Prof. Daniel Gauthier
After studying at both Conservatoire de Musique de Montreal (Canada) and Bordeaux
(France) Daniel Gauthier completed his studies at the Université de Montréal where he
earned a doctoral degree.
At the age of twenty-four Gauthier became the first saxophonist to win the Grand Prize
in the International Stepping Stone of the Canadian Music Copmpetition. In addition,
he was a laureat at the Ancona International Music Competition in Italy.
Gauthier has performed in Canada’s major cities as well as in Washington (D.C.),
Newport, Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka, Buenos Aires, Paris, Munich , Berlin, Verona, Athen,
Ljubljana, Istanbul, Amsterdam, Moscow, St Petersburg, Salzburg etc.
Gauthier is active in the fields of traditional and contemporary music. He has
premiered a number of compositions and collaborated with many composers.
He presented master classes in almost all european music capitals and also served as a
jury member on all most important international saxophone competitions in the world.
In 1997 he was appointed to a professorship at the Detmold Faculty of Music
(Germany). In 2003 he changed to the Cologne Faculty of Music.
In 2000 and 2006 Gauthier was elected member of the International Saxophone
As soloist he played with the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, the Staatskapelle Weimar,
the Radio Orchestra Stuttgart, the Lubljana Radio Orchestra, l’ Orchestre
Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, the Orchestre Symphonique de Lava, the Jena
Philharmony Orchestra, the Aachen Symphony Orchestra, the Sinfonietta Cologne, the
Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivières, the WDR Rundfunk Orchestra Cologne, the
Südwestfalen Landes Orchester, the Capella Istropolitana, the Folkwang Chamber
Orchestra Essen, the Würtembergisches Chamber Orchestra and many others.
He received three times the famous german CD Award “Echo klassik”, with the Alliage
Quintet in 2005 and 2014 and as soloist in 2006.
“…simply the best clarinetist in the world!”-
Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Moscow, Russia
With a unique, branded sound, a virtuosic technical ease and a musical imagination that has captivated critics and audiences alike around the world, Julian Milkis carries the rare honor of being the only student of the clarinet legend Benny Goodman, as well as the title of the “King of Crossover”. Mr. Milkis’ unique interpretations and artistry have earned him an international stature of a dazzling soloist, chamber musician, recitalist and jazz clarinetist, with performances at principal venues of virtually every continent, including the Far East, Europe and the Americas.
His orchestral appearances with the Toronto Symphony, CBC Vancouver Orchestra, State Symphony Orchestra of Russia, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, L’Orchestre Nationale de Lyon, L’Orchestre Colonne, L’Orchestre Symphonique Francaise, KBS Symphony of Seoul, Korea are only some of the symphony orchestras that featured Julian Milkis as their soloist on some of the world’s most prominent stages in New York’s Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Salle Pleyel, Salle Gaveau in Paris, Great Halls of the Moscow Conservatory, and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic of Russia, Roy Thomson Hall and Weston Recital Hall in Toronto, National Concert Hall in Taipei, and others.
Aside from being an established solo artist, Julian Milkis is a sought-after chamber musician, having collaborated with some of today’s leading artists including Yuri Bashmet, Misha Maisky, the Borodin String Quartet and the St. Lawrence String Quartet, to name a few. A multifaceted musician, Mr. Milkis is one of the leading voices for his instrument in the field of Jazz. His treasured collaboration with the jazz pianist Dick Hyman - Benny Goodman’s old bandmate, who has transcribed a number of King of Swing's classics for Julian, and recently dedicated Ragtime Concerto for him – provides a rare and genuine insight into the golden era of Jazz.
With an extensive amount of music written for him, including a number of concertos, Julian Milkis has had the honor of working with iconic music personalities, such as Giya Kancheli and Olivier Messiaen. Mr. Milkis has recorded for Warner Classics’ Lontano, the French Suoni e Colori, Sony’s Russian division CEAUX, and Russian Melodiya and Russian Season.
Prof. Reiner Wehle
Reiner Wehle, born in 1954 in Kiel, Germany, studied the clarinet with Hans Deinzer in Hannover and Guy Deplus in Paris.
