As the current situation in Ukraine made it impossible for the Horowitz Competition to take place in Kyiv, the World Federation of International Music Competitions offered its support and assistance for its 2023 edition, being held in Geneva from 13-21 April. As part of its ongoing commitment to supporting emerging musical talent around the world, EBU Music is proud to sponsor the Audience Prize, to be given after the Final round. It will be conducted by Ukrainian artist Kirill Karabits, Chief Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, who also assumes the role of Chair of the Jury. As the first in-person round was about to take place, he answered our 3 questions.
This year, the competition is being held in Geneva, hosted by the WFIMC, which embodies quite a symbol of international solidarity. In your view, in what way is this edition special for the 29 young selected participants? And on your side, how do you engage with young musicians?
I’m sure that this special competition will remain in history as a symbol of support and solidarity between Ukraine and Switzerland. Competitions are made to discover talent in the first place, and as there will be a lot of attention on this particular competition, it will surely serve the young participants and their future professional careers. I personally find that working with young musicians is all about sharing - sharing your experiences - and passing them to the young and future generations, which should be essential to every human being.
As a Ukrainian musician, what does Vladimir Horowitz represent for you? What impact did he have on your musical journey?
I’m very proud that Vladimir Horowitz was born in Kyiv. But thinking about his role in music, I believe that he became a man of the world, really. As a young musician I learned from him that as a pianist one can, and probably should, make music happen using exclusively their fingers and without drawing too much attention to the performer. The performer, in his case, is a sort of instrument that connects the audiences with the music itself. Of course, Vladimir Horowitz was serving the music in the first place.
To chair the Jury and conduct the Final round of the competition isn't common. How do you see this double role?
I have participated in a number of competitions as a conductor over the years but it will be my first experience of being also a chair of the jury. Hopefully this “double role” will help me to get to know the finalists better and help them to open up and conquer the new heights in the Final round.
The Horowitz Competition Kyiv-Geneva’s Final round will take place on 21 April 2023 at Geneva’s Victoria Hall, featuring the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande under the baton of Kirill Karabits. Offered by RTS Switzerland, it is available to all EBU radio organizations in MUS under SM/2023/02/20/01. Another concert featuring Kirill Karabits is available under SM/2022/11/25/01, offered by the BBC. He conducts the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and French horn player Anna Korsun in a recording from 11 January 2023.