Ukrainian guitarist wins 2014 JoAnn Falletta Competition
A classical guitarist from Ukraine captured the top prizes in the sixth biennial JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition. 23-year-old Marko Topchii won the final round performing Saturday evening with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
Topchii was among eight classical guitarists, representing seven nations, who competed throughout the past week in Buffalo. The event was presented produced by WNED ? WBFO Buffalo-Toronto and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. His concerto was Hector Villa-Lobos' Concerto pour Guitare et Petit Orchestre.
Topchii won several prizes including an appearance to perform at Carneigie Hall. He will receive a solo concert at the prestigious series Incontri Musicali, (Musical Encounter) in Milan, Italy in April of 2015. He also receives a $10,000 cash prize, a guitar by Master Luthier J.D Glass, a recording contract with Fleur de Son, and a return engagement with the BPO.
Topchii also won grand approval of the audience, winning the Audience Favorite Award, and the Musicians Award presented by BPO concertmaster Michael Ludwig.
Topchii has won more than 50 awards worldwide in professional international guitar competitions. 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.
The second place winner was Ekachai Jearakul of Thailand who received a $3,000 prize. Chad Ibison of the United States took third place and a $1,500 prize.
Competition artistic directors of the event were Buffalo-based Joanne Castellani and Michael Andriaccio, a well-known international chamber ensemble duo. They were joined by a panel of judges, Dale Kavanagh; Thomas Kirchhoff; Micaela Pittaluga; David Ostenberg; and Ana Vidovic.