Members of the jury 2017




Søren Rastogi (chairman)



Søren Rastogi has in few years gained reputation as one of Denmark's most interesting pianists. He is most sought after at festivals and venues in Denmark and internationally. As a soloist, he has performed with conductors such as Christian Mandeál, Douglas Bostock, Mathias Aeschbacher, Peter Feranec and Thomas Søndergaard in piano concertos by Mozart, Schumann, Stravinsky, Bernstein and Gershwin. Søren has, beside his career as a soloist, a close collaboration with leading Scandinavian singers, including barytone Johannes Weisser, with whom he has recently released the CD “Visiting Grieg”. He is also a member of Jalina Trio, the internationally acclaimed piano trio. He often performs as partner with renowned instrumentalists, such as Narek Hakhnazaryan and Sergei Dogadin and has a close collaboration with the Danish National Vocal Ensemble. His recording of the piano concerto by S. E. Tarp together with Aarhus Symphony Orchestra is being released in 2017. Søren was educated in Copenhagen and Berlin by Tove Lønskov, Niklas Sivelöv and Pascal Devoyon.  After his debut 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. He has received numerous prizes and awards and was a prizewinner at several competitions such as the 5th Nordic Piano Competition, Nyborg and the Mendelssohn Competition, Berlin. He is currently working as assistant professor and head of studies at the Royal Danish College of Music, Copenhagen as well as teaching at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Aarhus.

Akiko Ebi



Akiko Ebi launched her international career as the winner of the Grand Prix in the International Long/Thibaud Competition in Paris with 4 special prizes given by A. Rubinstein and as a finalist in the International Fryderyk Chopin Competition in Warsaw earning the recognition of Martha Argerich. She continued her training at the Paris Conservatoire with A.Ciccolini, V. Perlemuter and C. Hansen among others. She has performed throughout the world with outstanding orchestras and conductors. As a chamber musician she has given two-piano recitals with Martha Argerich and performed with among others Ivry Gitlis, Augustin Dumay, Angela Hewitt, Michel Dalberto, the Parisii and Manfred quartets. She appears regularly at festivals in La Roque d’Anthéron, Menton, Echternach, Nantes, Lugano, Lisbon, New York, Tokyo and Warsaw. Her discography includes Chopin’s complete etudes, preludes, nocturnes and impromptus and his concerto No.1, but also works by Fauré, Franck, Grieg, Ravel, Webern and Dynam-Victor Fumet among others. Twice she was awarded Grand Prix d’Or for her recording of the works by Hikari Ōe. For her services to French music, Ebi was named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 1993 and in 2002 she received Japan’s prestigious Exxon Mobile Music Prize. She is often invited to give master classes in many countries around the world. She is also often invited as a jury member at international competitions such as Chopin in Warsaw and was the president of the jury at Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in 2012 & 2015.

Christopher Elton

United Kingdom


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, from 1987 to 2011. 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.

Erik T. Tawaststjerna



Erik T. Tawaststjerna began his musical education in Helsinki, took private lessons in Moscow, and received degrees from the Vienna Music Academy under Dieter Weber, as well as New York’s Juilliard School, where his teacher was Sascha Gorodnitzki. He also holds a doctorate from New York University, where he studied under the guidance of Eugene List and participated in a master class given by Wilhelm Kempff in Positano. He won the second prize at the Helsinki Maj Lind piano competition in 1968 and has since given concerts around the world. In 1990, he was invited to give a performance for Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Akasaka Palace in Tokyo. Erik T. Tawaststjerna has made numerous recordings, among them a series of eight recordings of the complete piano music by Jean Sibelius. He has been teaching at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki since 1982. Many of his students have received top prizes in international piano competitions. His expertise has been called upon in the juries of several such events, including the José Iturbi Competition, the Ciurlionis Competition, the Axa Piano Competition, the Weimar Liszt Competition, the Maria Canals Competition, the London International Piano Competition, and the International Beethoven Competition. He has given master classes in London, Berlin, Tokyo and Vienna, among other places. He was named Professor of the Year 2006 by the Finnish Professors’ League.

