Chairman of the jury 2021
Søren Rastogi is most sought after at festivals and concert venues in Denmark and internationally. He has performed with conductors such as Christian Mandeál, Douglas Bostock, Benjamin Shwartz, Mathias Aeschbacher, Ed Spanjaard, Jayce Ogren, Peter Feranec and Thomas Søndergaard in piano concertos by Mozart (K. 466, K. 491, K. 451, K. 488), Schumann, Stravinsky, Bernstein og Gershwin.
He has on many occasions received excellent reviews for his performances. After his debut with The Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in the Piano Concerto by Stravinsky in 2010, the Danish newspaper “Information” wrote: “Søren Rastogi made his debut as a soloist with the Radio Orchestra with a perfectly balanced stage presence, which managed to combine both pianistic artistry, musical overview, sense of melodic lines, rhythmic skill, and a constant nerve with a rare lack of vanity”.
Besides his career as a soloist, he has a close collaboration with leading Scandinavian singers, including barytone Johannes Weisser, with whom he has released the CD “Visiting Grieg”. “Meisterlich “, German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote, and it was appointed “CD of the Month” by the British magazine Classic FM. He is also a member of Jalina Trio, the internationally acclaimed piano trio, as well as Trio Misto with Mathias Kjøller, clarinet and Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola. He often performs as duo partner with renowned instrumentalists and has played recitals with Vilde Frang, Narek Hakhnazaryan, Sergei Dogadin, Benjamin Schmid amongst many others and he has a close collaboration with the Danish National Vocal Ensemble as pianist and musical instructor.
He has been involved in initiating several projects of high artistic quality. Examples include Copenhagen Mozart Players, with whom he performed Piano concertos by Mozart, both as a soloist and conductor as well as the multi-aesthetic performance “Clara” with text compiled by Karl Aage Rasmussen and co-performers actor Katrin Weisser and Jalina Trio. In 2006, he was appointed “Artist in Residence” by The Round Tower of Copenhagen and the Danish National Radio. Included was a broadcasted concert series with five concerts as a soloist, chamber musician and accompagnist. His concerts have numerous times been broadcasted in the EBU.
He was educated in Copenhagen at The Royal Danish Academy of Music by Tove Lønskov and Niklas Sivelöv as well as in Berlin at Hochschule der Künste by Pascal Devoyon. He graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Music with the highest grades and had his debut from the soloist class the same place in 2005.
He has received numerous prizes and awards, for instance from the Danish Music Critics Association, and was a prizewinner at several competitions such as the 5th Nordic Piano Competition in Nyborg and the Mendelssohn Competition in Berlin.
He was among the recipients of a grant for Artistic Research from The Danish Ministry of Culture in 2013 for the project FormingPerforming, where he monitored and reflected on the process of learning the previously not performed piano concerto by Paul van Klenau. As a part of this project, he has published an e-book as well as several articles. A selection of videos with examples of his practice processes with commentaries can be found on YouTube.
Søren Rastogi is chairman of the jury of Aarhus International Piano Competition and he holds positions as associate professor at The Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus and as assistant professor at The Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen
Member of the jury 2021
Pianist Zlata Chochieva first came to international attention with her highly praised recordings of works by Chopin and Rachmaninoff, establishing her as a distinctive voice among pianists with a deep affinity with these composers. Hailed by Gramophone as “the possessor of a comprehensive technique who brings an inner glow to every bar”, Zlata Chochieva has been regularly appearing at many prestigious concert halls, most notably at Herkulessaal (Munich), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Philharmonie de Paris, Teatro La Fenice (Venice), Victoria Hall (Geneve), Sala Verdi (Milan), Tivoli Concert Hall (Copenhagen), Casa de Música (Porto), Belem Cultural Center (Lisbon), Tchaikovsky Concert Hall (Moscow), Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, and Grand Hall of Saint Petersburg Philharmonia.
She has performed with numerous major orchestras, including the Russian National Orchestra, the National Philharmonic of Russia, the Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra, the Copenhagen Philharmonic, the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, and the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra. Conductors Zlata has enjoyed working with include Mikhail Pletnev, Simon Gaudenz, Terje Mikkelsen, Charles Oliveri-Munroe, Tugan Sokhiev and Vladimir Spiakov.
