Some of the future stars of the European brass world displayed their talents in full at the recent Gran Prmio Povoletto Competition in Italy.
The competition which is based in Povoletto in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in the north east of the country, has become one of the most prestigious titles to be won by young instrumentalists up the age of 18, with a second event for those under the age of 21.
This year it was the turn of low brass — euphonium, trombone and tuba, with the six finalists in each category performing for the international panel of judges after coming through a long process of video performances. It is open to instrumentalists form public and private music schools, conservatoires and recognised international courses.
In the up to 18 category, it was the superb Ukrainian trombonist Fedir Sheiko who was the clear winner, showcasing a wonderful rich tone, perfect intonation and a natural lyrical melodic line.
In the under 21 category, the judges later admitted that they were simply startled by the performance 16 year old Italian trombonist Francesco Maffei.
Despite his young age he has already won several international awards and scholarships and is currently the first trombone of the Young Concertgebouw Orchestra and studies in Bergamo.
World at his feet
Speaking to 4BR, Steven Mead who was one of the adjudicators alongside Dusan Kranjc, Paul Halwax, Rocco Rescigno and Giacomo Marcocig, said: "He really does have the musical world at his feet.
He reminded me of Peter Moore — he was that good, and perhaps the best 16 year old trombonist I have ever heard in competition. All the judges agreed — his is a name to watch out for in the future."