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Competitions / PIANO 1983 / Candidates / Candidates
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First prize - Queen Elisabeth International Grand Prize
Born in 1962, Pierre-Alain Volondat studied at the Orleans Conservatoire and the Conservatoire National Superior de Musique in Paris. In 1983 he both won the Queen Fabiola prize and the Audience Prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition. He has since developed a concert career that has taken him through Europe and to the Far East.
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Second Prize
Wolfgang Manz (1960) has been influenced by two very different traditions: His basic pianistic education he received by the Czech pianist Drahomir Toman, a representative of the Eastern European school originating from Theodor Leschetizky, whereas he adapted elements of the German tradition at the renowned University of Music at Hanover in the class of Prof. Karlheinz Kämmerling, a descendant of Hugo Steurer and Robert Teichmüller. Wolfgang Manz is prizewinner of many prestigious international piano competitions such as Leeds (1981) and the Queen Elisabeth Competition (1983), the first time that a German pianist won 2nd prizes in these competitions, furthermore winner of the Mendelssohn-Bartholdy - Prize Berlin 1980, 2nd prize at the National German Music Competition in Bonn 1982 and a jury discretionary award in the 1989 Van Cliburn International Pianoforte Competition in Texas/USA. Since his success at famous competitions Wolfgang Manz has been much in demand as soloist with orchestras, in solo recitals and chamber music. His repertoire includes more than 50 concertos with orchestra and an extensive solo and chamber music programme ranging from Bach to Contemporary Music. He has performed with well-known orchestras and conductors, particularly with British orchestras as the English Chamber, Royal Philharmonic and BBC Symphony Orchestra (appearance at the London “Prom” concerts 1984 with Brahms 1st piano concerto). In Germany Manz was soloist with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, the „Radiophilharmonie“ Hanover, the “Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle” Bonn, the Düsseldorf Symphony and the Munich Chamber Orchestra. Concert tours took him to cultural centres such as Cologne (Philharmonie), Berlin (Philharmonie), Hamburg (Laeiz-Hall), Munich (Herkulessaal), Salzburg (Festspielhaus), Frankfurt (Alte Oper), Brussels (Palais des Beaux-Arts), London (South Bank), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Tokyo (Suntory Hall), Moscow (Conservatory), Santiago de Chile (Teatro municipal). The following CD productions with Wolfgang Manz are currently available on the market : ARTE NOVA (Brahms piano concertos), CHANDOS Records (Dohnanyi piano quintet with the Gabrieli string quartet) and TELOS Records (Brahms late piano pieces and concertos for piano and orchestra by Debussy, Hindemith, Radermacher), in piano duet THOROFON (pieces by Schubert, Liszt. Debussy, Ravel, Rachmaninow for 4 hands and 2 pianos) and TELOS (Beethoven-Liszt 9th symphony and Russian Music for 2 pianos). Together with his compatriote Rolf Plagge - also prize winner at the Queen Elisabeth Competition - Wolfgang Manz founded a piano duet in 1988 which has performed frequently throughout Europe as well as in South America (Chile) and Central America (Mexico). Since 1986 Wolfgang Manz is regularly involved in ballet productions at the opera houses in Zurich, Leipzig, Munich, Berlin, Dresden and Karlsruhe, where he takes an important function as piano soloist in choreographies by Uwe Scholz (Rachmaninow 3rd piano concerto and Mozart „Jeunehomme“ concerto“, Ballet Leipzig), John Neumeier (Chopin in „Kameliendame“ with the Bavarian State Ballet Munich) and Davide Bombana (Strawinsky „Sacre du printemps“ in a version for 2 pianos at the “Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe”).
