Paul Zientara, Safran Foundation for Music Prizewinner 2019
The 2019 Safran Foundation for Music Prize has been awarded to Paul Zientara following a competition in which six young violists took part.
For this 12th edition, which took place on October 7 at the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris, the six candidates performed a set piece (The sixth movement—Chaconne chromatique—from György Ligeti’s solo viola sonata) and one or two freely chosen pieces. The panel of judges, made up of five renowned violists, was won over by the performance by Paul Zientara, unanimously designated the competition’s winner. In addition to the set piece, Paul performed Suite No. 1 in G Major BWV 1007: extract Sarabande by Johann Sebastian Bach as well as Adagio and Allegro in A Flat Major, Opus 70, by Robert Schumann.
This very young violist, who'll be celebrating his nineteenth birthday in December, began playing the viola aged seven. In 2015, he enrolled at the Paris regional conservatoire in Françoise Gnéri’s class and, in 2017, was admitted to the French national Conservatoire de Paris at the age of 16 in Sabine Toutain’s and Christophe Gaugué’s class. He’s currently in his third year of study as part of his Bachelor’s degree.
In 2018, he won first prize in the stringed instrument competition Concours de Cordes d’Epernay (Epernay string competition) ; he was a 2016 prizewinner in the viola competition Concours des Jeunes Altistes (Young viola players competition); and he was a 2017 prizewinner in the instrumentalist competition Festival Musical d’Automne des Jeunes Interprètes (Fall festival of young musicians). Paul regularly takes part in the Anton Rubinstein Academy in Düsseldorf, Germany, with lessons from Tatjana Masurenko, and, this year, he is taking part in the Liechtenstein International Academy of Music, with Adrien Boisseau, for which he received a scholarship.
Furthermore, Paul is passionate about chamber music and regularly performs in various associations. He has benefited from teaching and tips, notably from François Salque (a renowned cellist, a former member of the Ysaÿe Quartet, and a teacher at the Conservatoire de Paris and the Haute École de Musique de Lausanne), from Michael Hentz (a violin and chamber music teacher, and a sought-after educationalist), and from the Ebène Quartet.
More about the Safran Foundation for music
Created in 2004, the Safran Corporate Foundation for Music aims to support young talents at the beginning of their musical careers. Each year, the Safran Foundation for Music Prize distinguishes a young artist with especially promising talent, chosen by a judging panel of professionals. It is a twofold award that reflects the foundation’s vocation in professional support: a financial grant of 5,000 euros and the participation in a concert as soloist in the music season of the Musée de l'Armée.
This year, the concert will be taking place on February 6, 2020, in the cathedral of Saint-Louis des Invalides. Paul Zientara will be accompanied with his sponsor, Adrien La Marca.
Listen to three pieces played by Paul Zientara at the 2019 Safran Foundation for Music Prize
Schuman - Adagio et allegro
Bach - Sarabande
Ligeti - Chaconne