Chairman of the jury
Arie Van Lysebeth
Belgium, °1938
Arie Van Lysebeth was the President of the Jury of the Queen Elisabeth Competition from 1996 to 2018. He took up the violin at the age of four. He completed his higher education at the Brussels Conservatory in music theory, bassoon, chamber music, and orchestral conducting. Following a competition, he was appointed bassoon soloist of the Belgian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra. Two years later, he came joint first in the Prague International Bassoon Contest. He also studied conducting under Bruno Maderna in Salzburg and under Pierre Boulez in Switzerland. Starting in 1970, he conducted the Flemish Chamber Orchestra, both in Belgium and abroad. As a guest conductor, he has appeared with the major Belgian orchestras as well as with symphony orchestras in the United States of America, Argentina, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany. He has performed with many famous soloists, including Igor Oistrakh, José Van Dam, Murray Perahia, and Augustin Dumay. From 1995 to 2004 he was the regular conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the Brussels Conservatory, where he taught chamber music for many years (1970-1994) and served as director (1994-2003). From 2004 to 2014, he was the artistic director of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel.
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Gautier Capuçon
France, °1981
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Marta Casals-Istomin
Puerto Rico
Marta Casals Istomin was born in Puerto Rico to a family of amateur musicians. After her first music studies in Puerto Rico, she was awarded a scholarship to study cello at New York’s Mannes School of Music. She was married to Pablo Casals from 1957-1973, and to the American pianist Eugene Istomin from 1975-2003. She taught cello at the Conservatory of Puerto Rico and was visiting cello professor at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. From 1980 to 1991, she was Artistic Director of the Kennedy Center in Washington. She was President of the Manhattan School of Music in New York from 1992 to 2005, General Director of the Rencontres Musicales d’Evian (1990-97) and a member of the National Council on the Arts (1990-1997). Besides her activities for the Casals Foundation, Marta Casals Istomin is on the Board of all the main cultural institutions of Puerto Rico, of the Marlboro Festival, the Manhattan School of Music, the Kronberg Academy and The Nippon Music Foundation. The governments of Spain, France, Germany and Catalonia have decorated her with their highest civilian honors. In 2015, she was awarded the Living Legend Award by the Library of Congress in Washington.
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Henri Demarquette
France, °1970
Henri Demarquette was born in 1970. He started at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique in Paris at the age of thirteen; a pupil of Philippe Muller and Maurice Gendron, he was unanimously awarded the First Prize. Performing regularly in public from a very early age, he caught the attention of Yehudi Menuhin, who invited him to play under his conducting in Paris and Prague, which gave a considerable boost to his international career. He has played with many outstanding pianists, including Boris Berezovsky, Frank Braley, Brigitte Engerer, Michel Dalberto, François-Frédéric Guy, and Jean-Bernard Pommier. A highly versatile musician, Henri Demarquette also pursues a variety of original projects, including a duo with the accordionist Richard Galliano, a line-up that brings together the cello and an a cappella choir under the name of Vocello, and a collaboration with Victor Villena and the Quinteto El Después (Together, A Tango Dream). He champions rarely heard twentieth-century works and has made the first recordings of pieces by Jean Cras, Florent Schmitt, and Jean Françaix. He has also premiered many contemporary works, by Olivier Greif, Pascal Zavaro, and Eric Tanguy, among others. In France, the Académie des Beaux-Arts has awarded Demarquette the Prix de la Fondation Simone et Cino del Duca.