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Third Prize
Born in 1960, Boyan Vodenitcharov entered the Conservatory in Sofia in 1979, having already been a prizewinner at the Senigallia international competition. He went on to come third in the Busoni Competition in 1981 and in the 1983 Queen Elisabeth Competition. He undertook further studies with Leon Fleischer at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore in 1986 and 1987. He gives concerts throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, and Japan, performing at prestigious concert halls such as the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Palais de la Musique in Strasbourg, the Smetana Hall in Prague, and the Suntory Hall in Tokyo. For 20 years now, he has also taken an interest in period instruments, on which he has recorded a number of CDs. In addition to his activities as a performer, Boyan Vodenitcharov also works in the fields of composition and improvisation. A number of his works have been performed in France, Germany, Belgium, and Bulgaria. He currently teaches the piano, the fortepiano, and improvisation at the Brussels Royal Conservatory.
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Fourth Prize
Born in Landstuhl (Germany), Daniel Blumenthal is of American origin. He began his musical studies shortly after his fifth birthday and is a graduate of the University of Michigan (Bachelor of Music) and the Juilliard School in New York (Master of Music, Doctor of Musical Arts). He has won several international competitions : Sydney and Leeds in 1981, Geneva and Busoni in 1982, and the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1983. He enjoys an international reputation as a soloist, concert musician, and chamber musician. Daniel Blumenthal is professor op piano performance at the Brussels Conservatory and the Thy Chamber Music Festival in Denmark. In 1995 he served on the jury of the Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition. He has recorded over 80 CDs. Daniel Blumenthal is honorary member of Icons of Europe and musical advisor to this not-for-profit cultural association.
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Fifth Prize
Eliane Rodrigues was born in Rio de Janeiro. Her musical talent was discovered early on and fostered by Arnaldo Estrella (student of Alfred Cortot and friend of Villa Lobos). Her first TV performance at age 6 was with the Orquestra Sinfonica Nacional conducted by Alceo Bocchino with a Haydn concerto. In the USA she received the "special prize" of the jury at the Van Cliburn Competition. As laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Competition, she performed at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, in the Berliner Schauspielhaus, in Paris, Hamburg and the Leipzigs Gewandhaus. Some of her concert cities: Antwerp, Brussels, Den Haag, Moscow, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Rotterdam, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, Zürich. She composed an almost one-hour concerto for piano and orchestra (Suite Rio de Janeiro) that was first performed on 9 August 2000. Eliane Rodrigues is professor on the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp.
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Sixth Prize
Born in Lvov, Ukraine in 1960, Sergei Edelmann comes from a long and outstanding musical heritage; his father, Alexander Edelmann, a pupil of both Felix Blumenfeld and Heinrich Neuhaus taught Sergei since the age of 5. Sergei’s first orchestral performance was at the age of 10 playing Beethoven’s First Piano Concert. He subsequently performed extensively in recitals and with orchestras throughout ex-USSR. Sergei Edelmann came to the United States in 1979. Within his first year here, he quickly established himself as a significant and highly acclaimed pianist of his generation. His solo recitals in the United States have included Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Arts, Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium among numerous others. In Europe he has performed in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Madrid, Munich, Detmold, Frankfurt, Milan, Turin, Ferrara, Siena, Florence and in Asia he regularly appears in Tokyo, Taipei and Seoul. Sergei Edelmann has appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra, the American Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Washington National Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony, Orquesta National de Buenos Aires in Teatro Colón, Orchestra Verdi in Milano with Vladimir Yurovsky, the Rotterdam Philharmonic with Valery Gergiev, tour of Italy with Moscow Soloists under Yuri Bashmet. He is a regular guest at the Elba International Music Festival in Italy where, over several summer seasons Sergei Edelmann has collaborated with violist Yuri Bashmet, violinist Victor Tretyakov and cellist Mario Brunello. Other leading artists he has collaborated with include conductors Franz Paul Decker, Claus Peter Flor, Lawrence Foster, Hans Graf, Gunther Herbig, Raymond Leppard, Eduardo Mata, Gerard Schwarz, Peter Csaba, Semyon Bychkov. He was a Professor of the Piano Faculty at New York University from 1996 to 2001 and, from 2002 to 2009, a Guest Professor of Piano at the Musashino Music Academy in Tokyo.
