The results of the the first Pratté International Harp Competition have been announced. Held May 10–11 in Norrköping, Sweden as part of the Pratté International Festival, first prize was awarded to Iván Bragado Poveda of Spain. Italy’s Claudia Lucia Lamanna took home second, and Juri Saito (Japan) and Janice Hur (South Korea/USA) tied for third. Hur was also awarded a special prize for young, promising talent, and Lamanna won the audience prize. Juliusz Wesolowski of Poland won best interpretation of the harpist–composer piece, and a special recognition was given to Haley Wong (Hong Kong), the youngest contestant, for outstanding playing.
Bragado Poveda shares that it was very friendly festival. “They took very good care of us: they gave us places to stay with host families, and everyone was very warm and personable. [Overall], this was a wonderful experience where we could share a lot of thoughts and moments together during a short time!”
The 16 competitors ages 12–25 were judged by Catherine Michel (France), Birgitte Volan Håvik (Norway), Sandrine Chatron (France), Sophia Steckeler (Germany), and Laura Stephenson (Canada). Delphine Constantin–Reznik, principal harpist with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra and the festival’s founder, was the jury chairperson.
The competition and festival is named after Anton Edvard Pratté (1799–1875), a harpist–composer born in Bohemia with strong ties to Norrköping. Constantin–Reznik shares, “Thanks to my education with such teachers as Catherine Michel and Annie Fontaine, I have always been eager to broaden the repertoire of our instrument, both by working closely with different composers but also by looking for already existing but rarely played or forgotten classical and romantic harp repertoire.” A few years ago, she discovered Pratté alongside her husband Roman Reznik and was excited to learn of his connection with her city. “After an intensive and fascinating search, we found many of his scores and realized that it was excellent music that could be a very nice [addition]to the harp repertoire.”
At the festival’s opening concerts on May 8 and 9, Constantin–Reznik performed Pratté’s concerto with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra and conductor Rumon Gamba. The closing concert included Parish–Alvars’ Concertino for Two Harps and Orchestra, featuring Constantin–Reznik and Michel, who also performed Bochsa’s harp concerto. Over the course of the festival, Michel and other members of the jury performed and led public master classes. Concerts focused primarily on 19th century music written by Pratté and his contemporaries, but also included Nordic and Nordic–inspired music, French Belle Époque repertoire, and music from today.
“Apart from giving the opportunity to harpists from all over the world to discover [Pratté’s] great music, the goal of the festival was to create opportunities for exchanges between several generations of harpists through the international competition and the masterclasses,” says Constantin–Reznik.
For more information, please visit https://www.pratteharpfestival.se/.