Botond Drahos wins 33rd Porcia competition

The orchestra final of the 33rd International Competition City of Porcia, just concluded, with Hungarian trombonist Botond Drahos taking home the first prize. The second prize, audience award and youth jury award went to Tim Ouwejan from the Netherlands, and Roberto de la Guia Martinez from Spain was awarded the third prize.

The Porcia competition is considered one of the major brass competitions in Europe, for young musicians under the age of 30. It is a yearly eventtaking place in Porcia to the north east of Venice in northern Italy. The categories rotate between trumpet, tuba, french horn and trombone.

Porcia competition finalists

As is usually the case in internationaly trombone competition, the 3 prize winners had to perform 4 rounds of demanding repertoire, showing the mastery of a variety of musical styles. 47 candidates from all over the world participated in the first round. 11 of them advanced to the semifinal, 4 to the final with piano until only 3 remained in the final with orchestra. Botond Drahos and Roberto de la Guia Martinez chose to perform the trombone concerto by Launy Grøndahl, while Tim Ouwejan chose the trombone concerto by Nino Rota.

Botond Drahos was born in 2003 in Kapusvár, Hungary. Gábor Rozina was his first trombone teacher in his home town. From 2018, he studied at the High School level with Róbert Lugosi, Pál Makovecz and Márk Tóth. Drahos currently studying with Prof. Jonas Bylund in Hanover. He has taken part in youth programs of the Verbier Festival Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and is a member of the prestigious Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. He has won several competitions in his home country, and earlier this year, he received a special mention at the major Prague Spring competition.

Tim Ouwejan is the principal trombonist of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, and has already been a finalist in multiple major trombone competitions.

Roberto de la Guia Martinez recently joined the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra as solo trombonist, after occupying the same position in Wuppertahl for one season. He recently went back to his previous employer to perform the Ferdinand David Concertino as soloist. The Spanish trombonist has also enjoyed previous competition success, most notably winning the Michel Becquet competition earlier this year.

If you are curious about how some of the most talented young trombonists of Europe are playing, the streams of the semi final and the final with piano are available on YouTube. The audio and video quality is unfortunately not the best, but the level of musicianship is unmistakable!

There have been several major competitions in Europe lately, but for young trombonists who are eager to challenge themselves, the next opportunity is right around the corner! Registrations for the trombone category of the 2024 Markenukirchen competion are now open!

Eyvind Sommerfelt

ITA Online News Coordinator