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Seventh Prize
Rian de Waal (1958-2011) brak in 1983 internationaal door als concertpianist met het behalen van de finale van de Koningin Elisabethwedstrijd. Hij was een veelzijdig en gedreven musicus die op podia over de hele wereld heeft gespeeld. De laatste jaren combineerde Rian zijn optredens met het docentschap aan het Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag en het organiseren van diverse festivals. In 2006 nam hij de functie op zich van artistiek directeur van het Peter de Grote Festival in Groningen. Daarnaast was hij samen met zijn vrouw Marion van den Akker de grote motor achter het Rhijnauwen Kamermuziek Festival. Ook bouwden zij samen in het Drentse Valthermond een bloeiende concertboerderij op. Op 25 mei 2011 is pianist Rian de Waal thuis in het bijzijn van zijn familie overleden.
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Eighth Prize
Turkish-born pianist and composer, Hüseyin Sermet's thirty-year career reflects his wide-ranging musical interests, his intensely personal vision of his large and eclectic repertoire and his pianistic versatility. He has performed all over the world with many of the world’s finest musicians, including Lorin Maazel, Mstislav Rostropovich, Vladimir Jurowski, Semyon Bychkov, David Robertson, Lawrence Foster and Maria João Pires; and has worked with orchestras throughout Europe, the United States and the Far East, including the London Philharmonic, NHK, Shanghai, Tokyo and Detroit Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris and Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. Recent seasons have included extensive tours and concerts across Europe and South East Asia. Hüseyin Sermet has recently collaborated with conductors such as Jonathan Nott, Ilan Volkov, James Gaffigan, Xian Zhang, Pablo Heras-Casado, Lan Shui and Juraj Valcuha, and this season he will perform with Roger Norrington and Krzysztof Urbański. He has performed his often highly distinctive recital programmes in important series at London's Southbank Centre, Paris's Cité de La Musique, the Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival, Copenhagen's Tivoli, Lisbon's Dias da Musica, at the Lille Piano Festival and in Lyon in a chamber recital with Renaud and Gautier Capuçon. Equally active as a composer, Hüseyin Sermet's first major composition Réminiscènce 1 was premiered at the Empéri Festival in 1997 and broadcast live by France Musique, Dream and Nightmare followed in 2004 as a commission from the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and in 2006 there followed Sculptures 1 commissioned by İş Bank. Réminisicènces II and Sculptures II will be completed this season for premieres in Germany, Holland and in Istanbul next year. A devoted mentor of young talent, and highly regarded for his many appearances in Japan, Sermet was filmed by NHK TV in a series of fifteen televised masterclasses with young pianists broadcast throughout Japan over a period of four months. Many of Hüseyin Sermet's extensive catalogue of recordings for Naïve, Harmonia Mundi and Erato have won major international prizes including his disc of Ravel's solo piano works, three discs devoted to Alkan (all winning a Diapason d’Or), a selection of Schubert’s works for four hands with Maria João Pires and an award for Liszt's Piano Sonata and late works. Hüseyin Sermet was born in Istanbul in 1955. He began his education at the Ankara State Conservatoire and continued his studies at the Paris Conservatoire and later at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot with Thierry de Brunhoff, Nadia Boulanger and Maria Curcio. He also studied composition with Olivier Messiaen and received the Lilly Boulanger award for his early string quartet.
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Ninth Prize
Sara Davis Buechner was the gold medalist of the 1984 Gina Bachauer International Piano competition and was the top American prizewinner of the 1986 Tschaikowsky International Piano Competition in Moscow. With an active repertoire of nearly 100 piano concertos ranging from Bach to Wuorinen, she has appeared as soloist with major international orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, the Japan Philharmonic and BBC Philharmonic and will perform with the Toronto and Detroit Symphonies. She has recorded many celebrated CDs on the Koch, Conoisseur Society and Yamaha Disklavier labels. Ms Buechner is currently Associate Professor of Piano, Piano Literature and Chamber Music at the University of British Columbia - Vancouver, and previously served on the piano faculty of New York University. She gives yearly master classes throughout the Far East, and has also toured extensively as pianist for the Mark Morris Dance Group, and as an innovative collaborator with silent films. She was recently chosen to deliver the prestigious Eleanor Roosevelt Lecture/concert at Brandeis University and was also one of 8 pianists worldwide chosen to perform in the world piano music cycle at the Rudolfinum in Prague. Sara Buechner plays the Yamaha Piano exclusively.