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Roel Dieltiens
Belgium
Roel Dieltiens studied in Antwerp and Detmold. From the very beginning of his career, his forceful personality and unconventional approach won him engagements in major international venues. He has also won international fame as a chamber musician and as the founder of the Ensemble Explorations. Since 2010, he has performed in a trio with the fortepianist Andreas Staier and the violinist Daniel Sepec. His many recordings for the Harmonia Mundi and Etcetera labels have been acclaimed by the press and the public. In 2010, Dieltiens was awarded a Klara prize and the Caecilia Prize for his recording of the Suites for solo cello by J. S. Bach. While most of his activity is devoted to the baroque and classical repertoires on period instruments, he also plays the modern cello. He has successfully tackled the Romantic repertoire (Mendelssohn and Brahms) and the modern repertoire (in particular, Kodály and Martinù). His curiosity has led him to revive neglected music by, for example, Servais and Franchomme. He is a professor at the Hochschule der Künste in Zurich and at the Lemmensinstituut in Leuven. He has served on the jury of a variety of international competitions (including the Bach Competition in Leipzig and the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow).
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David Geringas
Lithuania
David Geringas was taught by Mstislav Rostropovich and won the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1970. He emigrated to West Germany in 1975 and went on to develop an outstanding international career. His discography, which includes nearly 100 recordings, bears witness to his inquisitiveness and to the extraordinary diversity of his interests and repertoire. His recordings have won numerous awards, including the Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros for his complete Boccherini concertos. Committed to the music of his time, he has premiered many works and works have been dedicated to him by Sofia Gubaidulina, Ned Rorem, Peteris Vasks, Erkki-Sven Tür, and Anatolius Senderovas. He is also an orchestral conductor, performing all over the world and making numerous recordings. Since the Soviet regime came to an end and his country became independent, David Geringas has worked tirelessly to promote the music of his homeland, Lithuania, of which he has become a true cultural ambassador. He is an honorary professor at the Moscow Conservatory and at the Central Conservatory in Beijing. These days, he gives a great many masterclasses all over the world and also teaches at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena.

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Natalia Gutman
Russian Federation
After studying in Moscow under Galina Kozolupova, Natalia Gutman went on to further studies in Leningrad under Rostropovich, who invited her to join his teaching team even before she had completed her training. She has been a laureate of many competitions, winning the gold medal at the Vienna Youth Festival in 1959 and First Prize at the Munich Competition in 1967. When it had barely begun, her international career was interrupted by the Soviet authorities. She resumed it in 1978, and has since worked with orchestral conductors such as Temirkanov, Masur, Sawallisch, Haitink, and Claudio Abbado, to whom she was very close. She is a passionate advocate of contemporary composers, especially Denisov, Gubaidulina, and Alfred Schnittke, who dedicated his First Sonata and First Concerto to her. Her love of chamber music has led her to play with, among others, her late husband Oleg Kagan, Richter, Argerich, Bashmet, and Virsaladze. Natalia Gutman teaches at the Moscow Conservatory, at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna, and the Scuola di Musica in Fiesole (Italy). She gives masterclasses all over the world.

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Marie Hallynck
Belgium
An experienced soloist and a keen chamber musician and teacher, Marie Hallynck studied under Reine Flachot, Edmond Baert, János Starker, and Natalia Gutman. A laureate of the Eurovision Young Musicians competition in 1992 and of the Juventus Foundation, and a Rising star of the ECHO network in 2000, she was selected as Musician of the Year by the Belgian music press in 2002. She has performed with many prestigious ensembles, including the St Petersburg Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Lille, and the National Orchestra of Belgium. On concert and on disc, she has been an enthusiastic advocate of the Belgian repertoire (including Lekeu, Vieuxtemps, Jongen, Huybrechts, and Brossé). In a duo with the pianist Cédric Tiberghien, she has made a number of memorable recordings (of Grieg, Schumann, Debussy, Britten, and Bacri). In 2006, together with the pianist Muhiddin Dürrüoglu and the clarinettist Ronald Van Spaendonck, she founded the Kheops Ensemble, which has given her the opportunity to tackle a broad range of chamber music in a variety of line-ups. Marie Hallynck has been teaching at the Royal Brussels Conservatory since she was nineteen.
