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Competitions / PIANO 1999 / Candidates / Candidates
Candidates
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First prize - Queen Elisabeth International Grand Prize
Vitaly Samoshko was born in Kharkiv city, Ukraine in 1973. At age five, he showed such musical promise he was granted a very early admission to the Kharkiv Special Music School. Professor Leonid Margarius started teaching him in 1985. He would continue tutoring Vitaly first at the Conservatory of Kharkiv (1991-1996), then in Imola, Italy at the Accademia Pianistica “Incontri col Maestro”. As an international piano prize winner, his talent attracted critical attention when he was awarded with 2nd prizes at the 1993 F. Busoni Competition, 1995 Senigallia International Piano Competition, 1996 Concours International de Piano de Montréal and 1998 A. Rubinstein Piano Master Competition. In 1999, the first prize in the Queen Elisabeth Competition firmly established his rising musical star and brought his solo career to a worldwide soar. He has since performed in over 25 countries, such as Zurichs Tonhalle, Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Metropolitan Museum and Steinway Hall in New York, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Beethovenhalle in Bonn and Japanese Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall, Okayama Symphony Hall, the Kyoto Concert Hall and Teatro Gran Rex in Buenos Aires. Vitaly Samoshko has contributed to many major festivals, amongst which the Klavier Festival Ruhr in Germany, French Festival de Montpellier Radio France and Festival de Besançon, the Festival Música Romântica in Switzerland, Yokohama International Piano Festival in Japan, Savannah Onstage Festival in the United States, the Canadian Festival International de Lanaudière, the Festival d’Echternach and Bourglinster Festival in Luxembourg, the Chopin Piano Festival in Poland as well as Belgian Festival of Flanders, Festival d’Aulne and Festival de Wallonie in Belgium. During his many musical travels, Vitaly Samoshko has enjoyed the honour of performing with world-class orchestras such as the Tokyo Philharmonic, the New Japan Philharmonic, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen, Orchester der Beethovenhalle, the St. Petersburg State Symphony and Orchestre National de Lille. Though a young performer, he has collaborated with some outstanding and acclaimed conductors, establishing partnerships with resounding names such as Charles Dutoit, Edvard Tchivzhel, Marc Soustrot, Gilbert Varga, Mendi Rodan, Georges Octors, Kazufumi Yamashita, David Shallon, Arthur Fagen, Otaka Tadaaki, Louis Langrée, Paul Daniel and David Angus. In 2001, Vitaly Samoshko made Belgium his second home. In 2003, he recorded a double CD with the new label Lineair Art Transfer. The recording features works by Schubert, Schumann, Scriabin and Prokofiev (LAT 2003-01). His second album, Piano Studies Scriabin (LAT 2005-02), was prestigiously awarded ‘Best international CD 2005’ by Classic Radio Klara (VRT). His third CD, the 2006 rendition of Rachmanoff’s ‘Les Etudes-Tableaux’ (LAT 2006-03), completes the recording triptych. The latest in the serie of records is the release in 2009 of a DVD & CD (LAT 2009-04), containing the Pianoconcerto N°3, in D minor, op.30 of Sergei Rachmaninoff, recorded with the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen, conducted by Jonas Alber. Regularly invited to give master classes, in 2005 he was appointed professor at the Conservatory of Ghent.
