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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Paul Badura-Skoda
- 2019
Paul Badura-Skoda is one of the most important pianists of our time. A legendary artist who has been heard in all the world´s greatest concert halls, and for years was the pianist who had the largest number of records available in the market. His musical personality is characterized by complete immersion in music, a passionate search for the essential, and a sense of artistic responsibility. It soon becomes evident to any listener that he loves music with every part of his being.

In 1945, Paul Badura-Skoda entered the Vienna Conservatory. Two years later he won first prize in the Austrian Music Competition and a scholarship which allowed him to study with Edwin Fischer. In 1949, Wilhelm Furtwängler and Herbert von Karajan became aware of Badura-Skoda´s outstanding talent and invited him to play concerts. Practically overnight the young viennese became a world-famous artist.

Since then, Badura-Skoda has been a regular and celebrated guest at the most important music festivals and a soloist with the world´s most prestigious orchestras. In addition to Furtwängler and von Karajan, he has collaborated with such renowned conducters as George Szell, Karl Böhm, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Georg Solti, Kent Nagano and John Eliot Gardiner.

Paul Badura-Skoda has recorded a vast repertoire - more than 200 LPs and dozens of compact discs including the complete cycles of the piano sonatas of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert.

Badura-Skoda performs with equal authority on both period and modern instruments. He was a pioneer in proposing the use of period pianos in perfomance. His profound knowledge of instruments from Bach´s and Mozart time up to the present has given him the capacity to extract from modern instruments a quality of sound which never fails to amaze audiences and critics alike.
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Evelyne Brancart
Belgium, United States of America, °1954
Evelyne Brancart was born in Belgium and studied with the renowned teacher Eduardo del Pueyo. She is a laureate of numerous international competitions, including those of Montréal (1976), Munich (1984) and Gina Bacchauer (1986). She had her London debut in 1976 to stunning critical acclaim.
Since her arrival in the United States in 1980, in addition to a host of concerts as soloist and in recital, Evelyne Brancart has devoted a good deal of her time to chamber music, collaborating with a great many artists and participating in numerous festivals in Europe, the United States, Canada and Mexico. She has taught at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, the Eastman School of Music, Rice University and the Aspen Summer Music School.
Since 1991, she is a professor at the Jacobs School of Music (University of Indiana).
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Bella Davidovich
At the age of 18, Bella Davidovich entered the Moscow Conservatory to study with Konstantin Igumnov and Jacob Flier. In 1949 she became the youngest pianist to have won First Prize at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Since her soldout Carnegie Hall debut in the United States (1979), she has worked with renowned orchestras such as the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Concertgebouw Orchestras, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, with, amongst others, Rostropovich, Masur, Temirkanov, and Muti. Her substantial discography includes recordings for Philips, Orfeo, Novalis, and Delos. In 1988, together with her son, she became the first Soviet emigre musician to be officially invited to perform in her native country. While in Russia, Bella Davidovich taught at the Moscow Conservatory for 16 years and has been a Professor at the Juilliard School in New York for over 20 years. She regularly serves on the jury of the Chopin Competition in Warsaw, the Queen Elisabeth Competition, the Clara Haskil Piano Competition in Switzerland, and the Ferruccio Busoni Competition in Italy.
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André De Groote
Belgium, °1940
A prize-winner in a number of important contests, the eminent Belgian pianist André De Groote was awarded the Harriet Cohen Medal in London and was a laureate of the Tchaikovsky (Moscow), Queen Elisabeth and ARD (Munich) competitions, all of which gave him access to the world´s major musical venues.

His art has thus been widely heard, not only in the main European centers, but also in the Americas, Africa, the Middle and Far East. He has appeared with such distinguished conductors as Dean Dixon, Neëme Jarvi, Michael Gielen, Christoph Eschenbach, Igor Markevitch... His chamber music activities include close association with the Chilingirian and Via Nova string quartets, the violinists Yayoi Toda and Augustin Dumay, while his duo with the cellist Viviane Spanoghe has become a landmark in Belgian musical life. Together they have recorded works by Beethoven, Brahms, Britten, Enesco, Jongen, Shostakovitch, Tournemire and Vierne.

André De Groote's wide-ranged repertoire includes some 50 concertos, Brahms´ entire output for solo piano (all of which has been recorded), Beethoven´s 32 piano sonatas that he performed three times in Brussels, at the Beethovenhaus in Bonn, in Zaragoza (Spain), and in Hiroshima (Japan); the recording of these sonatas has been released by Naxos. Other recordings include the three piano sonatas by Erich Korngold, Charles Camilleri´s three piano concertos, Arthur de Greef´s two, and works for piano and ensemble by Poulenc and Françaix. A new recording of Brahms´ two sonatas for piano and clarinet (with Wolfgang Meyer) and viola (with Pierre-Henri Xuereb) has been released.

