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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Diane Andersen
Diane Andersen, who was taught by Stefan Askenase, also received valuable advice from the Hungarian pianist Annie Fischer. She has a brilliant career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher, and gives concerts all over the world in legendary concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, the Rudolfinum, the Concertgebouw, the Brussels Centre for Fine Arts (Palais des Beaux-Arts), and La Fenice; she has worked with eminent conductors such as Bruno Maderna, Pierre Boulez, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Georges Prêtre, and Otto Kamu. She has been awarded a number of distinctions and prizes: International Steinway Artist, the Grand Prix du Disque de l’Académie Charles Cros, the Trophée Fuga (UCB), the Harriet Cohen International Bach Medal, and the Classical Music Award (Midem). Her vast discography includes the complete works of a number of composers (e.g. Jongen and Pierné) and world premieres of works by neglected or unknown composers. She has premiered contemporary works, several of which have been dedicated to her, and her artistic life has been enormously enriched by close contact with illustrious musicians such as Kodály, Tansman, Nono, and Gertler (a partner and friend of Bartók). Diane Andersen is President of EPTA-Belgium Wallonie-Bruxelles and is an emeritus professor at the Royal Brussels Conservatory. She currently runs master classes in North and South America, Canada, Japan, China, Korea, and Europe. She is regularly invited to serve on the juries of international competitions.
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Frank Braley
France, °1968
Brilliant and atypical, Frank Braley did not follow the path usually laid down for artists of his calibre. He even strongly insists that he never wanted to become a pianist. He could be described as a dilettante, but one of genius and an obsessive one, too, who gives more than eighty concerts a year. After hesitating between science and music, the self-assured young Braley finally abandoned the university on reaching adulthood and joined the elect in the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. Despite his best efforts to end last in the class, the stubborn youngster emerged overqualified and soon found himself propelled onto the international scene following his First Prize in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1991. Invited by the great orchestras and laden down with flattering comparisons with the great pianists, Braley didn’t let the praise go to his head. An astute and quick-witted artist, with strong ideas about music, he has lost none of his spontaneous, laid-back relationship with the piano, which combines humour and poetry with modesty, gracefulness, and unshakeable sincerity. Frank Braley, after all, plays for pleasure, whether for the great thrill of a recital or the joy of playing chamber music with friends such as Augustin Dumay, Paul Meyer, Eric Le Sage, Emmanuel Pahud, and the Capuçon brothers.
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Abdel Rahman El Bacha
Lebanon, France, °1958
Born in Beirut in 1958, Abdel Rahman El Bacha lives in France. At the age of 16 he pursued his piano studies under Pierre Sancan at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris, where he obtained four first prizes (for piano, chamber music, harmony, and counterpoint). Since his talent was discovered at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1978, he has performed in the most prestigious concert halls around the world. He has played with a variety of orchestras, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Orchestre de Paris, the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo, and the English Chamber Orchestra. His first disc, devoted to the works of Prokofiev, received the Grand Prize of the Charles Cros Academy. Since then he has recorded many works (including Bach, Ravel, Schubert, and Schumann) with Forlane, as well as Prokofiev’s five concertos with Fuga Libera. His complete Beethoven sonatas and complete works for solo piano by Chopin have been a great success, both in concert and on CD. Abdel Rahman El Bacha is also a composer and is master in residence for the piano at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel.
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Peter Frankl
Great Britain, °1935
Peter Frankl has been on the international circuit since the 1960s, performing with many of the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Vladimir Ashkenazy, John Barbirolli, Pierre Boulez, Ádám Fischer, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Georg Solti, and George Szell. He has appeared on five continents and has participated on many occasions in international festivals in, for example, Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, Verbier, Kuhmo, Prades (Casals), Naantali, Marlboro, Ravinia, and Aspen and in the BBC Promenade Concerts in London. His vast recording output includes the complete piano works of Schumann and Debussy ; Brahms piano concertos, violin sonatas, and trios ; Mozart piano concertos ; Schumann, Brahms, Dohnányi, Dvorák, and Martinu piano quintets ; and many solo albums. Peter Frankl is on the faculty of Yale University and is Honorary Professor at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. He has been a juror at many international competitions, including the Van Cliburn, Leeds, Rubinstein, Clara Haskil, Santander, Cleveland, Paderewski, Hong Kong, and Shanghai competitions.
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Daejin Kim
Korea, °1962
In 1985 Daejin Kim won the Robert Casadesus International Competition (Cleveland) ; he made his debut in New York the following year. Since then, he has performed in recital and with orchestras in the major cities of the United States, Europe, and Asia. In 2006 he was named Professor of the Year by the Music Association of Korea and he was recently decorated as Artist of the Year by the Korean Ministry of Culture. Daejin Kim has been a member of the jury of competitions such as the Ferruccio Busoni, Beethoven (Bonn), Rubinstein and Leeds. After working closely with the Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra as both soloist and conductor, he became its Music Director in 2008. Under his baton, the orchestra made a European tour in Munich, Vienna, Prague and the Merano Festival in 2012. His recordings on the Sony label include two Mozart piano concertos with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, which he conducted from the keyboard (Sony), and a live recording of the complete cycle of Sibelius Symphonies. Daejin Kim is currently Professor of Piano and Dean of the School of Music at the Korea National University of Arts.
