Ema Krečič wins The Sir Ian Stoutzker Prize 2023

Awards & Successes
Ema Krečič, Gewinnerin The Sir Ian Stoutzker Prize 2023

Six finalists out of a total of 19 participants from the Mozarteum University competed yesterday with an overall artistic concept in the string and wind instrument categories for the coveted The Sir Ian Stoutzker Prize 2023, which is once again endowed with 20,000 euros this year. The prize honours an outstanding student personality who knows how to impress with their musical creativity, poetry and unique charisma. The outstanding winner is 25-year-old cellist Ema Krečič. 

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"Mrs Ema Krečič plays with technical perfection and heart-warming musicality. Not only on the cello, but also as a fine lyrical soprano, she showed her great ability. She moderated her contributions from Slovenian folk songs to modern music with charm," said Gottfried Franz Kasparek, who chaired the jury together with Hans Gansch, Irene Schwalb, Götz Teutsch and Maria Zeugswetter under the chairmanship of Vice-Rector Hannfried Lucke.

The Slovenian cellist Ema Krečič is currently studying for her master's degree with Clemens Hagen. She previously studied with Igor Mitrović in Klagenfurt and completed her Bachelor's degree at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana in 2021 under the direction of Karmen Pečar. Ema Krečič actively participates in national and international competitions and has already won various prizes. She performs as a soloist with professional orchestras and plays with chamber music ensembles such as the Janus Piano Trio, the Köveš Krečič Duo and the Cédez Cello Quartet. During her studies, she had the opportunity to attend masterclasses with renowned professors such as Jens Peter Maintz, Julian Steckel, Philippe Muller, Reinhard Latzko, Giovanni Gnocchi, Marco Testori, Thomas Carroll, Marc Coppey and others. Ema Krečič plays on an Italian cello by Angelo Radrizzani from 1932, which was previously owned by Prof Heinrich Schiff.

Ema Krečič convinced the jury with the following programme:
Slovenian folk song: "Aj, zelena je vsa gora"
S. Rachmaninoff: Vocalise op. 34
F. Schubert: To the music
M. Krecic: Conversations with Franz Peter
A. Previn: Vocalise
M. Krecic: In A Melting Pot

Statement by Ema Krečič: "I'm extremely thankful; I never imagined this. Very honestly, I'm a bit afraid of what I'm going to do with the prize. Until now, I was struggling a bit to cover the expenses of my studies because I come from a large family, and both of my parents are already retired. I feel very relieved now because I would have a chance to apply for postgraduate studies, maybe buy a new bow, or help my sister organize her wedding!" 

Valerie Fritz, a cellist, also received the Audience Award, which is endowed with 1,000 euros. The finalists Valerie Fritz, Bálint Kovács (recorder), Bianca Maria Fiorito (flute), Lorenz Karls (violin) and Wen-Cheng Wei (recorder) also received 1,000 euros each for their presentations.

The highly endowed award is sponsored by British businessman and philanthropist Sir Ian Stoutzker, who founded the Live Music Now organisation together with Yehudi Menuhin in 1977.

The competition was streamed live and can be viewed at moz.ac.at/de/mediathek.