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Second Prize
Alexander Ghindin has become a fast-rising star on the international concert stage since he became the youngest-ever laureate of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1994, and is quickly establishing himself as one of the most sought-after pianists of his generation. In 2007, he won First prize at the Cleveland International Piano Competition and in 2010 at the International Piano Competition of Santa Catarina, Brazil. He joined the Moscow State Philharmonic as a soloist in 1999, and during his ensuing solo and orchestral career has performed in numerous countries. In 2006 Alexander Ghindin was named an Honored Artist of Russia. Since that year, he has been Artistic Director of his own concert series at the Svetlanov Hall of the Moscow International Performing Arts Center. He also is International Artistic Co-Director of Swedish Royal Festival (Musik på Slottet). For the season 2010-11 he has been Artistic Director of three festivals: in Moscow, in Perm (Russia) and in Minsk (Belorussia). His 2008/2009 season included over 100 performances throughout the United States, Europe and Russia. Highlights of recent seasons include performances with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra of Belgium and Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, as well as with, among others, the orchestras of Cleveland, London, Bordeaux, Ekaterinaburg, Kazan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Moscow, Pau, Monte Carlo, Prague, Slovenia and Vilnius. Alexander Ghindin has also been engaged and is re-engaged with the great Russian orchestras of his native country such as the Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia, and Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. He regularly collaborates with the most prominent conductors on the stage today, including Vladimir Fedosseyev, Saulus Sandeczkis, Vasily Sinaysky, Yuri Simonov, Dimitry Kitaenko, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Vladimir Spivakov, Vladimir Verbitsky, Paavo Järvi, Alan Gilbert, Leonard Slatkin, Artur Fagen, Tomasso Placidi, Thomas Zanderling, and others. Alexander Ghindin has been invited at numerous festivals, including those in Moscow, Stockholm, Echternach, Luxembourg, Colmar, La Roque d'Anthéron, Brussels, Limoges, the Montpellier Festival de Radio France, le Châtelet in Paris, Auditorium du Louvre, Sintra Festival in Portugal, Ruhr Klavier-Festival, Filharmonia Warscawa, and the Osaka International Festival. In his chamber music activities, Alexander Ghindin collaborates frequently with Vladimir Spivakov, including recordings on the Capriccio label; and in many concerts in piano duo with Nikolay Petrov with whom he has performed nearly the complete two-pianos repertoire. He has appeared in recital at prestigious concert halls throughout the world, including London's Barbican, the Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, Kennedy Center in Washington, Sumida Triphony Hall in Tokyo, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Salle Gaveau, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, and Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Gasteig in Munich, Rudolfium in Prague, Riksallen in Stockholm, the Teatro Olympico in Rome, the Tel-Aviv Opera, the Philharmonic Halls in Warsaw and St. Petersburg, the Moscow Conservatoire, and many others. In 2008 he ran the unique Quartet of Pianos project. He invited renowned musicians from France, the USA, Greece, the Netherlands, Turkey and Russia to take part in the Quartet. The concerts in this series were a tremendous success in Russia, France, Turkey, Greece and Azerbaijan. Alexander Ghindin has recorded 15 CDs. These include a recording of Rachmaninoffs Piano Concertos N°s 1 & 4 in their original versions with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra led by Vladimir Ashkenazy (2001, on Ondine).
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Third Prize
Pianist Ning An, First Prize Winner of the 2003 William Kapell Piano Competition, made his concerto debut at the age of sixteen, performing the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra. He has since appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic, the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Belgian National Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Flemish Radio Symphony, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, and the Taipei Symphony Orchestra and has worked with such conductors as Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Kasmierz Kord, Jajha Ling, and Sergiu Comissiona. Ning An has presented recitals at venues such as Carnegie Hall (NY), Salle Verdi (Milan, Italy) and Salle Cortot (Paris). He has been invited to perform at numerous festivals, including the International Chopin Festival in Duszinski, Poland, the Gina Bachauer Piano Festival in Salt Lake City, New Hampshire's Monadnock Music Festival, the Bourglinster Festival in Luxembourg, and the Interlaken Music Festival in Switzerland. He was also a soloist with the Warsaw Philharmonic during their 2001 Centennial world tour. A semi-finalist in the 2005 Van Cliburn Competition, Ning An was the Third Prize winner of the 1999 Queen Elisabeth Competition and First Prize Winner in the 2000 National Chopin Piano Competition. In addition, he received the Alfred Cortot Prize at the 2000 International Chopin Competition. Other top prizes include the American Pianists Association, the Kosciusko Chopin Competition, and the Stravinsky International Piano Competition. He was the Third Prize winner of the 2002 Paloma O'Shea Santander Competition in Spain, and won the audience prize at the 2002 Rachmaninoff International Competition held in Pasadena, California. Ning An and his wife Gloria Chien perform as a piano duo. They are both graduates of the New England Conservatory of Music, where they studied with Russell Sherman. Ning An is now Artist-in-Residence and Gloria Chien heads the piano department at Lee University in Tennessee. In 2009, An has performed with the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, the Morocco Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Miami, and Poland’s Kalisz and Lodz Philharmonic Orchestras. An also performed solo recitals in Paris, France, and Bialystock, Poland. In 2010 he played for the Steinway Society in San Jose and Music in the Loft in Chicago.