An honorary professor at the Brussels Royal Consevatoire, he has given many master classes in France, Germany, Spain and Japan. In 1986 he was a visiting Professor at Arizona State University and in 2007-2008 at Indiana University, Bloomington.
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Leon Fleisher
United States of America, °1928 - 2020
Leon Fleisher, whose career as an acclaimed US concert pianist continued despite losing the use of his right hand, has died aged 92 in Baltimore on 2 August 2020.

Born to eastern European Jewish immigrants in San Francisco in 1928, Fleisher was a child prodigy who, aged four, would repeat the piano phrases his older brother had been learning, without teaching. He played his first public concert aged eight, and began being taught by star pianist Artur Schnabel the following year. He made his debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, at the city’s Carnegie Hall, when he was 16.

As a young man, he signed a contract with Columbia Masterworks, and earned acclaim for his performances of piano concertos by Brahms, Liszt and Beethoven, with conductors including Leonard Bernstein and George Szell.

By 1949, however, though he had played with many of the major American orchestras and had given recitals across the country, engagements began to dry up for Mr. Fleisher. The next year he moved to Paris and remained in Europe until 1958, relocating first to the Netherlands and then to Italy.

As an expatriate, Mr. Fleisher became the first American to win the gold medal at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, in 1952. The victory led to a long list of engagements in Europe and revived interest in him among American orchestras, managers and concert promoters.

He developed a condition called focal dystonia, which he later attributed to over-practising, that led to numbness in his right hand and two of his fingers curling inward. Aged 36, he could no longer play with both hands, causing him a “deep funk and despair”, he later said.

After two years of inactivity, he refocused on repertoire for the left hand, including works by Ravel, Prokofiev and Britten, as well as music newly composed for him, and began a successful conducting career with orchestras in Baltimore and Annapolis.

He attempted a return to two-handed playing in the mid-80s but didn’t feel he had enough facility with his right hand. However, after further treatment in the 90s, with a combination of Botox injections and deep tissue massage, he regained the use of his afflicted fingers and recorded new albums of two-handed work.

A documentary about his life, Two Hands, was nominated for best documentary short at the 2006 Academy awards.

Articles from The NY Times and The Guardian
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Claude Frank
United States of America, °1925 - 2014
Leading one of the most distinguished careers of any pianist, Claude Frank has continuously appeared with the world's foremost orchestras, at its most prestigious universities, and at major festivals since his debut with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic in 1959. He is an internationally acclaimed interpreter of the piano literature of Beethoven. The Music and Arts Programs of America, Inc. label has re-released his recording of the sonatas, from his original 1971 RCA LP set, in a 10-CD box set.
May 2001 was a very special landmark in Mr. Frank’s career. The 92nd Street Y in New York hosted his recital commemorating the 50th Anniversary of his New York recital debut. The program, consisting of works by Bach, Schubert, Mozart, and Beethoven, closely resembled the program he performed at Town Hall in 1950.

During recent seasons, Claude Frank was Artist-in-Residence of the first Laguna Beach Chamber Music Festival (2003) and performed Mozart’s Concerto for Three Pianos with Leon Fleisher and Menahem Pressler at the Ravinia Festival (2002). Claude Frank has performed in recital throughout the United States and Europe, and has given joint recitals with his daughter, violinist Pamela Frank, in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Fairfax, and Toronto, as well as numerous performances abroad.

Claude Frank has repeatedly been a soloist with the great orchestras of five continents, including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, and the orchestras of New Orleans, Toronto, Zurich, Brussels, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. He has been heard in performances with the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Grant Park Symphony in Chicago, Oregon Symphony in Portland, Baltimore Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Minnesota Symphony, St. Luke's Orchestra, and Denver Symphony, among others. In 2008, he performed alongside other legendary pianists at The Olympic Centenary Piano Extravaganza of China in Beijing, China.

In chamber music, he has appeared with such eminent groups as the Guarneri Quartet, Juilliard Quartet, Cleveland Quartet, Emerson Quartet, American Quartet, Mendelssohn Quartet, Tokyo Quartet, and the London Mozart Players, as well as with Alexander Schneider's chamber ensembles and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

He has appeared in numerous festivals including Menuhin's Gstaad Festival in Switzerland, the Midsummer Mozart Festival in California and the Klavier Festival Ruhr, as well as festivals in Portland, Highland Park, Norfolk, Schleswig-Holstein, Verbier, Vancouver, and Marlboro. A frequent performer in New York City's Mostly Mozart Festival during its formative years and a festival participant in virtually every season thereafter, Claude Frank appeared in its 25th anniversary celebration at Lincoln Center.