In the course of his career, he has been awarded numerous international prizes, for example at competitions in Prague, Colmar, Martigny, Toulon and at the ARD Competition in Munich. In 1979 he was winner of the First Prize at the “Deutscher Musikwettbewerb” in Bonn.
Reiner Wehle has held engagements in various prestigious orchestras including the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra (with Sergio Celibidache) and the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra at Hannover. He is a member of the “Lucerne Festival Orchestra”, playing under the direction of Claudio Abbado.
As a soloist, he has performed with many orchestras in a host of different countries (e.g. the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, the Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin, the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Hannover, and the Tivoli Orchestra of Copenhagen, amongst others).
He is an active chamber musician and has played worldwide with the Trio di Clarone, the Bläserensemble Sabine Meyer, the Ensemble Kontraste and the Trio Integral.
Reiner Wehle has made several CD recordings on the EMI Classics, Thorofon, ambitus and Novalis labels. He has twice received the highly acclaimed “Echo Prize” for the CD of the year (1999 and 2000).
Since 1992, he has held a professorship at the “Musikhochschule Lübeck” together with his wife, Sabine Meyer. As well as giving a large number of masterclasses in different countries (e.g. in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, China, Bulgaria and Israel), he has been a jury member at numerous highly- ranked music competitions.
Dejan Prešiček graduated from the Music Academy in Frankfurt and continued his studies at Jean-
Marie Londeix's master class in Bordeaux where he won the gold medal and the prize of the city of
Bordeaux for saxophone and for chamber music.
Besides being a member of the Slavko Osterc Trio and the Ensemble 4Saxess, he also performed
at several festivals as a soloist or a member of chamber groups (Festival Ljubljana, Ludwigsburger
Schlossfestspiele, Musica Strasbourg, Ars Nova Mainz, Nova Antiqua Köln, Musika Viva München,
Warsaw Autumn, etc.) and in concert halls in Europe (London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Lisbon,
Belgrade, etc.), Canada, the USA, Brazil and Thailand.
As a solo artist he performed with the Slovenian Philharmonic, the Symphonic Orchestra of the
RTV Slovenia, the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, the Celje String Orchestra, the Slavko Osterc
Group and with the Soloists of the Belgrade Philharmonic.
He recorded for several radio and TV channels, such as the BBC London, Bayerischer Rundfunk,
Deutschlandradio, SWR Stuttgart, SWR Baden Baden, Radio Lisboa, Polish Radio, RTV Slovenia,
From 2001 he is the co-founder of the Slavko Osterc Ensemble. 2010 he was elected as president
of the Slovenian Saxophone association “GD Saksofonija”.
Dejan Prešiček is the director and teacher for saxophone and chamber music at the Conservatory
for music and ballet Ljubljana. Since 2009 he is honorary professor for saxophone at the University
for music in Ljubljana.
Jean-Francois Bescond (clarinet) received the French National Music Studies Diploma (D.E.M.) after studying with acclaimed teachers Guy Dangain (Orchestre National de France / Paris National Conservatory of Music - CNSMDP), Jacques Niopel (Amiens Regional Conservatory - CRR) and Michel Gamblin, the last student of Louis Cahuzac.
In addition to his many performances as soloist as well as with chamber music ensembles, Jean-Francois Bescond is the principal clarinet of the ORCHESTRE PHILHARMONIQUE DE L'OISE and member of the orchestra wind quintet, KALAIS. He is also a member of the clarinet quintet OCTAVE V CLARINET’ CAPRICCIO which has toured in Europe, in Latin America and in the United States. He created in 2014 the TAJ TRIO with pianist Tatsiana Dahan from Belorussia and cellist Axel Salmona, a former student of the Lyon National Conservatory of Music and teacher at the Regional Music Conservatory of Normandy in Rouen. They will be touring in the USA in October 2016.
Resident of Washington, D.C. during 3 years he appeared frequently on the east coast as soloist and collaborative artist in concerts. He was also a featured artist in several festivals and events throughout Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay) and Europe (Italy, Poland, Russia, Slovakia and Spain).