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Fourth Prize
Shai Wosner's debut recording, released by Onyx in the fall of 2010 to wide critical acclaim, juxtaposes works by Brahms and Schoenberg and explores the inner connections between the musical languages of the two composers. His second solo album includes works by Schubert that incorporate elements of folk music and is released by Onyx in the fall of 2011. Shai Wosner's 2011-2012 season includes recitals in London's Wigmore Hall and LSO St. Luke's, a return to the Baltimore Symphony, a duo recital with baritone Wolfgang Holzmair at the 92nd St. Y in New York and a duo recital tour with violinist Jennifer Koh. In May 2012, together with the Seattle Symphony conducted by Gerard Schwarz, he is scheduled to premiere "Along the Ravines", a new concerto by Michael Hersch commissioned for him by the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. Other recent and upcoming appearances include return engagements with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony and the Jerusalem Symphony, among others; recitals at Wigmore Hall (broadcast live on BBC's Radio 3), Brighton Festival, Singapore International Piano Festival, Piano Aux Jacobins in Toulouse, Oxford Philomusica, the Oregon Bach Festival as well as a guest appearance on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. In 2010, Wosner made his highly acclaimed subscription debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and was invited later that year to perform with the Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival. He also recently conducted the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra from the keyboard, in a performance broadcast on American Public Radio. He has appeared with numerous major orchestras in North America, including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and San Francisco. In Europe, he has appeared with the Staatskapelle Berlin, Gothenburg Symphony, Barcelona Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Orchestre National de Belgique and Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, among others. In 2006, he debuted with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in Salzburg, during the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth. He has worked with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Donald Runnicles, Alan Gilbert, Leonard Slatkin, Peter Oundjian, Gunther Herbig, James Conlon and Jiří Bělohlávek. He recently completed a residency as a BBC New Generation Artist, during which he recorded extensively for BBC Radio and played frequently with the BBC orchestras, including appearances conducting Mozart concertos from the keyboard with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He also returned to the BBC Scottish Symphony in performances both on subscription and at the Proms. His performances in recital, concertos and chamber music continue to be broadcast on Radio 3. As chamber musician, Shai Wosner has collaborated with numerous artists including Pinchas Zukerman, Christian Tetzlaff, Ralph Kirshbaum and Cho-Liang Lin. Recent and upcoming chamber music engagements include collaborations with the Tokyo, Miró and Parker string quartets; clarinetists Jörg Widmann and Martin Fröst; bass-baritone Dietrich Henschel; and various festivals including Mostly Mozart, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival. He is a former member of Lincoln Center's Chamber Music Society Two. For several consecutive summers, he was involved in the West-Eastern Divan Workshop led by Daniel Barenboim and toured as soloist with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Born in Israel, Shai Wosner enjoyed a broad musical education from an early age, studying piano with Emanuel Krasovsky as well as composition, theory and improvisation with André Hajdu. He later studied at The Juilliard School with Emanuel Ax. He is a recipient of America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarships, an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award.
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Fifth Prize
Born in Naples, Roberto Cominati began studying piano at a very early age: he was just eight when he was admitted to the Conservatory San Pietro a Majella in Naples for special merits. In 1991 he won the First Prize at the International Competition Alfredo Casella in Naples and in 1993 the First Prize at the International Competition Ferruccio Busoni in Bolzano; this last award launched his career and gained him the favour of both critics and major Italian concert promoters. In 1999 he was rewarded the Jacques Stehman Prize by the audience of the RTBF and TV5 France at the Queen Elisabeth Competition. Since then, Roberto Cominati is invited to perform in the most prestigious venues and festivals such as the Salzburger Festspiele, Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Settimane Musicali di Stresa, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Lingotto in Turin, Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Teatro Municipal in Saõ Paulo, Sydney Opera House, Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. He has appeared with leading orchestras in Europe, Japan and Australia, under the baton of such conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Andrey Boreyko, Leon Fleisher, Daniel Harding, Eliahu Inbal, Yuri Ahronovitch, David Robertson, Aleksandr Lazarev. In 2010, Roberto Cominati recorded the complete of works Maurice Ravel for Amadeus.
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Sixth Prize
Born in Moscow in 1976, Vladimir Sverdlov comes from a family with a long tradition of producing great artists. His grandfather, David Ashkenazy, composer, pianist and accompanist, was a great influence on him in his formative years. His first compositions were produced under his grandfather’s guidance and Vladimir has paid tribute to him by adding his surname to his own. His uncle's decision (famous pianist and conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy) to return to Moscow to perform after an absence of twenty-five years, made such an impression on his nephew that he was inspired to win the Grand Prize of all the national music schools at the age of fourteen. Vladimir Sverdlov started piano classes with V.A. Tutuchkina and I.M. Leschinskaya and his first major influence as a composer was V.V. Fessenko. In 1991 he joined the Moscow Central Music School, studying in the class of Vladimir Kraynev and in 1994 continued his studies in Hannover under the guidance of Arie Vardi. He made his first tour in Germany in 1992 with the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra under the direction of Dmitri Kitaenko and in 1993 won the International Piano Competition in Italy (Senigalli). In 1999, he participated in the Queen Elisabeth Competition and in 2006 he won the Monte Carlo Masters (Concours des concours) Competition, which proved the turning point in his career. He performs regularly at important festivals including the Progetto Martha Argerich, collaborates with artists such as Mikhael Pletnev, Misha Maisky, Martha Argerich and Alexander Vedernikov and performs internationally with major orchestras. In 2004, he created his own company, Arts Production Company, organizing cultural events in the Benelux countries and since 2008, when he decided to return to composition of both music and poetry (his first book of poems being published in 2011). He has included his own compositions and recitations in his recitals, as well as undertaking regular series of poetry readings (in both French and Russian) and producing music for theatre and film. In 2012, he has released a CD on the label Piano Classics, containing the Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition, Balakirev’s Islamey and the world premiere of his own “4 Pieces” .