A renowned teacher as well as performer, Claude Frank is on the faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and is a professor at the Yale School of Music. Of special interest are his master classes at Yale University, Duke University, University of Kansas and North Carolina School of the Arts, among many others.

His recordings include the critically acclaimed direct-to-disc recording of the Mozart Piano Concerto #20 in D minor, K.466, with George Cleve and the Midsummer Mozart Festival Orchestra for Sonic Arts (LS-23) and Sine Qua Non's recording of the Archduke Trio in B flat major, Op. 97 with violinist Emmanuel Borok and cellist Leslie Parnas (Digi 110/79005). His performance of the Mozart Piano Concerto #24 in C minor, K.491 with the New England Conservatory Orchestra with Leon Fleisher as conductor is on the Audifon label. Claude Frank has also recorded the cycle of Beethoven Violin & Piano Sonatas with his daughter for Music Masters.

Claude Frank lived in Nuremberg until the age of 12, when he joined his father in Brussels. Shortly thereafter, he went to live in Paris, where he studied at the Paris Conservatoire. The German occupation forced him to leave France. While in Spain illegally and overheard at the keyboard, he was invited to perform at a party given by the Brazilian Ambassador. There, he won his first 'fee' - a visa to come to the United States granted by the American Consul, who attended the party. Once in New York, Claude Frank studied with Artur Schnabel and Karl Ulrich Schnabel, and studied composition and conducting at Columbia University. At Tanglewood, he studied with Serge Koussevitzky.
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Pavel Gililov
Russian Federation, °1950
Pavel Gililov was born in the USSR. Coming to the notice of Dimitry Kabelewsky at a young age, he began studying the piano in St. Petersburg. After participating in the National Piano Competition in Moscow in 1972, Mr. Gililov commenced his career as soloist. He is a laureate of the 1975 Chopin Competition in Warsaw, and the Viotti International Competition in Vercelli in 1978 (first-prize), the year in which he emigrated to the West, further pursuing his concert career. His many recordings, including for Deutsche Grammophon, have reinforced his reputation. In parallel to his activities as a soloist, he regularly joins in chamber music with artists like Pierre Amoyal, Dimitry Sitkovetsky, Tabea Zimmerman and Mischa Maisky. Pavel Gililov is a professor of piano at the Musikhochschule in Cologne, the Summer Academy in Lausanne and at the Mozarteum. He is the artistic director and president of the jury of the Beethoven Competition Bonn.
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Karl-Heinz Kämmerling
- 2012
Karl-Heinz Kämmerling studied the piano at the Musikhochschule in Leipzig with Anton Rohden and Hugo Steurer. He has taught the piano at the Musikhochschule in Hanover, where he has served as vice president for six years, and at the Salzburg Mozarteum, where he has also been director.
Karl-Heinz Kämmerling founded the German EPTA, serving as its president for many years. He has been very active at the University of Paderborn as member of an institute devoted to research and the encouragement of young talent. He was also a board member of the International Music Academy Management for Soloists and president of the German High School Foundation, as well as co-editor of the review Üben und Musizieren, published by Schott.
Karl-Heinz Kämmerling has won many international prizes and conducted numerous master classes in Asia, Europe and the United States. He has been a jury member at many international competitions. Germany and Austria honoured him with a merit award in 1999 and 2000.
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Kum Sing Lee
For over three decades, Professor Kum Sing Lee has earned a reputation as a pianist from audiences and critics in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia - as a soloist as well as in duos and in chamber music.

Kum Sing Lee studied with Gerhard Puchelt in Berlin and with Julius Katchen and Magda Tagliaferro in Paris. He debuted in New York's Carnegie Hall in 1963 and in London's Wigmore Hall in 1969. He has collaborated in concerts with leading artists such as Cho-Liang Lin, Alfredo Campoli, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Rivka Golani and Kim Borg and has been featured with BBC, Australian and Canadian Broadcasting Corporations, and on numerous Asian and European radio and television recordings.

