Oboe and Trombone categories at Markneukirchen show outstanding talents

Markneukirchen is the main town of the small musical instrument-making region Musikwinkel, known for four centuries for high quality brass, woodwind and string instruments. Within this small locality, 113 different enterprises are involved in making musical instruments. They rely on traditional methods but sell all over the world. 

Along with the beautiful natural surroundings of the Fichtel mountains, close to the Czech border, this pretty town makes for a perfect backdrop to its annual competition. Alternating between strings and winds, this year saw trombone and oboe on the agenda.

Botond Drahos, 1st prize winner Trombone

Oboe Category

After three selection tests, this year's Markneukirchen International Instrumental Competition for oboe reached its climax with the final on Friday, 10 May 2024. The three finalists, Seongye Ma, Raquel Pérez-Juana Rodríguez, and João Silva, appeared before the international jury one last time and demonstrated their exceptional skills with Richard Strauss' Concerto in D major for oboe and small orchestra. The participants were accompanied by the Vogtland Philharmonic Orchestra Greiz/Reichenbach under the direction of Dorian Keilhack.

Raquel Pérez-Juana Rodriguez, 1st prize winner Oboe

Raquel Pérez-Juana was born in Toledo, Spain, in 1999. She studied at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica in Madrid with Professor Juan Carlos Baguena and for a year at the Barenboim-Said Academy in Seville with Professors José Luis Garcia Vergara and Ramón Ortega Quero. She is currently studying for a Master's degree at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media with Professor Kai Frömbgen. 

Raquel Pérez-Juana Rodríguez is a member of the EUYO, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and JONDE. She also works with the Orquesta sinfónica de Barcelona, the Folkwang Chamber Orchestra Essen, the Hanover Chamber Orchestra and the Budapest Festival Orchestra.
She has taken part in masterclasses with renowned oboists such as Stefan Schilli, Domenico Orlando, Hélenè Devilleneuve, Lucas Macías and Robert Silla, to name but a few. 

In 2021, she made her debut as a soloist with the Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra by Richard Strauss at the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid with the Orchestra of the Real Conservatorio de Música de Madrid.
In the same year, she was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Scholarship for students in Germany. She has been the solo oboist at the Hanover State Opera since 2022. 

João Miguel Moreira da Silva, 2nd prize winner Oboe

João Miguel Moreira da Silva received his first oboe lessons at the age of 9. Thanks to his father and sister, who are both clarinettists, music has always been present in his family. João studied with Oscar Viana and Luis Marques at the Music Conservatory in Lisbon and later completed his Bachelor's degree in Cologne at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in the class of Christian Wetzel. 

After this time in Germany, he moved to Switzerland, where he studied for a year in Lausanne at the Haute École de Musique de Lausanne in the class of Jean-Louis Capezzali.
He is currently a master student in Francois Leleux's class at the Munich University of Music and Theatre. João has won prizes at several competitions in Portugal, Italy and Poland. Some of these competitions have given him the opportunity to perform as a soloist with orchestras such as the Orquestra Gulbenkian, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Orquestra Sinfonieta de Braga, the Chieri Sinfonietta, the Zabrze Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orquestra Clássica da Madeira, the Orquestra Clássica do Sul, the Neues Rheinisches Kammerorchester, the Juilliard Chamber Orchestra and the Sota Hyderabad Ensemble. 

Seongye Ma, 3rd prize winner Oboe

Seongye Ma, born in Seoul in 1998, studied oboe with Christian Wetzel at the Cologne University of Music and Dance from 2017 to 2022. Since October 2022, she has been studying with Kai Frömbgen at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media.
In 2022 she was an academy member of the SWR Symphony Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival. She was also a member of the HR Symphony Orchestra in the 2022/2023 season. Seongye Ma has performed as a guest musician with the WDR Symphony Orchestra, NDR Hanover, HR, the Bielefeld Philharmonic and Ensemble Musik Fabrik. Seongye Ma is a prizewinner of the IDRS Competition in Granada, an internal music academy competition in Cologne and was awarded the audience prize in the Virtual Oboe Competition. 

1st Prize: Raquel Pérez-Juana Rodríguez (24), Hanover

2nd Prize: João Silva (28), Munich

3rd Prize: Seong Ye Ma (25), Hanover

Christian Lampert (Chair), Kai Frömbgen, Jean-Louis Capezzali, Ralph van Daal, Ricardo Lopes, Christian Schmitt, Christian Wetzel, Viola Wilmsen

Vogtland Philharmonie Greiz/Reichenbach / Dorian Keilhack (Conductor)

Trombone Competition

Prize winners Trombone

Three challenging and exciting selection tests paved the way for the three best competitors to reach the final round on Thursday, 9 May 2024 in the Markneukirchen Music Hall. There, Gonçalo Nova, Tim Ouwejan, and Botond Drahos once again presented themselves to the seven-member international jury. With the Concerto No. 2 in A major for trombone and orchestra by Eugen Reiche, they once again demonstrated their masterly skills and delighted the numerous guests. They were accompanied and musically supported by the Vogtland Philharmonic Orchestra Greiz/Reichenbach under the direction of their chief conductor Dorian Keilhack. 

Botond Drahos, 1st prize winner Trombone ©️Jürden Kadach

Botond Drahos was born in 2003 in Kaposvár, Hungary. He started playing the trombone at the age of nine. Botond has already taken part in many competitions, both in Hungary and abroad, where he has achieved great success. As a student at the Hanover University of Music, he received a special prize at the Michel Becquet International Trombone Competition and the Prague Spring International Music Competition in 2023. He also won 1st prize at the international trombone competition ‘Citta di Porcia’, which took place in Pordenone, Italy, in 2023. Since 2022, he has been studying at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media in the trombone class of Professor Jonas Bylund and Tomer Maschkowski.
Botond gained his first orchestral experience with the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra from 2019 to 2021, the Royal Concertgebouworkest Young from 2020 to 2021 and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra since 2019. 

Tim Ouwejan, 2nd prize winner Trombone

Tim Ouwejan, born on 29 April 2000 in Arnhem, Netherlands, is currently principal trombonist with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. In the 2021/2022 season he was academist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Tim has just completed his bachelor's degree with honours at the Amsterdam Conservatory and is currently completing his master's degree there with Jörgen van Rijen, Pierre Volders and Remko de Jager. Tim is co-founder of the Nymphéas trombone quartet, which he founded together with three friends and colleagues from the same conservatory. He has won prizes at several competitions. 

Gonçalo Nova, 3rd prize winner Trombone

Born in Porto, Portugal, Gonçalo Nova began his music studies in trombone at the age of six at the ‘Conservatório de Música do Porto’ with Prof. Joaquim Oliveira, where he later completed his major in music with top marks. Since 2021, he has been studying for a bachelor's degree in trombone with Prof. Fabrice Millischer at the Freiburg University of Music. Besides orchestral work with the Stuttgart State Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic and Freiburg Philharmonic, he has performed as soloist with several European orchestras.

1st Prize: Botond Drahos (20), Hanover

2nd Prize: Tim Ouwejan (24), Amsterdam

3rd Prize: Gonçalo Nova (20), Freiburg

Christian Lampert (Chair), Henning Wiegräbe, Matthias Gromer, Fabrice Millischer, Louise Pollock, Ingemar Roos, Oliver Siefert, Ko-ichiro Yamamoto

Vogtland Philharmonie Greiz/Reichenbach/ Dorian Keilhack (Conductor)


©️WFIMC 2024

Prize winners ©️Jürden Kadach

Raquel Pérez-Juana ©️Jürden Kadach

Prize winners Oboe ©️Jürden Kadach