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Frans Helmerson
Sweden
Frans Helmerson first studied his instrument under Guido Vecchi in Gothenburg, before going on to further studies under Giuseppe Selmi in Rome and William Pleeth in London. He also benefited from the advice and encouragement of Rostropovich and Celibidache. In 1971, he won the Cassado Competition in Florence. His career as a soloist has taken him to every continent. He has had fruitful collaborations with great conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, Colin Davis, Neeme Järvi, Evgeni Svetlanov, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Herbert Blomstedt, Sergiu Comissiona, Kurt Sanderling, and Mstislav Rostropovich. His recordings of the Dvoøák and Shostakovich concertos are regarded as benchmarks. He is also a keen chamber musician and performs regularly at festivals, including the Verbier, the Pablo Casals, and the Ravinia festivals. From 1994 to 2001, he was artistic director of the Korsholm Music Festival in Finland. He founded the Michelangelo String Quartet in 2002 with Mihaela Martin, Stephan Picard, and Nobuko Imai. Frans Helmerson teaches at the Kronberg Akademie and is a Guest Professor at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin.
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Gary Hoffman
Canada
Born in Vancouver, Gary Hoffman made his debut at Wigmore Hall in London at the age of fifteen. In 1979, when just twenty-two, he became the youngest professor at the school of music of the University of Indiana. In 1986, at the Rostropovich Competition in Paris, he won the Grand Prize, which opened the way to an international career. He has performed as a guest with the world’s leading orchestras (including the Chicago Symphony, the London Symphony, the English Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France) and has played under great conductors such as André Previn, Herbert Blomstedt, James Levine, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Charles Dutoit. His concerto repertoire includes more than fifty works, from C.P.E. Bach to Dvorák and from Saint-Saëns to the composers of today. He is also an experienced chamber musician, whose recordings of sonatas and trios (by Tchaikovsky, Arensky, and Prokofiev, among others, and, recently, by Mendelssohn) have been widely acclaimed. He has taught for many years at major academies and festivals (including the Aspen Music Festival, the Gregor Piatigorsky Seminar, and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki) and, since 2011, at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel.
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Anssi Karttunen
Finland
Born in Finland, Anssi Karttunen was taught by Erkki Rautio, William Pleeth, Jacqueline du Pré, and Tibor de Machula. He is an enthusiastic advocate of contemporary music and collaborations with a numberof composers have contributed to his technical development; many of them, including Salonen, Lindberg, Saariaho, Tan Dun, Wallin, and Dusapin, have written works for him. Karttunen has premiered more than 160 works! His curiosity knows no limits, whether in terms of instruments (he enjoys playing the baroque cello - and even the piccolo) or of repertoire. His very varied discography includes countless contemporary works, as well as the Beethoven sonatas on period instruments and a disc devoted to Jean-Baptiste Barrière (1707 - 1747). He loves making transcriptions and arrangements. He has been solo cellist with the London Sinfonietta and founded a string trio, the Zebra Trio. From 1994 to 1998, he was artistic director of the Avanti! ChamberOrchestra. He directed the Helsinki Biennale in 1995 and 1999; more recently, he directed the Musica nova Helsinki festival in 2015. Anssi Karttunen lives in Paris, where he teaches at the École Normale de Musique.
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Mischa Maisky
Israel, °1948
Mischa Maisky is the only cellist to have studied successively under Mstislav Rostropovich and Gregor Piatigorsky. He even received some advice from Pablo Casals! Born in Latvia, he grew up in Russia, where he spent eighteen months in a labour camp before being allowed to emigrate to Israel in 1973. He sees himself as a citizen of the world and lives in Brussels. His illustrious career has taken him to the four corners of the world and he has played under all the great orchestral conductors of our time and of the recent past, including Bernstein, Maazel, Mehta, Muti, Ashkenazy, Barenboim, Jansons, Gergiev, and Dudamel. Martha Argerich’s favourite musical partner for forty years now, he has also played chamber music with Gidon Kremer, Vadim Repin, Maxim Vengerov, Itzhak Perlman, Janine Jansen, Yuri Bashmet, Nelson Freire, Lang Lang, Radu Lupu, and Evgeny Kissin. Fascinated by Bach’s oeuvre, he played his music throughout a world tour of more than a hundred concerts in 2000, to mark the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death. He has recorded Bach’s complete Suites for solo cello on three occasions. His extensive discography, for the most part on Deutsche Grammophon, has won many awards.
