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Matouš Michal

Our grant holder 2010 – 2014


The Juilliard School of Music New York

Field of study

Houslová hra

I come from Eastern Bohemia, from the small village of Bezděkov nad Metují. My parents are music teachers at the Elementary Arts School in Police nad Metují, so there was always music at home. My brother, who is one year younger, and I virtually grew up in the music school, we found friends there, had a great orchestra there, and sometimes we didn’t even notice that we’d spent almost all day with the violin. I started playing violin at age four – and it was came completely naturally to me. My dad guided me and explained and recommended things, and in fact we worked together right up to my departure for New York.

I am competitive, and I took part in national and international violin competitions from an early age, and did so with success. I consider my greatest successes my overall victory in the international Kocian Violin Competition 2008, my victory at Concertino Praga 2009, and 2nd place at the Dubai International Competition for Young Virtuosos under 30, where I competed at 14 years old. It was about the same time that I won the audition and received a full scholarship to the Meadowmount School of Music summer course in the State of New York. There I was able to study violin with Professor Charles Avsharian and chamber music with excellent professors from America’s best universities every summer between 2006 and 2009. And it was there that I first realized how much I like the way they work, teach, and live in a highly competitive environment, because scholarships are awarded to the very best students from Japan, Korea, China, Israel … They work hard, they want to be the best, and they compete in their jobs, but not in everyday life. The concerts there can boast an atmosphere that many soccer matches would be envious of. It was there that I became sure that I would be able to consider admission to one of the top notch music universities without worry.

I received my admission notice to my dream school, The Juilliard School of Music, in the class of Glenn Dicterow, the New York Philharmonic’s concertmaster and soloist, on 1 April 2010. I also received a scholarship – the Lilly Z. Foldes Award, and the Juilliard Scholarship. I was immensely happy until I realized how much money I was still needed in order to cover the other costs associated with my studies. At first I thought that you could not get such a massive scholarship in the Czech Republic. I contacted a number of foundations and was happy to find out that these days there are generous sponsors and institutions that support gifted students in international universities.

I thank The Kellner Family Foundation for expedient assistance, thanks to which I was able to start my studies in New York without being a student of the OPEN GATE Grammar School. I appreciate it deeply.


Prague Conservatory, class of Professor Jaroslav Foltýn, graduated in 2010


The Juilliard School of Music New York, four-year Violin specialization, started in 2010


For now, graduate from the university in the US.


Music, soccer, ice hockey, cars

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