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Slovak Sinfonietta / Štátny komorný orchester Žilina
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The chamber ensemble of the Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina

Regina MAJTÁNOVÁ, piano
František FIGURA, violin
Pavol ŠIMČÍK, cello

The PIANO TRIO of the ŠKO Žilina was founded in 2005, when it appeared for the first time on the chamber music subscription series of the SSZ.  Since then, they have presented a series of concerts on their home stage, the Fatra House of Arts, as well as in other Slovak venues, such as Zvolen Castle and the Mirbach Palace in Bratislava.  The group regularly performs in spas and in international summer festivals.  As part of the international project "One," they appeared in a February 2008 concert in Amiens, France, where they introduced with great success a work by Slovak composer Ilja Zeljenka.

Regina MAJTÁNOVÁ (b. 1975) studied piano performance with Emília Kalicka at the Žilina Conservatory until 1994, and then at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava with Daniel Buranovský and chamber music with Bohdan Warhal, Marian Lapšanský and Ivan Gajan.  She completed her studies in 1999.  During her studies she competed successfully in various international competitions in Slovakia and abroad, such as the International Piano Competition in Bremen, Germany; the competition "Virtuosi per musica di pianoforte" in Ústí nad Labem, the Chopin Competition in Mariánske Lázne and the International Music Competition Beethoven´s Hradec in Hradec nad Moravicí (CZ). She participated in master classes in Krems (AT), in Piešťany, Prague and Brno (CZ), with some of the world's foremost pianists, including Lazar Berman, Pavel Gilels, Eugen Indjic, Ida Černecká, Marian Lapšanský and Peter Toperczer. She has performed as soloist and in chamber music, and has recorded for Slovak Radio.  She has worked with the Žilina Conservatory Symphony, Slovak Sinfonietta  Žilina, Kysuca Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Toruň (PO) and the Strings of Slovakia chamber orchestra.  In 2000, she took part in the Ost-West Musikfest in Gutenbrunne (AT).  Since 1999 she has taught at the Žilina Conservatory.  On several occasions she has joined Austrian violinist Gernot Winischhoffer in subscription concerts of chamber music in the Fatra House of Arts and the Primatial Palace in Bratislava, as well as in various concerts in Austria. With the excellent young bass player Roman Patkoló, she performed at the 19th Central European Music Festival in 2003.  In SSZ subscription concerts she has performed the Mozart Concerto in D-minor (2003) and the Brahms Concerto in D-minor (2006).

František FIGURA, SSZ first concertmaster, received his basic training from his father.  From the age of twelve he, together with Jindřich Pazdera, became the first special student of the Žilina Conservatory, studying with Bohumil Urban.  He holds significant prizes from many competitions (the Kocianova Competition in Ústí nad Orlicí, Beethoven Competition in Hradec u Opavy and others).  He joined the ŠKO in 1976 as leader of the second violin section, and, from 1983, has been the first concertmaster of the orchestra.  He has appeared with the orchestra as soloist, both at home and on tour in Poland, Spain, the Czech Republic, Japan and Austria, and also at prestigious international festivals.  He has performed as a chamber music and orchestral musician in nearly all European countries, as well as in the USA, Japan, Tunisia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and Israel.  For several years he was first violinist in the Trávniček Quartet, and is currently leader of the group Archi di Slovakia.  He was one of the concertmasters of an international orchestra making a European tour with Vanessa Mae.  In the 2005/6 season he appeared with the Herzliya Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Harvey Bordowitz, performing Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons," and later was concertmaster of the World Philharmonic in Paris.  With Jindřich Pazdera, he recorded Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Violins on the Naxos label, and with conductor Christian Pollack he recorded several interesting works by Joseph Lanner.  He participated as soloist in recordings, by the Archi di Slovakia, of works by Slovak composers.  He rests undeniably at the top of Slovak interpretative art.

Pavol ŠIMČÍK (b. 1958) began playing the cello as a six-year-old.  He graduated from the  Košice Conservatory, studying with Jozef Duda, and from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, studying with Jozef Podhoránský.  He received second prize in the 1976 Competition for Slovak Conservatory Students.  During his studies he devoted himself to chamber music, working with Otakar Šebesta and Bohdan Warchal.  Upon finishing school he worked for a short time in the Jonáš Záborský Theater in Prešov.  From 1987 to 1997 he served as first cellist of the State Philharmonic of Košice, and since 1997 he has been first cellist of the SSZ, with which he has also appeared as a soloist.  He has been a member of many chamber groups, including the SSZ String Quartet and the SSZ Piano Trio, and performs with the Archi di Slovakia.  In these collaborations he has appeared as soloist and chamber musician in most European countries, Brazil, Japan and Canada.  He has participated in many projects with clarinetist Bibiána Bieniková, including on subscription chamber concerts of the SSZ in Žilina and at the Mirbach Palace (2001).  He has often appeared as soloist with the SSZ at home and abroad, most recently in June 2008 on the closing subscription concert of the SSZ's 34th season, as well as on four SSZ concerts in such Japanese cultural centers as Yokohama and Nagoya.

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