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Antonio Meneses
Brazil, °1957
Antonio Meneses was born into a family of musicians in Recife in Brazil in 1957. He started to study the cello at the age of ten and studied under Antonio Janigro in Düsseldorf and later in Stuttgart. He won the first prize at the Munich Competition in 1977 and at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1982, and had the honour of being loaned Pablo Casals’s cello. He is frequently invited to perform with the greatest orchestras all over the world and has played under the most eminent conductors, including Karajan (with whom he recorded Don Quichotte by Richard Strauss and the Brahms Double Concerto), Abbado, Muti, Chailly, Rostropovich, Jansons, Masur, Temirkanov, and Thielemann. A keen chamber musician, Antonio Meneses was a member of the famous Beaux Arts Trio for ten years and plays regularly in a duo with Maria-João Pires. His extensive discography includes the complete Beethoven sonatas (with Menahem Pressler) and the complete works for cello of his compatriot Heitor Villa-Lobos. He has given courses on performance in Europe (at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid and at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena), Canada, and Japan. He has taught at the Musikhochschule in Berne since 2008.
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Truls Mork
Norway
Truls Mørk, who was born in 1961, first studied the cello with his father, before going on to further studies under Frans Helmerson, Heinrich Schiff, and Natalia Schakowskaya. He made a big impression at a number of international competitions, including the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1982, the Cassado Competition in Florence in 1983, and the Naumburg Competition in New York in 1986. Those successes led to engagements with outstanding orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, and the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam. He has worked with Mariss Jansons, David Zinman, Manfred Honeck, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, Simon Rattle, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, among others. He is a lover of contemporary music and has premiered more than thirty works by Krzysztof Penderecki, Einojuhani Rautavaara, John Storgårds, and Pavel Haas, among others. He founded the Chamber Music Festival in Stavanger, of which he is artistic director. His extensive discography (on Virgin, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, and Ondine) includes benchmark versions of the Shostakovich concertos and Britten suites.
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Jian Wang
China
Jian Wang started to study the cello with his father at the age of four, before entering the Shanghai Conservatory. During the filming of From Mao to Mozart, he caught the attention of Isaac Stern and received encouragement from him. He began his studies at the Yale School of Music under Aldo Parisot in 1985 and made his professional debut in 1986 at Carnegie Hall in New York. Since then, he has had an international career in Europe and America, while continuing to be very active in China. He was artist in residence at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing in the 2015-16 season and has long been closely associated with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. Chamber music has played an important part in his career, particularly with the trio he forms with Maria-João Pires and Augustin Dumay. He has recorded the Suites for solo cello of J.S. Bach and frequently performs them in concert. His discography includes benchmark performances such as the Brahms Double Concerto conducted by Claudio Abbado, the Elgar Concerto conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps with Myung-Whun Chung, Gil Shaham, and Sabine Meyer.
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Pieter Wispelwey
The Netherlands
Pieter Wispelwey was born in Haarlem in the Netherlands in 1962. He studied the cello under Dicky Boeke and Anner Bylsma in Amsterdam, and later under Paul Katz in the United States and William Pleeth in England. In 1992, he became the first cellist to receive the Nederlandse Muziekprijs. He has appeared as a soloist with the greatest orchestras worldwide, including the Boston Symphony, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. The conductors he has played under include Iván Fischer, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Herbert Blomstedt, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Kent Nagano, Neville Marriner, and Philippe Herreweghe. In 2012, Pieter Wispelwey founded Quartet-Lab with Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Pekka Kuusisto, and Lilli Maijala. Equally at home on period instruments and on the modern cello, he has a repertoire that covers three centuries, from Vivaldi to Ligeti. His primary passion remains Bach’s Suites for solo cello: he frequently performs all six in public and has recorded them three times. He has made thirty albums for Channel Classics, Onyx, and Evil Penguin Classic.
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