Dear admirers of classical music, a new year of the Amadeus competition is upon us. This one is somewhat of a half jubilee, marking 255 years since the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart visited Brno on Christmas of 1767. That time, little Mozart came to Brno from Olomouc, where he hastily fled from a black pox outbreak in Vienna. A couple of years ago, this would sound like a tale from the distant past. Yet, after two years with Covid, this story gains some familiarity. It brings us therefore great joy to be able to allow the contestants to play in concert halls filled with audiences that will breathe in every bit of Mozart's music without impediments.

Participation of international contestants of up to 15 years of age also gives us hope that the current young generation will sometime fulfill the old adage that music connects all people. In the future, it will be our contestants' that music lovers will listen to. Their hands will produce tones that will calm and inspire listeners around the world, as was the case with many of the competition winners in years past.

But let us go back in time for a moment. When Mozart, only eleven years old at the time, gave concerts in Brno, he could not have known he was to meet a great role-model of his, the composer Josef Mysliveèek. It is said he exclaimed with joy: What happiness! It is as if I met someone very close to me! It is this musical closeness and encounters such as these that remain an important part of all musical contests. And although only the best performing musicians may win, music is most about cooperation and common journey through artistic landscape. All it takes is one out of tune instrument for a whole piece to go sour. Prior of the Augustinians from Sternberg witnessed just such a thing during Mozart's performance 255 years ago. Mozart did not care for trumpets, for they were not able to play in unison cleanly. Stage fright can be a nuisance, as the musicians who played that concert would have told you. But it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them nonetheless.

To our contestants, we wish a pleasant, unique experience while partaking in the competition. To have a great memory of their time here that will last them a lifetime. To feel the closeness stemming from experiencing music with similarly attuned people for whom classical music is an integral part of their everyday lives.

Vladimír Halíček

director of the competition