Jury

Andrea Amarante,
Artistic Director at Luzerner Sinfonieorchester

With over 15 years of experience in the artistic administration of orchestras in Italy, Austria and Switzerland, Andrea Amarante focused his expertise in the activity of coordination and management of artistic ensembles, and have held positions of increasing importance at major international musical institutions: he has been the Coordinator of musical services at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Artistic Coordinator at Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Festspiele Südtirol, Teatro Lirico Sperimentale in Spoleto. He is currently the artistic coordinator of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra.
He had the opportunity to collaborate with conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Daniele Gatti, Daniel Harding, Anthony Pappano, Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Valerij Gergiev, Gianandrea Noseda, Fabio Luisi, Oleg Caetani, Riccardo Chailly etc. and soloists like Steven Isserlis, Sol Gabetta, Nicola Benedetti, Gil Shaham, Daniil Trifonov, Martha Argerich, Krystian Zimerman, Radu Lupu, Hélène Grimaud etc.
His strong knowledge in chamber music, opera and symphonic repertoire, combined with exceptional management skills, relationship and communication with artists and musicians of all ages and levels, are coupled with meticulous attention to detail and a solid and transparent work ethic.

John Axelrod,
Conductor

With an extraordinarily diverse repertoire, innovative programming and charismatic performance style, John Axelrod is widely recognized as one of today’s leading conductors and he is sought after by orchestras throughout the world. Since 1996, Mr. Axelrod has conducted over 175 orchestras around the world, 33 operas and 60 world premieres. Among his long term relationships, invitations and recordings with European orchestras include Berlin’s RSB, NDR Symphony Hamburg (ElbePhilharmonie), Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchester, hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, Dortmund Symphoniker, Dusseldorf Symphoniker, Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra Sinfonica della RAI Torino, Teatro La Fenice Orchestra in Venice, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Orchestre de Paris, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, RTVE Orquesta Madrid, Orchestra Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, the Shanghai and Suzhou Symphony Orchestras, Camerata Salzburg and the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, and the Novaiya Rossia, National Philharmonic Orchestra and Mariinsky Orchestra in Russia. In Japan, Mr. Axelrod regularly conducts the NHK and Kyoto Symphony Orchestras. In the USA, Mr. Axelrod has performed with the Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra among others. Maestro Axelrod recently debuted to great acclaim with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Axelrod has regularly collaborated with such international artists as Lang Lang, Daniel Hope, Fazil Say, Thomas Hampson, Martin Grubinger, Patricia Kopatchinskaya, Gabriela Montero, Enrico Dindo, Vadim Guzman, David Garrett, Khatia Buniatishvili, Enrico Dindo, Nadja Michael, Jan Lisiecki, Teodora Gheorghiu, Albrecht Mayer, Rinat Shaham, Andreas Blau, José Maria Gallardo del Rey, and Wallis Giunta.

Oleg Caetani,
Conductor

Oleg Caetani, one of the greatest conductors of his generation, moves freely between symphonic and opera repertoire. Caetani has conducted all over the world including: La Scala in Milan, the Mariinsky in Saint Petersburg, the Royal Opera House in London, the Opera House in San Francisco, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Lincoln Center in New York, the Suntory Hall in Japan, the Sydney Opera House, the Accademia of Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Munich Philharmonic, the Mozarteum Orchester in Salzburg, the Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra of Russia, the Yomiuri Orchestra in Tokyo, the Sydney Symphony, and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.  He has worked with the greatest soloists in our day including: Marta Argerich, Sviatoslav Richter, Danil Trifonov, Vadim Repin, Misha Maiisky, Gautier Capucon, Viktoria Mullova, and Emmanuele Pahud.  
Recent and forthcoming engagements include Carmen in Trieste, Cavalleria and Pagliacci at the Massimo Bellini in Catania, The Magic Flute in Tokyo and concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra,  the Sydney Symphony, the Metropolitan Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the laVerdi Orchestra Milan (with which, in 2019, Caetani has celebrated an uninterrupted artistic relationship of 20 years), the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, the Orchestra da Camera di Padova e del Veneto, Symphony Orchestra of India,  Wuerth Philharmonic and others.  