Professor Kum Sing Lee has been Head of the Piano Department at the Vancouver Academy of Music and Professor of Piano at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Since 1985, he also has been Visiting Professor to the Beijing Conservatory of Music. Well sought after internationally as a teacher, Kum Sing Lee has been conducting master classes and has been on faculty at international summer schools and festivals in Holland, Poland, France, Belgium, Italy, Japan, China, the USA and Canada. He has been a jury member of many international competitions, including the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw.
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David Lively
United States of America, France, °1953
David Lively won Fourth Prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1972. On the advice of Jules Gentil, assistant to Alfred Cortot, he moved to Paris from the United States and became the favoured pupil of Claudio Arrau, going on to further studies with Nadia Boulanger, Wilhelm Kempf, and Erich Leinsdorf. He has had a strikingly distinctive career. He has been a bold advocate of rarely-heard repertoire and his virtuosity has enabled him to record the concertos of Joseph Marx, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Ferruccio Busoni, and Sergey Rachmaninov. He has a special affinity with Aaron Copland, Eliott Carter, Henri Dutilleux, Philippe Boesmans, and Benoît Mernier and is very interested in contemporary works. Indefatigably curious, David Lively is equally passionate about historic keyboard instruments and today’s synthesisers. A professor and director of examinations at the École Normale de Musique in Paris, he is also the artistic director of the Festival of Saint-Lizier in the Pyrenees. His recent recordings include the complete chamber works of César Franck and the complete solo works of Philippe Boesmans. A recording of William Blank’s piano concerto, which was written for him, will be released shortly and one of Benoît Mernier’s is planned.
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Viktor Merjanov
Russian Federation - 2012
Viktor Merjanov is professor of piano and director of the department at the Moscow Conservatory. He was educated at the same institution, studying there with professor Feinberg. A laureate of many national and international competitions, including the Chopin Competition in 1940, he has had several pupils who have in turn themselves become competition prize-winners.
His career as soloist, teacher and lecturer, has led Viktor Merjanov all over the (then) Soviet Union, to many European capitals, to Cuba and the United States. He has played under the baton of many celebrated conductors, such as Kondrashin, Temirkanov, Maderna and Berglund.
He is also the author of articles on a variety of musical and pedagogical themes. Viktor Merjanov is president of the Association of Soviet Pianists and has often been a jury member at international competitions.
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Menahem Pressler
The career of Menahem Pressler has spanned more than five decades. Born in Magdeburg, he studied the piano in Israel and won the Debussy Competition in San Francisco in 1946. Since then, he has performed as a soloist, notably with the symphony orchestras of New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Dallas, and London, and in chamber music with the Trio Pasquier and the Juilliard, Emerson, Guarneri, and Cleveland quartets. In 1955 he founded the Beaux-Arts Trio, which was awarded the Concertgebouw Prize in 2006. For over 50 years he taught at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he was given the title of distinguished professor. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the North Carolina School of the Arts. His artistic talents have also been recognised by a number of awards, including Chamber Music America’s Distinguished Service Award (1994), the Gramophone magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award (1998), and the ‘Ehrenurkunde’ awarded by German critics, as well as by his nomination to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2009 he was made a citizen of honour of his native city. In addition to his many CDs with the Beaux-Arts Trio, his discography includes some thirty solo recordings of works ranging from Bach to Ben-Haim.
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Takahiro Sonoda
- 2004
Takahiro Sonoda (1928-2004) was born in Tokyo, where he initiated his studies under Leo Sirota. Later, he furthered his studies in Paris under the tutelage of Marguerite Long, and in Berlin under Helmut Roloff. Following his debut as a soloist with the Berlin Philharmonie in 1958, he has travelled extensively worldwide for his concert tours. He has appeared with a number of leading orchestras under such renowned conductors as Sergiu Celibidache, André Cluytens, Wolfgang Sawallish and many others. He was a member of the Japanese Academy of Arts and had an active life as a leading concert pianist and recording artist in Japan. He has also been an active member of juries at major international competitions, to name a few, the Chopin Competition in Warsaw, the Tchaikovsky and the Van Cliburn Competitions.
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Maria Tipo
Italy, °1931
Initiated to the piano at a very early age by her mother, Esilia Cavallo, Maria Tipo won first prize of the Geneve International Competition when 17 years old. This success led the way to many of the world's great concert halls. She has played with renowned orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the NBC in New York, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the London Symphony. Maria Tipo has recorded for Ricordi and EMI. Her interpretation of the Goldberg Variations and the Scarlatti sonatas won her the Diapason d'Or. Her interests also extend to chamber music, playing with - among others - the Amadeus Quartet, Salvatore Accardo and Uto Ughi. In addition to her concert career, Maria Tipo also devotes herself to teaching. She has been honoured by the Accademico di S. Cecilia and has also been conferred as Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France.
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Ts'Ong Fou
- 2020
Born in Shanghai in 1934, Fou Ts’ong began his studies in China and later studied under Zbigniew Drzewiecki in Warsaw. He was awarded the special Mazurka prize at the 1953 Chopin Competition, which resulted in many performances in Eastern Europe. In 1959 he was invited to perform under Carlo Maria Giulini at the Royal Albert Hall and since then has made London his home. Recognised by his peers, the public, and the critics alike, Fou Ts’ong has given many concerts all over the world. His recordings on the Meridian label include works by Scarlatti, Handel, Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, and Debussy. This year he has made a recording of Haydn’s sonatas. He teaches at the Lake Como International Piano Academy and the Shanghai Conservatory and has given master classes at many musical institutions and festivals. This year he is serving as a member of the jury of the Chopin Competition in Warsaw.
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