Over the years Zlata has acquired many international competition prizes, including Szymanovski International Competition (Poland), Tivoli Piano Competition (Denmark), Mozart Prize at ARD Competition (Germany), First prizes at Frechilla-Zuloaga Competition (Spain) and Alberto Fano Piano Competition (Italy) and silver medal at the First International Piano Competition of Santa Catarina (Brazil), where she was also declared best performer of Chopin and Audience Favorite. She has been regularly invited to leading music festivals, including the Miami International Piano Festival, the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, the “Rarities of Piano Music” in Husum, the Lugano Festival “Il Progetto Martha Argerich” and the Lucerne Festival.
Her Chopin Complete Etudes disc for Piano Classics was selected as an Editor´s choice on Gramophone, and included in the Gramophone´s list of the 10 greatest Chopin recordings: “It is certainly one of the most consistently inspired, masterfully executed and beautiful sounding versions I can retail” (Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone). Her 2015 CD of the complete Etudes-Tableaux of Rachmaninoff has likewise earned critical raves and been nominated for the German Record Critics´ Award.
Zlata was born in Moscow and is now a resident of Salzburg. She first appeared on stage at age 5 and made her debut with orchestra two years later performing Mozart´s Concerto KV. 453 at the Grand Hall of Moscow Conservatory. Her teachers have included Mikhail Pletnev at the Central Special Music School and Pavel Nersessian at the Moscow State Conservatory. Subsequently, Zlata completed two years of postgraduate studies under Professor Jaques Rouvier at the Mozarteum in Salzburg where she was appointed his assistant in 2013.
Together with Misha Dacic, Zlata established the International Festival at Rachmaninoff´s estate Ivanovka and has been Co-director since 2018.
Member of the jury 2021
Hailed for her “expressive and powerful playing”, “formidable technique”, as well as her “keen sense of lyricism and the classical style,” Korean-American pianist Caroline Hong continues to flourish in her career as an internationally active soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, masterclass teacher, lecturer, and adjudicator. Pulitzer Prize and Academy award-winning composer John Corigliano referred to her as “one of the greatest pianists I have ever heard” after a performance of his Etude Fantasy (1976). Critics wrote that it was “breathtaking” and “hard to imagine a better performance.” Favorably reviewed by American Record Guide, she has recorded for Mark Records and Fleur de Son, further establishing herself as an interpreter of living composers’ piano solo music.
Caroline Hong made her debut at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall as a winner of the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition. She is a laureate of the Van Cliburn International Audition, the Robert Casadesus International Competition, William Kapell International Piano Competition, UNISA International Piano Competition, Beethoven Foundation, Distinguished Performer of the Palm Beach International Piano Competition, Winner of the Society of American Musicians, Bach Festival of Southern California, among others. She has been a featured performer on Robert Sherman’s “Young Artists Showcase” (New York Times Radio) and countless other radio broadcasts throughout the nation and abroad, also as a performer for the Sergei Babayan International Piano Academy. As winner of the Chicago Civic Orchestra Soloist Competition, she performed in Symphony Center under the baton of Michael Morgan. Hong has had the privilege of studying with luminaries such as Martin Canin, Jerome Lowenthal, Sergei Babayan, Dmitrii Paperno, Ann Schein, and Karen Shaw, M. Deitzer, and in solo masterclass with Claude Frank, John Browning, Leon Fleisher, and chamber masterclasses with the late Gyorgy Sebok and Menahem Pressler, among others. Her first teacher, with whom she began study of piano at the age of 2, was her own mother, Mrs. Koon Ja Hong.
Caroline Hong received her training from the Juilliard School in New York (M.M.), the Peabody Institute (B.M.), and holds a doctorate in piano performance from Indiana University (D.M.). She has served on faculty for the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Vianden International Festival and School (Luxembourg), “Piano at Peabody”, Longwood University, as both Piano and Theory Associate Instructor for Indiana University, and is currently serving as Professor at The Ohio State University. Dr. Hong has a strong teaching record reflected by successful students who have won competitions and positions in music academia. As a chamber musician, she has performed with many fine artist groups including the Vermeer String Quartet and the Dorian Wind Quintet and toured extensively in the US as a member of the piano-violin duo, Duo Viardot. She is a Steinway Artist, the principal founding member and President of the American Liszt Society Ohio Chapter, and the Executive and Artistic Director of the Franz Liszt (U.S.) International Festival and Piano Competition. Other professional affiliations include Music Teachers National Association, Ohio Music Teachers Association, and the Columbus Symphony.