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Unranked laureate
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Unranked laureate
Born in 1976 in Moscow, Jacob Katznelson started his music studies at the age of six. In 1993 he entered Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory to study with Eliso Virsaladze, of whom he is an assistant at the Moscow Conservatory since 2001. He also teaches at the Special Gnessin music school affiliated to the conservatory since 1998. He has performed as a soloist across Russia as well as in Austria, Germany, Spain and France. As a member of the Akadem-trio (Jacob Katsnelson (piano), Irina Petukhova (violin), Boris Lifanovsky (cello)) he has performed in Russia and abroad. In 1999 the trio won the First and six special prizes at the Second Open National Taneyev chamber music competition. In 2000 it won 2nd prize at the XXI Trapani (Italy) International chamber music competition. Jacob Katznelson is a laureate of the 2nd International piano competition in Tbilisi (Georgia) and the 1st International Svyatoslav Richter competition in Moscow (2005).
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Unranked laureate
A former stipendiary of the prestigious Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, Roland Krüger won the Wartburg-Wettbewerb in Eisenach in 1999 and subsequently proved his international standing in 2001, when he was awarded the First Prize of the jury and the Audience’s Award at the Concours de Genève, being the first pianist after eleven years to receive the jury’s prize. After his performances of Schumann and Bartók with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Fabio Luisi in the Victoria Hall in Geneva, the critics praised his pianistic mastery, his musical authority and his ability of partnership and dialogue with the orchestra. Today a professor at the Musikhochschule Hannover, Roland Krüger studied with Oleg Maisenberg, Krystian Zimerman and Karl-Heinz Kämmerling. His artistic development was further enhanced by masterclasses with Lazar Berman, John O’Conor and John Perry. Besides his solo activities with renowned orchestras and countless recitals, Roland Krüger is a passionate chamber musician and as such partner with distinguished players of nearly all instruments. He regularly performs in important international venues such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, the Brucknerhaus in Linz or the Musikhalle in Hamburg. As a soloist, he worked with orchestras such as the Orchestre National de Belgique, the Radio-Philharmonie Hannover des NDR, the Basler Sinfonie-Orchester or the Klassische Philharmonie Bonn under conductors like Dennis Russell Davies, Othmar Maga, Eiji Oue oder Marc Soustrot. Roland Krüger is a regular guest at international festivals, such as the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Rheingau Musik Festival, the Klassik Musikfest Mühlviertel, the Brühler Schlosskonzerte, the Festival di Ravello or the Festival de la Habana in Cuba. In recent years, he has also developed projects in collaboration with distinguished German actors Christian Quadflieg and Bernt Hahn. His musical activities include works of almost the entire occidental music history, showing his particular interest in composition technique and questions of music theory. Roland Krüger’s work has been documented in countless radio and television broadcasts. He recorded Debussy’s Études for Ars Musici and received raving reviews. In summer 2010, his new CD “Roland Krüger live” has been published by paladino music.
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Unranked laureate
Born in 1968 in Japan, Hidéki Nagano joined the Ensemble intercontemporain in 1996. At the age of twelve, he won first prize at the national student competition. Following his studies in Tokyo, he continued at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, where he studied piano with Jean-Claude Pennetier and vocal accompaniment with Anne Grappotte. After graduating with highest honors in vocal accompaniment, piano and chamber music, he won prizes at several international competitions: Montreal, Barcelona, Maria-Canals. In 1998, he received two awards for young talents in Japan (the Muramatsu award and the Idemitsu award), and in 1999 obtained the Prix Samson François at the first international 20th century piano competition in Orléans. It has always been important for Hidéki Nagano to pursue relationships with contemporary composers and to transmit uncommon repertoire. His soloist recordings include works by Antheil, Boulez, Messiaen, Murail, Dutilleux, Prokofiev, and Ravel. He regularly performs in France and Japan as a soloist and with chamber ensembles. He has been a guest soloist with the NHK Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Charles Dutoit.
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