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Announcing the Jury for the 2021 Opus Music Competition (States)

The OPUS Music Competition is proud to announce the jury of the 2021 Opus Music Competition (States). The jury is comprised of internationally renowned musicians with established careers as soloists, professors, and chamber musicians. The jury will select winners in each instrumental & age category for each state in the United States. Winners will be invited to compete at the 2022 OPUS National Music Competition for cash prizes and national titles.

Stanislav Pronin (violin)

Canadian violinist and composer Stanislav Pronin was born in Moscow, Russia. Mr. Pronin studied at Indiana University with Nelli Shkolnikova and Jaime Laredo, as well as composition lessons with Professor Sven-David Sandstrom, and later at the Hochschule für Musik Köln, Germany, with Professor Zakhar Bron. He currently serves as assistant to Professor Zakhar Bron at the Kronberg Festival in Germany. As a soloist and chamber musician, Mr. Pronin has appeared at the Verbier Festival and Interlaken Classics in Switzerland, Banff Festival and Stratford Festival in Canada, Kronberg Festival in Germany, Skanderborg Festival in Denmark, and many others. He has collaborated with numerous conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Slatkin, Antonio Mendez, Sigiswald Kuijken, Andrew Constantine and Joshua Weilerstein. Stanislav’s recordings and performances, including his solo CD debut on Naxos/Sono Luminus labels, have been broadcasted on numerous radio and television channels including WDR Köln, RTS-1 Belgrade, CBC Canada, Radio Klassisk Denmark, Interlochen Public Radio, WFMT Chicago Classical, etc. He has also recorded for Decca and Dacapo labels as soloist and Concertmaster of the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra. Stanislav is a recipient of multiple awards from such organization as the American String Teachers Association, America-Israel Cultural Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts and Classical Artists Development Foundation. He is a laureate of numerous international competitions, including Michael Hill, Wieniawski, and Queen Elizabeth. Mr. Pronin is the former concertmaster of the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra and currently serves as concertmaster of the Berlin Symphony. He regularly appears as guest concertmaster with leading orchestras throughout Europe.

Daniel Hass (cello)

Israeli-Canadian cellist Daniel Hass is the First Prize winner of the 2016 Stulberg International String Competition, the winner of the Canada Council for the Arts 2016 Michael Measures Prize, the winner of The 2019 Juilliard Cello Concerto Competition, and the 2021 Sylva Gelber Music Foundation award winner. Daniel made his solo debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at age 15. He has since performed as a soloist with orchestras across the United States and Canada, at world-class venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, Koerner Hall, Roy Thompson Hall, and the Bing Concert Hall. As recitalist and chamber musician, Daniel has performed in Amsterdam, Lisbon, Tel Aviv, Budapest, Montreal, and across the United States and Canada. In addition to his love for performing, Daniel is also a prolific composer. His ballet piece Runner’s High for drums, cello, violin, and dance ensemble was premiered by the Revolve Dance Project in July of 2021, and his Piano Quartet No.1 will he performed and recorded this coming fall. Daniel is an alum of the Perlman Music Program. He graduated from Juilliard in 2017 as a recipient of the Kovner Fellowship, and in 2021 with a Master’s Degree. There he studied with Timothy Eddy and Joel Krosnick.

Benjamin Smith (piano)

Described as a “thoughtful and immensely exciting performer” with “scintillating technique” (Barrie Examiner) and “intelligently rounded musicianship” (The Irish Times), pianist Benjamin Smith has performed as soloist and chamber musician across Canada and the United States. He has been a laureate of numerous competitions, including the Dublin International Piano Competition, the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition, and the CMC Stepping Stone Competition. Guest appearances include the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, the New Juilliard Ensemble, the Las Vegas Young Artists Orchestra, the Ontario Philharmonic, Orchestra London, the Burlington Symphony, and the University of Toronto’s Hart House Orchestra. Dr. Smith currently resides in Toronto, maintaining a concert schedule and serving on the faculties of both the Glenn Gould School (GGS) and the Taylor Young Artist Academy at the Royal Conservatory. Previously, he held a position on the piano faculty at Western University. His principal teachers included Andrea Battista, James Anagnoson, Julian Martin, and Christina Dahl. Along with a DMA from Stony Brook University, he holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto, an Artist Diploma from the GGS, and a Masters from Juilliard.

Ricardo Cobo (guitar)

Mr. Cobo is a classical guitarist, considered one of the leading guitarists of his generation. He gave his professional debut with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá at age seventeen. Cobo was the first Latin American to win the Guitar Foundation of America’s International Concert Artist Competition (in 1987) according to the foundation’s website, and to date, only one other Latin American-born guitarist has won the prestigious award. Cobo’s touring schedule has taken him from New York’s Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall to Korea’s Ho Ham Hall, Los Angeles’ Ambassador Auditorium, Madrid’s Teatro Real, and Zaragoza’s Palacio Real, to Venezuela’s Teresa Carreño, and his native Colombia’s National Library. At his Phillips Gallery solo debut, The Washington Post called his playing “mesmerizing…fiery…sultry…Cobo crafted note-perfect essences of beauty.” In 2006, after his performance at the Alexandria Guitar Festival, the Post called him “one of the finest guitarists of our time […] Cobo has the smoldering sensuality of Latin music deep in his blood.”Mr. Cobo is currently the professor of guitar at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).

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