Zvonimir Hacko,
Conductor and Artistic Director at Oregon Music Festival, USA

Croatian/American conductor Zvonimir Hačko became Artistic Director of Oregon Music Festival in 2014 joining a distinguished list of artists now serving on OMF’s Artistic Collegium.  A conductor with a thriving international career, Hačko has held various Music Directorships with orchestras in Europe and the United States. He currently divides his time between projects and guest conducting appearances with ensembles in the USA, Europe, South America and Asia. Born and raised in former Yugoslavia, he came to the United States to complete advanced degrees in conducting at the University of Washington and Indiana University (Bloomington). Since the late 1980’s he has maintained an active international conducting schedule leading such orchestras as Haifa Symphony, Symphony Orchestra of Brazilian National Theater, Tbilisi Symphony, Symphony Orchestra of Serbian Radio-Television, Istanbul Chamber Orchestra, State of Mexico Symphony, Symphony Orchestra of Croatian Radio-Television, Poznan Philharmonic (Poland), Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana (Italy), Sacramento Philharmonic, Los Angeles Baroque Orchestra, and many others. His multicultural background and experience have contributed to his in-depth knowledge of the European classical tradition and a keen interest in contemporary music. 

Ruben Jais,
Conductor Artistic Director at LaVerdi Symphonic Orchestra, Milan

The Italian conductor, Ruben Jais, while studying Medicine at Università Statale, graduated at the Conservatory Giuseppe Verdi of Milano in Choral Music and Chorus Cunduction and Vocal Poliphonic Composition, both degrees with Honour. At the same Conservatorio he also graduated in Composition and studied Orchestra Conducting, continuing his studies then with master-classes abroad.
Ruben Jais is conductor of the Symphonic Chorus Giuseppe Verdi of Milano since it was founded in 1998 until 2007. In this role he worked with such musicians as Romano Gandolfi, Riccardo Chailly, Claudio Abbado, Luciano Berio, Oleg Caetani, Claus Peter Flor, Christopher Hogwood, Vladimir Jurowski and Helmuth Rilling, among others. He is Resident Conductor and Head of the Artistic Department of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. He had several concerts with this Orchestra and conducted many series of concerts like “Storia in Musica”, that wants him and his Orchestra to execute the repertoire from the Reinassance to the Last Romanticism and to explain the meaning of musical pieces during the concert, “Crescendo in Musica”, a series of concerts that is thought for a younger public, and the series of J.S. Bach’s “Cantate Profane” (Secular Cantatas). He also conducted Baroque Operas like H. Purcell’s The Fairy Queenwith the Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Milano Giuseppe Verdi of Milano and the soloists of Yale University.
In 2008 Ruben Jais founded La Verdi Barocca, ensemble devoted to the performance of Baroque and classical repertoire on period instruments; with such ensemble he holds a concerts season at the Auditorium di Milano, seat of the Verdi Foundation, performing from 16th century to early classical period music. Since September 2005, he is Artistic Director of Mailänder Kantorei, a group that is close to the German Community of Milano, with which he performes a German repertoire from its Baroque to its Romanticsm, including the performance of J.S. Bach’s Sacred Cantatas Cycle and Passions. He is also Artistic Director of the Camerata Polifonica RJ, with which he prefers a Baroque and a contemporary repertoire.
Ruben Jais conducts instrumental, choral and symphonic music for several Italian and international institutions such as Biennale di Venezia, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Milano Musica, Teatro alla Scala, RTSI Lugano, Budapest Hungarian Radio, Saint Moritz Festival, Teatro Real de Madrid, Orquesta National de Cile, UiS Stavanger Norway, international organ festivals.

