C. Bechstein Baden-Württemberg Conservatory Competition 2011
Four Special Prizes Awarded
The Second Prize went to Atsuko Kinoshita, a student at Mannheim State Conservatory of Music and the Performing Arts. At the winners’ concert, she played works by Debussy and Brahms. The Third Prize went to Danlin Felix Sheng, student at Freiburg State Conservatory.
In addition to the three main prizes, which carry concert engagements and total prize money of €3,500, the judges also awarded several special prizes. Myounghyun Seo (Freiburg) won the prize for the best interpretation of a work by Franz Liszt, funded by the piano dealer Klavierhaus Hermann (Trossingen), for her interpretation of Paganini’s Étude No. 2. Mima Matsui (Mannheim) won the prize for the best interpretation of a classical work, funded by the Stuttgart dealer Piano-Fischer, for her interpretation of Haydn’s Sonata in C Major (Hob. XVI:50). Furthermore, the juror Theo Geissler, publisher of Neue Musikzeitung, decided spontaneously to announce two special prizes for the best interpretations of contemporary works. These were awarded to Wanru Fu (Trossingen) and Sangmi Choi (Karlsruhe).
High Praise for the Concert Grand
Of the forty students who had registered for the competition, twenty-five were admitted, and twenty performed in the first round on 2 June 2011. Nine students advanced to the final round on the next day, in which each of them played a program of fifty minutes. The jury included: Reinhard Becker (Trossingen Conservatory), Theo Geissler (publisher, Neue Musikzeitung), Prof. Michael Leuschner (Freiburg Conservatory), Prof. Rudolf Meister (Mannheim Conservatory), Prof. Kalle Randalu (Karlsruhe Conservatory), Jörg Tisken (music journalist), Prof. Florian Wiek (Stuttgart Conservatory); and Gregor Willmes (Cultural Affairs, C. Bechstein, Berlin).
The regional press had the highest praise for the C. Bechstein D 282 concert grand piano used in the competition. Alfred Thiele for example wrote in Südwestpresse: “Not only the young pianists garnered compliments during the three-day feast of piano music, but so did the outstanding Bechstein concert grand, which impressed the audiences with its thrilling dynamics and its moving, poetic, singing voice.” Reinhard Becker said: “A pianist can really become one with this instrument.” The master piano builder Anton Hermann, trained in the high art of piano-making in top-flight factories and backed with decades of experience as a concert tuner, had to agree: “A magnificent piano in every register, beautifully voiced.”
Photos: Alfred Thiele, Jörg Tisken and C. Bechstein AG