Member of the jury 2021
Gabriel Kwok was born in Hong Kong and studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Guy Jonson and later with Louis Kentner in London. A Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London, he is Visiting Professor at the Shenzhen Arts School, Xian Conservatory of Music, Xinghai Conservatory of Music, Wuhan Conservatory of Music and China Conservatory of Music in China.
Gabriel Kwok has given masterclasses internationally and served on the faculty of many institutions, summer schools and festivals. He has been a jury member on many international competitions including the Rome, Vianna da Motta, Gina Bachauer, Hong Kong, China, Hilton Head, Minnesota Piano-e, Darmstadt Chopin, Rio de Janerio BNDES, James Mottram, China Shenzhen Piano Concerto, Geneva and Bayreuth-Weimar Liszt International Piano Competitions.
He has collaborated with many distinguished artists in concerts, among whom were Pierre Amoyal, Alexander Ballie, Siegfried Behrend, Alan Civil, Eugene Fodor, Lu Siqing, Albert Markov, Yuri Mazurkevich, Clarence Myerscough, Roberta Peters, Qian Zhou, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Jenny Ren, Aaron Rosand, Nathaniel Rosen, Rohan de Saram, Hansjoerg Schellenberger, Denis Shapovalov, Jeffrey Solow, Leon Spierer, Richard Stolzman, Wang Jian and Xue Wei.
Professor Kwok has been Head of Keyboard Studies at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts since 1989. In 2014, Professor Kwok was awarded Medal of Honour from the Hong Kong Government for his contribution to piano education in Hong Kong.
Member of the jury 2021
A pianist of exceptional intelligence and sensitivity, considered one of the greatest personalities of today´s piano, Anne Queffélec enjoys international notoriety and exceptional influence on musical life. She is invited to perform all around the world in the most prestigious concert halls (Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Canada, USA) and with the foremost orchestras, such as the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Philharmonic Zuidnederland, NHK Orchestra Tokyo, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Prague Philharmonia, Kremerata Baltica, Sinfonia Varsovia under conductors as Boulez, Gardiner, Jordan, Zinman, Eschenbach, Conlon, Langrée, Belohlavek, Casadesus, Lombard, Guschlbauer, Foster, Holliger and Janowski.
”Artist of the Year” at the Victoires de la Musique in 1990, Anne Queffélec appears regularly at festivals in UK, Netherlands, Austria, as well as at French festivals such as Strasbourg, Montpellier, Besancon, La Grange de Meslay, La Folle Journée de Nantes, Festival de la Roque d´Anthéron where she gave a complete cycle of Mozarts sonata in six concerts broadcast live on France Musique, thus confirming her profound affinity with that composer´s world. She also took part in the film Amadeus under the direction of Sir Neville Marriner.
Both on stage and on record, Anne Queffélec cultivates a wide-ranging repertoire, as showed by more than 40 recordings from Scarlatti to Dutilleux published by Erato, Virgin Classics and Mirare.
Among her last CD´s, ”Satie & Compagnie” for Mirare has been awarded ”Diapason d´Or” of the Year 2013. Then, both CD´s ”Ravel, Debussy and Fauré” for Erato (2014), and ”Scarlatti Sonatas” for Mirare (2015) have been awarded with a ”Diapason d´Or”. In June 2016, BBC Magazine spotlighted Anne Queffélec by publishing several of the live recordings. In September 2016, the French magazine ”Diapason” has selected her Ravel Concerto in G interpretation as ”Indispensabl”. In 2019, Warner/Erato published an exceptional box of 21 cds representing all her recordings from 1970 to 1996. Her most recent recording for Mirare, dedicated to three Mozart sonatas, was released in September 2019.
