International Carl Bechstein Piano Competition Ruhr 2006
250 young pianists from 55 countries applied
250 pianists from 55 countries applied to take part in the 2006 International Carl Bechstein Piano Competition Ruhr. 47 candidates were admitted to the first round. After 10 days and 4 competition rounds Bulgarian pianist Evgeny Bozhanov won first prize. The distinction, which was endowed with €15,000, was awarded by the top-class jury to the young Bulgarian for his interpretation of the E-Minor Concert by Chopin. However, impressions remaining from previous competition rounds entered into jurors' assessment, as Jury Chairman and Artistic Director of the competition, Professor Boris Bloch, emphasized after the finals in the Essen Philharmonic.
Second prize was secured by Amir Tebenikhin from Kasachstan. Third prize went to Pierre Mancinelli, a native of France. Besides monetary prizes, all three Bechstein laureates received important concert engagements at festivals and concert halls in Germany. In close partnership with Folkwang University, the competition was announced at various places in the Ruhr region (Dortmund, Duisburg and Essen). Additional strong partners were the Essen Philharmonic, Duisburg Theatre and Philharmonic, Dortmund Concert House and Bochum Symphony. Patron of the competition was Vladimir Ashkenazy.
International jury selects high-quality award winners
The international jury headed by Boris Bloch consisted of Idil Biret (pianist), Andrea Bonatta (pianist and Artistic Directic of the Piano Competition and "Ferruccio Busoni" festival in Bozen), Dr. Eleonore Büning (Music Editor of the Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung), Peter Froundjian (pianist and Artistic Director of the "Raritaeten der Klaviermusik" festival), Kirill Gerstein (pianist), Wolfram Goertz (Music Editor of the Rheinischen Post), Andreas Groethuysen (pianist, half of the piano duo Tal & Groethuysen), Dang Thai Son (pianist) and Alexandr Tschaikovsky (composer, pianist and Artistic Director of the Moscow Philharmonic).
With regards to contents, the competition offered a distinctive feature. After two solo rounds the candidates in the semi-finals had to prepare a piano concerto by Mozart together with a string quintet.
That the jury selected high-quality pianists as award winners was confirmed in consecutive years through further competition success: Thus Evgeny Bozharnov won the 2008 International Svlatoslav Richter Piano Competition in Moscow and in the same year first prize at the International Piano Competition Alessandro Casagrande, in 2009 he reached the finals of the Van-Cliburn Competition, and in 2010 he received fourth prize at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. In 2007 Amir Tebenikhin won first prize at the International Piano Competition Anton G. Rubinstein and in 2009 first prize at the International Competition George Enescu.