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Tenth Prize
An internationally active soloist and chamber musician, Uriel Tsachor is a Steinway Artist and heads the piano area at the University of Iowa where he teaches a diverse and international studio of undergraduate and graduate students in the piano performance and pedagogy programs. Many of Tsachor's former students teach in colleges and universities throughout the world and are thriving in their music making careers. "A musician who pursues piano playing as a vehicle for musical poetry," (SüddeutscheZeitung, Munich) Uriel Tsachor has appeared in recitals in New York, Chicago, Tel-Aviv, Brussels, Vienna, Paris, London, Milan and other cities around the world, winning acclaim from critics and audiences alike for his powerful poetic expressiveness and compelling sensitivity. Uriel Tsachor was invited by Zubin Mehta to perform with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and has played with such prestigious European orchestras as the Teatro La Fenice Symphony in Venice and the RAI Orchestra of Turin. He has also performed with all the major orchestras in Israel. He has performed numerous times over twenty-five different concerti. Since his Lincoln Center debut with the New York City Symphony, described by The New York Times as "glittering brilliance," Uriel Tsachor has been performing throughout the United States as recitalist, soloist with orchestra and chamber musician. In recent seasons, Tsachor's performances in the US and Europe focused on works by Beethoven including the complete Piano Trios, the "Triple Concerto" and the HammerKlavier Sonata, as well as major works by Schumann including the Fantasy op. 17, Humoreske op. 20 and the F minor sonata op. 14. Tsachor has also toured Taiwan as recitalist and has performed in major halls such as Salle Gaveau in Paris, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and Avery Fisher Hall in New York. Uriel Tsachor has recorded many programs for radio and television stations in the United States, Israel and several countries in Europe. Winner of the Bösendorfer-Empire Concours (1986) and the Concorso Busoni (1985), and a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Competition, Uriel Tsachor is a graduate of the Tel-Aviv Rubin Academy and the Juilliard School where he earned his doctorate. His discography encompasses twenty-two releases for the EMI, Musical Heritage Society, PHONIC, DISCOVER, DIVOX and EMS labels and includes the two piano concerti by Brahms, and solo works by Beethoven, Bartók, Schumann, Mendelssohn and Dvorák. Swiss Radio International selected one of Tsachor's Schumann recordings for its Exceptional Production award, sending it to over 800 radio stations worldwide. Uriel Tsachor's chamber music recordings include three cello and piano sonatas by Barber, Schnittke and Britten on the EMS label. For the past 16 years Uriel Tsachor and violinist Andrew Hardy have been performing together throughout the US and Europe at important concert venues and chamber music festivals. In addition to performing virtually all the works for violin and piano by the major composers, the duo has also performed and recorded many obscure and rarely heard works. They recorded the violin and piano sonatas by Schumann including the rarely performed Third Sonata, as well as sonatas by Reger and Strauss for the London based label OLYMPIA, and the complete violin-piano sonatas by Brahms released on the CALLIOPE label in Paris. This set includes Brahms' own violin and piano arrangements of the clarinet sonatas op. 120 as well as the FAE Scherzo. In January 2006, the Musique en Wallonie label released the duo's 4-CD set of the eight sonatas by various well-known and obscure composers dedicated to Ysaÿe, the great Belgian violinist. This project was sponsored by major grants from the Belgian government. The set was enthusiastically reviewed by the European press and the Diapason magazine in Paris described Tsachor as "a pianist of great sensitivity and perfect musicianship" (August 2006) In addition to his eighteen years experience teaching at the University of Iowa, Uriel Tsachor has taught many solo and chamber music masterclasses in the United States, Europe and Taiwan and most recently presented masterclasses at Indiana University School of Music.
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