György Lendvai,
Managing Director of MÁV Symphony Orchestra Budapest

MAV Symphony Orchestra was formed in 1945 immediately after World War 2 and has played a major role in Hungary’s music life ever since. It performs frequently abroad and was the only Hungarian ensemble to accompany the legendary “3 Tenors”, for a concert in Tokyo in January 1999. The orchestra has been a regular guest at the Palace of Arts ever since the initial testing phase of the building with its “Master Series” which invites many leading musicians to perform with them. Irwin Hoffmann from America became world famous when he was music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra before Sir Georg Solti took over, and he remained also a resident conductor alongside Solti.

Piero Romano, Artistic Director of the Magna Grecia Orchestra

Piero Romano has been the creator, founder and artistic director of the ICO Magna Grecia Orchestra since 1993. Since 2014 he has been artistic director of the Mysterium Festival (for the events of the Magna Grecia Orchestra). As a pianist he has won various national and international competitions and has performed in various Italian and foreign cities. As conductor he collaborated with Aldo Ciccolini, Stefano Bollani, Raphael Gualazzi, Mischa Maisky, Amii Stewart, Lucio Dalla, Uto Ughi, A. Gavrilov, Mariella Devia, Ray Chen, Milva, Albano, Gino Paoli, Gregory Porter, Vladimir Davidovič Aškenazi, Noa, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Renzo Arbore, Serena Autieri, Tony Hadley, Beppe Fiorello, Andrej Vladimirovič Gavrilov.
He is winner of the Franco Abbiati Award of Italian music critics for the song “Mare Metallico” composed by Maestro G. Tamborrino and conceived and designed by Maestro Piero Romano in 2012, of the “Lido Azzurro” Culture Award in 2007.
The award for the order of chivalry “to the merit of the Italian Republic” publicly certifies the merits acquired for personal merits.

Michael Rosewell,
Director of Opera at the Royal College of Music, London


Michael Rosewell has worked in some of the world’s most prestigious opera houses, including the Vienna State Opera and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Michael began his conducting career in Germany before joining the music staff of the Vienna State Opera where he assisted Claudio Abbado and worked closely with world-renowned singers such as Pavarotti, Carerras, Freni, Gruberova, Tomova-Sintov and Cappuccilli. He went on to take up the position of senior staff conductor in one of Germany’s leading theatres, the Nationaltheater, Mannheim, and since that time has conducted in the opera houses of Wiesbaden, Koblenz, Heidelberg, Kassel, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, English National Opera, Kent Opera and English Touring Opera. His achievements as a conductor have been recognised with an Olivier Award for “Outstanding achievement in Opera” and by the ‘Opera Association of America’. He has appeared in concert with orchestras such as the Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the London Mozart Players, The Orchestra of Scottish Opera and the Aurora Orchestra and at the International Music Festivals in Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Bath, Perth, Buxton, Heidelberg, Zagreb and Montepulciano. Michael recently completed a highly successful tenure as Music Director of English Touring Opera, where he played a central role in bringing the company much greater prominence and recognition. Recent performances have ranged from a Gala Fundraising Concert at Buckingham Palace, in support of Opera Australia with soloists from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, to a production of Die Fledermaus directed by John Copley including special guest appearances of Dame Kiri te Kanawa and Sir Thomas Allen. He appeared as collaborative pianist with Sir Thomas Allen in a performance of Richard Strauss’ melodrama Enoch Arden and conducted a memorial concert at the Royal College of Music, London in honour of Sir David Willcocks, with the combined resources of the Kings College choir, Cambridge, and the RCM Chorus and Symphony orchestra. Michael is currently Director of Opera at the Royal College of Music, London, where he has gained an unparalleled reputation for nurturing, developing and show-casing the next generation of top-class singers, musicians and conductors. In recognition of his contribution to music, Michael was made an ‘Honorary Associate’ by the Royal Academy of Music and a ‘Fellow’ of the Royal College of Music.