trumpet, piano and strings, whereas Morgan chose Charles Chaynes' Concerto No. 1, scored for the same instruments plus percussion, again with the AIMART orchestra.
The first prize, endowed with 8,000 EUR and a trophy, went to Huw Morgan (United Kingdom) whose chosen piece in the second round had been Liza Lim's Wild-Winged One for unaccompanied trumpet with wacky whistle. Floris Onstwedder from the Netherlands presented himself with two selections from Astor Piazzolla's Histoire du Tango and was awarded the second prize of EUR 5,000. Dimitris Gkogkas (Greece) had performed Johann Friedrich Fasch's Concerto on a baroque trumpet and won the EUR 3,000 third prize. Honorary mentions were awarded to the remaining finalists, Román Granda (Cuba/Venezuela) who can select an instrument from the Schagerl production, and Ramón Figueras (Spain), winner of a Yamaha trumpet of his choice. Samuele Del Monte (Italy) was awarded a Special Prize, a scholarship to study at AIMART for a year. Their choices in the second round had been orchestral excerpts (Granda), an improvisation for trumpet and electronic pedals (Figueras) and the entire Concerto No.1 in C minor by Vladimir Peskin (Del Monte). The artistic level of the competition was unanimously described as very high.
The competition ended with a final concert given by the by the laureates and the AIMART Chamber Orchestra at the Santa Cecilia hall.
Fantini Competition prize winners
Source: Max Sommerhalder (Switzerland/Germany)