RAPHAEL NIEDERSTÄTTER, winner of the 22nd International Guitar Competition "Forum Gitarre Wien", MAJA KRALJ, winner of the competition at the 16th Uppsala International Festival
Raphael Niederstätter (17 years) received his first guitar lessons from his father Klaus, firstly at home in a playful manner, later at the Provincial Music School in Schwaz. Until 2019 he was studying with Stefan Hackl and is currently studying classical guitar with Daniel Müller and jazz guitar with Roland Heinz at the Provincial Conservatory of Tyrol.
He gained important experience at various master classes at professors: Alvaro Pierri, Jesus Pineda and Georg Schmitz. Raphael won first prize at the international guitar youth competition "Forum Gitarre Wien" and at the "Heinrich Albert Competition" in Gauting near Munich. He is also the 1st prize winner “Prima la Musica” on provincial and state level.
Raphael Niederstätter is an avid and creative music producer on the computer.
Maja Kralj was born on the 1st of May 1999. She started playing guitar at the age of seven at the Sežana music school. Her teacher at that time was Nataša Črnugelj. After finishing eight years of elementary music school in September 2014, she continued her education at the Conservatory for Music and Ballet in Ljubljana. Her professor for four years there was Anton Črnugelj. In May 2018 Maja passed the entrance examination and was accepted to Academy for Music in Ljubljana in the class of prof. Andrej Grafenauer.
Her most important achievements are:
- 2nd Zagreb guitar festival (2016), 2nd prize, 2nd place
- 3rd Zagreb guitar festival (2017), 1st prize winner
- TEMSIG, National competition for young musicians of the Republic of Slovenia 2017, 2nd prize, 2nd place (in guitar duo with Tine Črnugelj)
- winning the EuroStrings scholarship for Uppsala XVI. International Guitar Festival
- Young Talent Competition at Uppsala XVI. International Guitar Festival (2019), 1st prize winner
She has participated in many master classes with well known guitarists as: Judicaël Perroy, Andrea De Vitis, Paolo Pegoraro, Alvaro Pierri, Brian Head, Xuefei Yang, Margarita Escarpa, Mak Grgić, Xhevdet Sahatxhija, Nejc Kuhar, Gabriel Bianco, Stephanie Jones, Jure Cerkovnik, Anders Miolin, Costas Cotsiolis, Olaf van Gonnisen, Laura Young.
At the moment she is attending EuroStrings Artists exchange programme and regularly performs at different guitar festivals around Europe.