Currently Mr. Bescond makes his home in Paris where he is International Market Development Manager/B&O for the international music accessories manufacturer, D’Addario & Co., Inc.
Numerous halls of national and international level have hosted his performances,
thousands of people and the most demanding masters have been delighted by his
Juliа commands a wide repertoire, including the most significant works written for
saxophone of all musical periods, as well as having premiered works specially written for
him. Some highlights are the two Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra, composed by
Joan Albert Amargуs and Antoni Olaf Sabater.
Albert Juliа began his musical studies at the Conservatorio Superior de Mъsica del Liceo,
in Barcelona, where he earned his saxophone degree. He further expanded his artistic and
academic preparation moving to Paris, where he studied under Jean-Yves Fourmeau at
the Conservatoire National de Region de Cergy Pontoise, obtaining gold medals “A
l'unanimitй” in both chamber music and saxophone.
Afterwards, he studied at the Indiana University (EEUU) with professor Eugene Rousseau,
where he completed the Artist Diploma (a Post-graduate level program, aimed for
virtuosos of any instrument, for which 5 to 10 applicants are selected among a population
of 2000 musicians).
His extensive pedagogical experience has led him to give master classes and
demonstrations in important musical institutions in different continents.
He is nowadays professor and chief of the Wind Department at the Conservatorio Superior
de Mъsica del Liceo, as well as professor at the Escola Superior de Mъsica de Cataluсa.
Albert Juliа has performed as a soloist with the Indiana University Wind Ensemble, the
Banda Municipal de Barcelona, Banda de la Marina Portugesa, Banda Sinfуnica del
Estado de Veracruz, Orquesta de Cambra de Granollers, Orquesta Nacional d'Andorra,
Orquesta de l'Empodrа, Orquesta Terrassa 48, Orquesta de Musica Popular de la UV,
Banda Municipal de Bilbao, Banda Metropolitana de Lisboa, Banda Sinfonica Municipal de
Madrid, Orquesta Sinfonica de Xalapa and Orquesta de la Guardia Republicana
Portugesa, among others.
Albert Juliа is a Yamaha Music artist.
Sergey Smbatyan, Chairman
Young Armenian conductor Sergey Smbatyan is the founder, artistic director and principal
conductor of the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia.For his achievements in culture the
conductor was awarded with the Title “Honored Artist of the Republic of Armenia” by the
RA president Serzh Sargsyan in 2016.
Highlights of his career include performances with the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony
Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra in Moscow, the DSO Berlin, Dresden
Philharmonic, the Warsaw Philharmonic at the 19th Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival in
Warsaw, the Korean Chamber Orchestra with the world renowned actor John Malkovich at
the Seoul Arts Center. The collaboration with the Korean Chamber Orchestra continued later
in Moscow with soloist Pinchas Zukerman, in Boston and at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Recent highlights also included his London debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra as well as
his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra and the “LSO Discovery” concert. He
conducted the joint gala concert with the renowned artist Maxim Vengerov at the Windsor
Castle for HRH Prince Charles “Princes Trust” event. After the great success the concert was
repeated at Buckingham Palace in 2011 where he conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra
His most recent important project has been the creation of 24/04 World Orchestra to
commemorate the Armenian Genocide. Currently, Sergey Smbatyan is the principal
conductor and music director of the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia (SYOA), an orchestra
which has been granted the status of the “State Orchestra” for its high professionalism and
input in expansion of contemporary music. He founded the orchestra when he was only 18
Under his leadership, SYOA received invitations to internationallyrenowned festivals and
major venues. In 2015 it represented Armenia at MIDEM in Cannes, where Armenia was
recognized as Country of Honor.
As a conductor Sergey Smbatyan was greatly influenced by the late Sir Colin Davis, Riccardo
Muti as well as Valery Gergiev.