Ewa Poblocka



Ewa Pobłocka was born in Chełmno. She comes from a musical family and began her piano education at the age of five. She studied at the Academy of Music in Gdańsk and graduated with honours in 1981. She continued her education completing her post-graduate studies in Hamburg under Conrad Hansen. She is laureate of international piano competitions in Vercelli, Bordeaux and Warsaw. She has played in concert halls as Herkules-Saal in Munich, Musikhalle in Hamburg, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Wigmore Hall in London, Musikverein in Vienna, Mozarteum in Salzburg, Lincoln Center in New York and many others. As a soloist she performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, Bayerischer Rundfunkorchester, New Japan Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra among others. There are almost 50 records in her phonographic output, covering repertoire from Baroque to contemporary music recorded for such labels as Polskie Nagrania and Deutsche Grammophon among others. Her recordings were enthusiastically praised by critics and received prestigious awards, including two Fryderyk statuettes, two Record of the Year titles awarded by the ‘Studio’ Magazine and the John Field Medal for the recording of his complete Nocturnes.  The artist is also a valued pedagogue. She conducts piano classes at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz and at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. She has given master classes around the world. She is also Visiting Professor at the Geidai University of Arts and Music in Tokyo and Nagoi. She was invited to serve as a jury member at competitions in Pretoria, Warsaw, Calgary, Hamamatsu and many others.

Jean-Paul Sevilla



French pianist Jean-Paul Sevilla gave his first recital at the age of nine and later he entered the National Conservatory of Music in Paris. Here he obtained, unanimously, his First Prize in piano, as well as a unanimous Prix d'honneur which has not been awarded since. In 1959 he captured, also unanimously, the First Prize at the Geneva International Competition. His numerous tours, as soloist and chamber musician, have taken him all around the world. Now a Canadian citizen he was born in Algeria of Spanish descent. For more than twenty years Jean-Paul Sevilla has been living in Canada, teaching piano at the University of Ottawa while continuing his successful career as a concert pianist. Jean-Paul Sevilla has also been teaching at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. He has produced many talented young artists, who have won top awards at different international competitions; among them are Angela Hewitt and Guillermo Gonzalez. He is a noted expert on Fauré and Ravel, whose complete works he has often performed. In 1986 he spent one year as guest professor at the Musashino University in Tokyo and in 1999 at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Jean-Paul Sevilla has directed summer courses in Europe, in Canada and in Korea. Every year, in July, he welcomes students for a three week summer course in his own house in Normandy, France. He is regularly invited as a jury member at prestigious national and international competitions. Jean-Paul Sevilla has released a CD featuring works of Vincent d'Indy and Albert Roussel and an album of two CD’s with works by Debussy, Prokofiev, Ibert among many other CD’s. Jean-Paul Sevilla is an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters, France.

Uta Weyand



German born pianist Uta Weyand comes from a musical family. The Post and Courier (South Carolina, USA) forecasted her musical career, stating "Weyand demonstrates genius at the piano...she is a pianist of genius, who should have a long career.“ After her studies in Freiburg/Germany, Baltimore/USA and Madrid/Spain with Elza Kolodin, Vitaly Margulis, Leon Fleisher and Joaquín Soriano Uta Weyand has had great international success giving numerous piano recitals and appearing with orchestras in most European countries, in Russia, Brazil, Cuba and the United States.1996 she won First Prize in the José Iturbi International Piano Competition in Valencia with two special prizes: one for the best interpretation of Spanish music and the other for Spanish contemporary music. Uta Weyand received worldwide press reviews with her recordings for Hänssler Classics with music by Schumann, Mozart, Debussy, Montsalvatge, Granados and the Complete Works for Piano Solo by Manuel de Falla. She combines her dynamic concert life with pedagogical activities giving master classes and conferences in Germany, Spain, Brazil and Cuba. Uta Weyand is regulary member of international piano competition juries such as Gina Bachauer in Salt Lake City, Franz Liszt in Weimar and José Iturbi in Valencia. Uta Weyand is the founder and managing director of the PIANALE International Academy & Competition for pianists between 14 and 30 years ( In addition to that, she is the initiator of an annually organized series of concerts “Schlosskonzerte Osthessen” in Germany, which provides young musicians with a high-standard performance platform.