Member of the jury 2021
No matter where Markus Schirmer tours he receives audience acclaim for his charismatic musicianship and his ability to tell vivid stories with the instrument. Soon he took prestigious concert halls and festivals by storm: Musikverein/Vienna, Suntory Hall/Tokyo, Wigmore Hall/London, Gewandhaus/Leipzig, Philharmonie/Berlin, Lucerne, La Roque d´Antheron, Kissingen, Ruhr, Stars of White Nights Festival St. Petersburg, and many more.
He has worked with renowed orchestras: Vienna Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic London, Tokyo Symphony, Mariinsky Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe under conductors as Valery Gergiev, Sir Neville Marriner, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Jukka Pekka Saraste, Michael Gielen, Sir Charles Mackerras, John Axelrod, Fabio Luisi and Philippe Jordan among others.
His love affair with the unusual, his daring and eagerness to explore new territories ensure the development of sensational events outside the traditional classical repertoire: Scurdia is an improvisational project that brings together extraordinary musicians from all over the world. For his exceptional artistic diversity Markus Schirmer was awarded one of Austria´s most prestigious awards, The Karl Böhm Interpretation Prize. In the upcoming season he will be performing in the US, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, China, Russia and Austria.
In addition to his artistic direction of the international music festival ASONORE Markus Schirmer foremost is a very succesful Professor of Piano at Graz Music University – many of his students are acclaimed prize winners – he regularly gives international piano masterclasses and is a sought after adjudicator at several prestigious piano competitions.
Member of the jury 2021
The Finnish pianist Antti Siirala has established himself as one of the finest pianists of his generation. His rich palette of sound colours, his differentiated and songful phrasing and expressive intelligence are praised frequently. Antti Siirala is the winner of numerous international competitions, including Leeds International Piano Competition. In 1997 he won the International Beethoven Piano Competition Vienna as the youngest laureate in its history. This resulted in the performance of all Beethoven piano works at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki in the following years and a focus on Beethoven in Siirala´s repertoire.
He performs with renowed conductors like Herbert Blomstedt, Francois Xavier-Roth, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Sakari Oramo, and with orchestras like the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Bamberger Symphoniker, the Radio Orchestras of HR, NDR, SWR and WDR, Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich, Wiener Symphoniker, City of Birmingham Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra London, Residentie Orkest, Gothenburg Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo. He regularly performs chamber music with partners like Carolin Widmann, Baiba Skride, Lawrence Power, Tanja Tetzlaff, Jan Vogler and Sharon Kam.
Milestones in his career were recitals in the piano series of the Berlin Philharmonic, at the Lucerne Festival and at the Ruhr Piano Festival, at concert halls like Cologne´s Philharmonie, London´s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam´s Concertgebouw, at the Metropolitan Museum in New York of Zürich´s Tonhalle. Furthermore, Antti Siirala was artist in residence for three years at the Konzerthaus Dortmund, featured in its series Junge Wilde.
Recent highlights were his debut with the Belgrade Philharmonic with the Grieg Piano Concerto and the German premiere of Thomas Adés Three Berceuses with Lawrence Power at the Moritzburg Festival. The upcoming season will see Antti Siirala return to the Nordic Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra Mainz under Eva Ollikainen and to the Prague Orchestra under Pietari Inkinen.
CD recordings, for which he received the Editor´s Choice Award of Gramophone Magazine several times, were published by Sony (Schubert´s Trout Quintet with newly composed variations) and Naxos (works by Brahms and Schubert transcriptions). Other recordings include the last three Beethoven sonatas (AVI-Music) and Beethoven´s Triple Concerto (SONY, with The Knights, Colin Jacobsen and Jan Vogler).
Antti Siirala is professor for piano at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich.
