The showcase is part of the Leoš Janáček International Music Festival and focuses on performances by the youngest generation of classical musicians. The performances are held at Janáček Conservatory in Ostrava and a special concert is organised for the public. .
The showcase presents short performances by young classical musicians (ages 15 to 30) who perform before a group of Czech and international experts. The participating young musicians are selected by an expert jury from among young performers who have already won awards at competitions. The participants are not bound by any requirements in their choice of repertoire to perform, but it is recommended that they choose compositions that highlight their talent. The preliminary selection of artists has been completed. The expert committee, made up of Lenka Dohnalová, Dušan Foltýn, Helena Havlíková, Václav Hudeček, Jan Jiraský, Helena Kaupová, Vítězslav Kuzník, and Jindřich Petráš, met in early March.
‘The current young generation of artists in the field of classical music interpretation have been enjoying a remarkable number of international successes, but they do not have adequate systemic support for career progression, especially after graduating from school’, notes Lenka Dohnalová, who initiated this project. A showcase is a format that in a focused way can bring young artists to the attention of experts – representatives of agencies, festivals, orchestras, and the media. This approach has so far been applied more in the field of popular music (e.g. the showcase that is part of the Colours of Ostrava festival). In 2015, when the Young Czech Performers Showcase was held for the first time, the organisers took advantage of the fact that a meeting of representatives of European festivals (the Association of European Festivals) was taking place in Ostrava as part of the Janáček May International Music Festival. An added benefit for the performers was the opportunity on this occasion to meet with experts, as an integral part of any career is not just one’s performance as an artist but the ability to present oneself.
The project also includes a workshop on the interpretation of the music of Leoš Janáček. The part of the workshop devoted to voice work is led by Helena Kaupová (HAMU) and the part dedicated to instrumental work is led by Jan Jiraský (JAMU).
An accompanying programme is organised for experts to introduce them to the unique cultural qualities of the Ostrava region.
The showcase’s main organiser is the Arts and Theatre Institute and the event is co-organised by the Leoš Janáček International Music Festival and Janáček Conservatory in Ostrava. The event is held under the auspices of the Czech Music Council, a non-governmental professional organisation. The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.