Piccolo Competition Winners
Désirée Del Santo
Désirée Del Santo received her Masters Degree in Flute Performance from the Conservatory of Livorno. She has studied with Andrea Oliva at the National Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome and Nicola Mazzanti at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Academy. Désirée has won numerous prizes in international competitions including the Gazzelloni International Competition, among others.
Elizabeth Salerno has performed with various orchestras in the Nordics. She has been awarded prizes in various international competitions including the Kujala Piccolo Competition, Tampere Flute Festival Piccolo Competition, and the National Flute Association. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and a Master’s degree from the Royal Danish Academy of Music.
Francesca Del Ciotto
Francesca Del Ciotto obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from the Luisa D’Annunzio Conservatory in Pescara and her specialization at the CRR Rueil-Malmaison (Paris). She has won numerous prizes in competitions in Italy. In 2018, she did an Erasmus year in Finland studying with Anja Vopio at the Metropolia University.
Piccolo Competition Semifinalists
Samantha Arbogast obtained her Bachelor of Musicology and Flute from the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold with Hans-Jörg Wegner and Martin Glück. She has worked with orchestras in Germany and is currently pursuing her Masters Degree with Peter Verhoyen at the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp.
Carina Herdin completed her Bachelors Degree at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater and Medien in Hanover and is currently pursuing an Artistic Masters Degree in Flute Performance at the University of Music and Theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” in Leipzig with Irmela Boßler and Tünde Molnar. She is a scholarship recipient of the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation.
Julie Rønløv Nielsen
At the young age of 21, Julie Rønløv Nielsen is studying at The Royal Danish Academy of Music with Ulla Miilmann. She has previously studied with Marie Holzegel Otte and has received guidance from other renowned piccoloists such as Peter Verhoyen and Linda Taube.
Celia Pedrós Ordines
Celia Pedrós Ordines received her education from the Conservatorio Superior de Música del Liceo in Barcelona with Christian Farroni, Accademia Nazzionale di Santa Cecilia with Andrea Oliva and ESMUC Barcelona with Vicens Prats. In 2022, she completed her Piccolo Masters at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels with Katlijn Sergeant. Celia currently substitutes with orchestras in Spain and Italy.
Néstor Sutil Vecino
Néstor Sutil Vecino was appointed Solo Piccolo of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra in 2018. He pursued his studies at the School for Music and Performing Arts in Porto with Ana Raquel Lima and Stephanie Wagner and the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln with Robert Winn, Aldo Baerten and Thaddeus Watson. Néstor is also working on promoting the piccolo as a solo instrument and on a research about hearing protection.
Young Artist Competition Winners
Nika Oder is studying flute at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz with Erwin Klambauer. She has performed with the Slovene Philharmonic String Chamber Orchestra as a soloist. In April 2022 she was admitted to semi-finals of The Dutch International Flute Competition in The Netherlands, was selected to play as Principal Flutist in ESYO, and won 2nd Prize in the Deutsche Gesellschaft Für Flöte E.V. Competition.
Kateryna is currently pursuing her Masters Degree at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Gratz with Matthieu Gauci-Ancelin. Prior to that she was a student of Dietrich Flury. As an active soloist, she has performed with various orchestras including the Ukraine National Philharmonic, Luhansk Philharmonic Orchestra, amongst others. She has also performed with the Festspiel Youth Orchestra and Junge Philharmonie Wien. In 2019, Kateryna made her solo debut at world-renowned Carnegie Hall.
Leonardo Hernández completed his Bachelor studies at the Universidad Veracruzana. In 2017, he started his Master studies in Weimar, Germany at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt with Wally Hase. He is currently doing a Konzertexamen in the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg with Mario Caroli. In 2018, he was an academista with the SWR Symphonieorchester in Stuttgart and in 2019 won a temporary contract to play as Principal Flutist with the Staatskapelle Weimar.
Young Artist Competition Semifinalists
Alessandro Bennardo holds the position of Principal Flutist with the Brutia Symphony Orchestra in Cosenza. He is currently studying at the Lugano Conservatory in Switzerland with Andrea Oliva and Antonio Giorgio Narcisi. Alessandro has been a prize winner in numerous national competitions in Italy, including the 2018 Gazzelloni International Competition, among others.
Jiayu Jin began her flute studies at the Conservatory Music in Shenyang. She is currently studying at the CSI Music University of Lugano with Andrea Oliva and at the Hochschule für Musik Trossingen with Julie Stewart-Lafin. Jiayu has been a prize winner in the Hongkong International Flute Competition, Medici International Music Competition, among others, and has played with the Neue Philharmonie München, Kammerphilharmonie Dacapo München, and Augsburger Philharmoniker.
Stefanie Van Gool
Stefanie Van Gool began her studies at the Liège Conservatory with Toon Fret, Lieve Goossens and Miriam Arnold. Currently, she is studying at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels with Carlos Bruneel, Géraldine Clement and Katlijn Sergeant. She has participated in competitions such as the Dutch international Flute Competition, Caneres Competition, among others.
Brina Unuk completed her preparatory studies at the Conservatory for Music and Ballet Maribor and is currently pursuing her diploma studies at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien-Austria with Wally Hase. As a prize winner, she has won numerous competitions including the 2019 Slovenian National Competition, the 2019 International Competition Flautiada, and the 2020 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Flöte E.V. Competition.