Member of the pre-selection jury 2021
Christopher Elton was born in Edinburgh and received most of his musical education at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He was a prizewinner in several British and international piano competitions, playing and broadcasting regularly both as a soloist and in chamber music. His international recognition has come as a result of the many successes of his students at the Royal Academy of Music. Many have won international awards, including first prizes in the Van Cliburn and London “World” Int. Piano Competitions as well as in Jaen, Newport, Dudley and New Orleans. Further recent successes have come in the finals of three recent Leeds Int. Piano Competitions as well as in the Leipzig Bach, Tchaikovsky, Dublin, Shanghai, and Taiwan Competitions as well as previous major awards in the international competitions in Santander, Geneva (CIEM), Munich (ARD), Geza Anda, Pozzoli, Mazaro del Vallo, Porto, Madrid, Ettlingen and the Stravinsky Awards in the USA. Many of his students are now recording artists. While his priority is to his work at the Royal Academy, London, Christopher Elton has also been much in demand overseas both as a teacher and as a jury member for international competitions. Christopher Elton was Head of Keyboard at the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he was elected a Fellow in 1983. In 2002 the title of Professor of the University of London was conferred on him. He now holds the title of Emeritus Professor of Piano, and he undertook a full semester as a visiting professor on the piano faculty of the Yale School of Music in 2018.
Member of the pre-selection jury 2021
Teppo Koivisto (b. 1961) is one of the most eminent Finnish pianists of his generation. After his studying years at the Sibelius Academy with Jussi Siirala, he continued his studies with Menaham Pressler in USA and with Bernard Ringeissen in France. Koivisto has appeared as soloist and chamber musician in Europe and in USA. During his student years he was in national and Scandinavian competitions including shared second prize (with Olli Mustonen) for The Maj Lind Piano Competition 1982 and the second prize in Nordic Piano Competition in Oslo. He has performed concertos with many renowed conductors as Jukka-Pekka Saraste, John Storgårds, Avo Volmer, and Roy Goodman among others.
As an advocate of Charles-Valentin Alkan´s piano music, he has performed the 12 Etudes in Full Minor Keys, op. 39 by the composer in a live radio concert which was recorded by Finnish broadcasting company, YLE in 2007. In addition, he was cordially invited to conduct a piano seminar about Alkan´s piano music in New England Conservatory, Boston, USA in 2013. Currently, Koivisto works as Head of Junior Studies and as Piano Lecturer at The Sibelius Academy and holds a Guest Professor´s position at Line Art Center, Zhengzhou, China. During the years 2015-2017 he worked as a piano professor at Hochschule für Musik, Theather und Medien in Hannover, Germany. He has given numerous master classes in Finland and abroad and many of his longtime students have won international competitions with succesful performance careers. Teppo has served as a jury member in piano competitions in Estonia, Finland, Germany, and Israel.
Member of the pre-selection jury 2021
Tove Lønskov graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus where she studied under Alma Jørgensen and Georg Vaserhelyi. Subsequently, she studied in Paris with Magda Tagliaferro and Vlado Perlemuter, in Rome with Guido Agosti, and with the legendary pianist Wilhelm Kempff.
For many years Tove Lønskov was associate professor at The Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen and at The North Jutland Academy of Music in Aalborg. She has an extensive concert career as a soloist, chamber musician and accompanist in Denmark and abroad. She has been a soloist with most Danish orchestras and she has worked with conductors such as Uri Segal, Thomas Bricetti, Jorma Panula, Zdenek Macal, and Avi Ostrowsky, besides many Danish conductors. Together with pianist Rudolfo Llambias, Tove Lønskov is part of a highly esteemed and prize-winning piano duo. The duo has played concerts all over the world and it has recorded numerous CD´s, for instance the complete works of Schubert and Debussy.
As a chamber musician Tove Lønskov has performed with international renowed soloists such as the flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal, and the Russian violinist Leonid Kogan, and for many years she has been a duo partner with the Hungarian flutist András Adorján, with whom she has recorded two CD´s. In addition Tove Lønskov has worked with many excellent singers. As a result she has recorded an uncountable number of CD´s with the songs of Schubert, Schumann, Richard Strauss, Grieg, Schoenberg, Delius, Børresen, Carl Nielsen, Schierbeck, Gade, Heise, Weyse, Lange-Müller, and Otto Mortensen, among others.
On two highly acclaimed CD´s Tove Lønskov has recorded solo piano repertoire by the three Danish composers Poul Schierbeck, Rued Langgaard, and Otto Mortensen.
Regularly, Tove Lønskov conducts master classes in Denmark and abroad, and she has taught many of the most succesful young Danish pianists. As a result of her important contribution to Danish music life, the Queen of Denmark has made her Knight of The Order of the Dannebrog.