A champion of Armenian contemporary music, he is the co-founder of the Armenian
Composers’ Arts Festival (ACAF) and the founder and the artistic director of the
Khachaturian Festival. He also seeks active participation in charity projects, conducting at
nursing homes, orphanages and universities throughout Armenia. In 2009 he founded the
unique UNICEF Children Orchestra which gave numerous performances in Armenia and in
In 2015 Sergey Smbatyan received the Order of Arts and Letters of France granted by the
Minister of Culture and Communication of France.
Mr. Sigmund Mifsud is going to be present and judge only the final of the competition.
We believe this will give us even more objective judging.
Sigmund Mifsud is an executive chairman of the Malta philharmonic orchestra,
Trumpeter, Musical Director, Arranger and Concert Producer from Malta.
Education and early years
Sigmund Mifsud began his musical education playing the trumpet with the Sliema Band Club
at age 11. He continued his study of music theory and orchestration with Mro. Anthony Chircop
at the Johann Strauss School of Music in Valletta.
He studied harmony and counterpoint for three years with Maltese composer Mro. Carmelo Pace.
At age 16 he collaborated with Mro. Paul Borg in practical sessions on trumpet playing,
and later continued to work on advanced harmony and orchestration.
He studied conducting under the guidance of Mro Brian Schembri.
Sigmund Mifsud is a full-time member of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.
His career as performer includes performing as a session musician with various orchestras in musical production, television appearances, and solo recitals. Sigmund also performed as a lead trumpeter with the Johann Strauss School of Music Big Band in three editions of the Malta Jazz Festival.
He is the founder of the Sliema Youth Band.
Some selected solo performances with orchestra are: in 2010 the Henri Tomasi Trumpet Concerto in B flat performed with a private orchestra, solo parts for Trumpet from Gershwin’s Concerto in F for Trumpet and Piano as well as the Symphonic Dances from Westside Story during the Malta Arts Festival Opening Concert under the baton of Mro. Wayne Marshall; in 2008 the Trumpet Concerto in E flat major from Haydn’s Series of Baroque Concerts also with a private orchestra; and in 2006 Shostakovich Concerto in C minor for Piano, Trumpet, and String Orchestra during the Centenary Concert under the baton of Mro. Brian Schembri
Musical Director & Arranger
Sigmund’s aim to deliver various music concepts to a diverse audience led him to start experimenting with fusion of classical and pop music, first with the Kenya Fund Raising Concerts, where he amalgamated a string orchestra with a wind band.
In 2004, Sigmund produced the first edition of the National Orchestra goes Pop but it was in the second edition in 2005 where he had been trusted with the role of musical director of the National Orchestra. This proved to be a successful formula and continued in the following two editions of the concert in 2006 and 2007. Arrangements and any adaptations of musical compositions for the national philharmonic orchestra had Sigmund’s signature.
In his career he has prepared arrangements for philharmonic orchestra, big band, combo band and light orchestra and for different styles of music ranging from pop, rock, folk and swing.See Big Band Concert
Sigmund also developed music arrangements and was appointed music consultant for the non-classical scores in the following two performances:
• Joseph Calleja, Dionne Warwick & Riccardo Cocciante - Conductor: Paul Bateman (29/07/2010)
• Joseph Calleja & Michael Bolton- Conductor: Paul Bateman (19/07/2009)
Sigmund’s latest remarkable work was definitely highlighted during the two editions of Rockestra, a concert unique in its concept for Malta, not only the National Philharmonic Orchestra engaged in playing rock music but the audience was standing creating a more of a show atmosphere. Rockestra is organised under the patronage of the President of Malta in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund.
Sigmund’s experience in the music industry has also developed in an entrepreneurial manner. His first concert production was the first edition of the National Orchestra goes Pop in 2004; and the three editions that followed in 2005, 2006 and 2007. He co-produced the Manoel Theatre Swing Concert, Sigmund in a Classical Mood – Trumpet Recital and the 2008 Earth Garden Arts & Music Festival Concert.
In 2010, he was producer for the Hilton Swings Concert and also the Movie Spectacular. Definitely another milestone was achieved in the production of the two editions of Rockestra