Lev Sivkov was the first-prize winner of the 2015 Naumburg Competition that took place in New York at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City on October 13-18, 2015 . First-prize Naumburg winners receive $15,000 for career promotion, two recitals in Alice Tully Hall in New York’s Lincoln Center, a recording with Musical Heritage Records, and opportunities for residencies as well as other recitals and orchestral appearances.
Lev Sivkov was born in 1990 in Novosibirsk, Russia. He began his cello studies at age 5. From 2005–2009 he studied at the Music-Academy Basle, Switzerland with Professor I. Monighetti. Additional studies included with C. Brotbek at the Music Academy in Stuttgart, Germany as well as with Janos Starker at Indiana University’s 2010 Summer Music Festival. He currently studies with Jean-Guihen Queyras at the Music Academy in Freiburg, Germany.
In 2015, Mr. Sivkov was named First Prize Winner of the 12 International String Players Competition held in Gerardmer, France, and of the Julio Cardona String Performers International Competition held in Covilha, Portugal.
Mr. Sivkov plays a Miremont Cello (1880) on loan to him by Landessammlung für Streichinstrumente Baden Württtemberg.
Recently chosen by preeminent pianist, Sir András Schiff, to be one of three artists for whom he is arranging recitials worldwide in his “Building Bridges” program during the 2017-2018 season, János Palojtay was born in 1987 in Budapest. He started to play the piano at the age of five. At thirteen years old, he was admitted to the Special Class for Exceptional Young Talents at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, from which he graduated in 2011. Subsequently he received a scholarship for two years study at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria in the class of Imre Rohmann. In 2014 he completed the prestigious “Konzertexamen” course at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart under Kirill Gerstein.
He was awarded Third Prize at the 17th Paloma O’Shea International Piano Competition in Santander, Spain (2012). In Budapest, he also obtained Second Prize at the International Chopin Competition, received the Gundel Art Prize (2011), and the Bíró Sári Memorial Award (2004). As a soloist he has been invited to such festivals as The Gilmore Rising Stars Series in the U.S.; Collegium Musicum, Pommersfelden, Germany; the Tiszadob Piano Festival, Hungary and The Young People Festival, in South Korea. He has given recitals at the Salle Cortot, Paris, France; the György Ligeti Hall, Graz, Austria; the Piano aux Jacobins, Toulouse, France; and throughout Spain and numerous other European venues.
Palojtay has been a solo artist with orchestras such as the Budapest Philarmonic Society, the Miskolc Symphony Orchestra and the Savaria Symphony Orchestra, collaborating with conductors Gergely Madaras, András Deák, Oliver von Dohnányi, and Christopher Hogwood in prominent venues including the Hungarian State Opera and the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall.
He participated in master classes of Ferenc Rados and Murray Perahia. He caught the attention of such musicians as Sir András Schiff and Dmitrij Bashkirov from whom he received invitations to attend summer academies on full scholarships.