Milan Al-Ashhab & Adam Skoumal
Milan Al-Ashhab, violin.
The Czech violin virtuoso Milan Al-Ashhab is dazzling audiences with his musical sensitivity and technical virtuosity. Milan performed a critically acclaimed sold-out concert recital in Prague’s Rudolfinum – Dvorak Hall during the renowned 74th Prague Spring International Music Festival (Czech Republic) in May 2019. Furthermore, 2019 has seen Milan made his debut in the concert program of the Berliner Philharmoniker in the Chamber Music Hall with acclaimed Czech pianist and composer Adam Skoumal, performing works of Nathan Milstein, Claude Debussy, Franz Schubert, Maurice Ravel, Adam Skoumal, Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst, Ernest Bloch and Franz Waxman.
Milan has appeared with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra performing the Shostakovich violin concerto with Czech conductor Jiri Belohlavek. In June 2019, he appeared with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Maestro Yuri Simonov, performing Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35, and Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major, K. 218.
Asked by Maestro Daniel Barenboim to join the projects of the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra since the summer of 2019.
In September 2019, Milan Al-Ashhab made his debut in China, performing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in the ancient city of Nanjing at the acclaimed Forest Festival with Jiangsu Symphony Orchestra. During September 2019, he also made a 7-day solo recital tour of the U.K.
Last season, Milan Al-Ashhab dazzled the Viennese music public with his performance of the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor in Vienna at the renowned Musikverein concert hall with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. September 2018 saw Milan begin awarded the First Prize at Vienna’s prestigious Fritz Kreisler International Violin Competition in Austria. Along with a monetary prize, as stated on the competitions website, the competition first prize winner, will receive an invitation for a guest solo performance with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra – plus a number of other important concert engagements and CD recording opportunity. Milan Al-Ashhab is also prize-winner of the XVI Tchaikovsky Violin Competition, held in Moscow in 2019.
Milan Al-Ashhab made his New York-American concert debut in August 2018 in the Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Music Center. Previously, in May 2018 in New York, Milan Al-Ashhab was unanimously awarded First Prize at the New York Concert Artists competition.
Milan has performed recitals and concertos with orchestra’s both in the Czech Republic and abroad, he has appeared with the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava, the Hofer Symphoniker, the Europera Jugend Orchestra, the L'Armonia Terrena, and others.
Milan’s repertoire ranges from Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Opus 77, and Violin Concerto No. 2 in C-sharp minor, Opus 129. Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, opus 19, and Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63. Bartok Violin Concerto No. 2, BB 117. Miklos Rozsa Violin Concerto, Op. 24. Violin concertos of Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Brahms, Bruch, Mendelssohn, Lalo, Josef Suk Fantasy in G minor, Op. 24, and all Mozart’s Violin Concertos.
Milan Al-Ashhab has worked with renowned violinists as Shlomo Mintz, Ida Haendel and Pinchas Zukerman. Has also garnered first prize victories at a number of prestigious Central European violin competitions. He was awarded First Prize in the Czech Republic’s prestigious Kocian International Violin Competition in 2006. And in 2007 was awarded the First Prize at the Georg Philipp Telemann Competition in Poland. In 2017 he won First Prize at the Czech Conservatories Nationwide Violin Competition in Prague. Milan is a graduate of the Most Music School (Czech Republic), Teplice Conservatory having studied with Květoslava Hasilová, and from the Prague Academy of Music, where he studied with the Czech Republic’s leading violin teachers, Ivan Štraus. He undertook post-graduate studies in Vienna at the Universität für Musik und darstellende kunst (University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna) with Peter Schuhmayer.
Milan Al-Ashhab performs on a Nicolo Amati (Cremona 1662) on loan from the Maggini Stiftung in Langenthal, Switzerland
Adam Skoumal, piano.
Adam Skoumal is known to the audiences in Europe, USA, and Japan as one of the foremost Czech pianists and composers. He has appeared as soloist with leading Czech and Slovak orchestras (e.g., under the baton of Petr Altrichter, Serge Baudo, Lukasz Borowitz, Jiří Kout, Leoš Svárovský, Jakub Hrůša, Stanislav Vavřínek, Petr Vronský, Andreas Sebastian Weiser) and anumber of European orchestras, such as the Bamberger Symphoniker led by Jonathan Nott. In past years, he has performed at the concert series organized by the Czech Philharmonic, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Prague Chamber Philharmonia, Pilsen Philharmonia, Carlsbad Symphony Orchestra and at festivals such as Prague Spring, Prague Autumn, Janacek May Ostrava, Lípa Musica, Concentus Moraviae and Moravian Autumn. He regularly travels abroad with the Czech National Theatre Orchestra.
The first public recognition of Adam Skoumal as a composer occurred in the Prague Spring Competition 1998, when his playing of his own composition won a special prize for the best performance of a Czech contemporary piece. In 2006, he premiered his First Piano Concerto with the Prague Philharmonia and he also played his Second Piano Concerto with the Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra of South Bohemia in the same year. In the spring 2008, Shlomo Mintz premiered Skoumal's composition for violin and piano called "Djinnia" in Dubrovnik. Since then, Mr.Mintz has played the piece several times on his tour through South America and also in Rome and Milano in Italy. The orchestral version of Djinnia was performed in 2013 by Jiří Bělohlávek with Prague Philharmonia and broadcasted live on Czech TV. Another violin composition, "Variations on a Gypsy Melody", was chosen to be an obligatory piece in the International Violin Competition in Sion, Switzerland in 2009, as well as the First International Violin Competition in Buenos Aires, Argentina 2010.
Adam Skoumal studied at the Prague Conservatoire and the Academy of Performing Arts (under Jan Panenka and Peter Toperczer) and then continued abroad at prestigious universities in the USA. He won scholarships first at the SMU School of Arts in Dallas, Texas and two years later at the Manhattan School of Music, New York, where he was a protege of Ruth Laredo. During his studies he participated in several international master-classes given by such pianists as Lazar Berman, Philippe Entremont, András Schiff, Eugen Indjic and Marián Lapšanský.
Adam Skoumal won 1st prize in the Czech Conservatoires Competition, and in 1998 he won 2nd prize in the Prague Spring International Competition. He was also a prize-winner in other international competitions: Portugal (Porto 1999), Italy (Pinerolo 1999), USA (T. Leschetizky Competition) and a finalist in many other competitions, such as the W. Naumburg Competition and East & West Artists Competition in New York. In 2001, he won the main prize at the Young Podium Festival in Carlsbad for his performance of Rachmaninoff's Third Concerto.
Since 2012, he has passed his rich artistic experience on to his students at the Prague Conservatory, where he teaches the piano and chamber music performance.
Beyond performing the traditional classical repertoire and seldom-heard concertos (Dvořák, Novák), Adam Skoumal often includes his own compositions. He has also made several CD, Radio and TV recordings, including concertos by Rachmaninoff.