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Jian Li
After commencing his studies at the Shanghai Conservatory, Li Jian went on to study at the Conservatoire National de Paris, thanks to winning 2nd Prize, at the age of 16, at the Long-Thibaud Competition. He later went on to further studies at the Curtis Institute of Music under Mieczysl´aw Horszowski and studied orchestral conducting with Jorma Panula. He has performed as a soloist with or conducted the Atlanta Symphony, the Singapore Symphony, the Shanghai Symphony, the Guangzhou Symphony, the Hangzhou Philharmonic, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the New Japan Philharmonic, the St Petersburg Philharmonic, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Chinese Youth Orchestra, and the BBC Concert Orchestra. He has given recitals in the great concert halls of the United States (Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington), Europe (Musikverein in Vienna, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris), and the Far East (Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Symphony Hall in Osaka). He has played chamber music with Yo-Yo Ma, Cho-Liang Lin, Anne Akiko Meyers, Gary Hoffman, and Kyoko Takezawa, among others. From 1995 to 2001 he taught at the Curtis Institute. An Honorary Professor at the University of Nanjing, he is currently a professor and head of the piano department at the Shanghai Conservatory.
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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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Minoru Nojima
The Japanese pianist Nojima Minoru made his concert debut with the NHK Symphony Orchestra at the age of ten. He later attended the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo. In 1966, he was invited to the Moscow Conservatory of Music by the Soviet Cultural Affairs Agency to study under the renowned pianist Lev Oborin. During this time he gave recitals in various cities, including Moscow and Leningrad. In 1969, he won second prize at the third Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The following year, he earned effusive praise from the New York Times for his debut recital at Carnegie Hall. Since then, he has performed with major orchestras and given recitals and chamber music performances throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Nojima Minoru has served several times as an adjudicator for the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and has been a chairperson for the Sendai International Music Competition from the start. In 2006, the Minoru Nojima Yokosuka Piano Competition was established for gifted young Japanese pianists. He currently serves as president of the Tokyo College of Music and is professor of piano at the Toho Gakuen School of Music.
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Anne Queffélec
After finishing her studies at the Paris Conservatoire, Anne Queffélec went on to study in Vienna with Paul Badura-Skoda, Jörg Demus, and Alfred Brendel. Her successes in the Munich (1968) and Leeds (1969) international competitions paved the way for a remarkable international career as a soloist. Acclaimed in Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, and the United States, she has had the opportunity to perform with great conductors and with prestigious orchestras such as the London Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the BBC Symphony, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Tonhalle Zurich, the Polish Chamber Orchestra, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Kanazawa Ensemble, the Tokyo NHK Symphony Orchestra, and the orchestras of Radio France and Prague. She is a regular guest at renowned festivals worldwide and in France. At La Roque d’Anthéron she performed Mozart’s complete sonatas, broadcast live on France Musique. Under the baton of Sir Neville Mariner she has recorded music for the movie Amadeus. On stage as well as in the recording studio, Anne Queffélec cultivates an eclectic repertoire, ranging from Handel to Dutilleux. She has made more than thirty recordings, for Erato ("Ravel, Debussy, Fauré”), Virgin Classics or Mirare ("Satie & Compagnie”, " Ombre et Lumière").
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Staffan Scheja
Staffan Scheja made his debut at fourteen with Herbert Blomstedt and the Swedish Radio Orchestra. After studying at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm he was accepted into the Juilliard School in New York, where he studied with Rosina Lhevinne, Ilona Kabos, and Ania Dorfmann. Since winning top prize in the Busoni International Competition in 1975 he has given concerts all over the world with conductors such as Simon Rattle, David Zinman, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sixten Ehrling, and Okko Kamu, with orchestras such as the Munich Philharmonic, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the NHK Tokyo, the English Chamber Orchestra, and all the major Scandinavian orchestras. He spent a number of years living in the United States, where he played in Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center with the Oslo Philharmonic and at the White House with Barbara Hendricks. He has made numerous recordings with EMI, BIS, Vanguard, and LCM and has represented his country during state visits to Mexico and Japan. He is the founder and artistic director of the Gotland Chamber Music festival on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. He has been awarded Sweden’s Litteris et Artibus royal medal. He now lives in Stockholm, where he is a professor and head of the piano department at the Royal College of Music. He is a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Music.
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Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden
Belgium, °1947
Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden was only 16 years of age when he was proclaimed a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1964. That sought-after distinction launched a brilliant career that has taken him to the world’s leading concert halls and the most prestigious festivals, including the Korsholm (Finland), Umea (Sweden), Prades, la Chaise-Dieu, and Giverny (France), Delft (the Netherlands), Seoul (Korea), and Stavelot and Seneffe (Belgium) festivals. In chamber music, he has played with outstanding Belgian and international partners such as Véronique Bogaerts, Marie Hallynck, Augustin Dumay, Silvia Marcovici, Mihaela Martin, Miriam Fried, Gérard Caussé, Frans Helmerson, José Van Dam, Walter Boeykens, the Enesco Quartet, the Melos Quartet, the Quatuor Ysaÿe, and the Ensemble César Franck. His formidably extensive repertoire includes almost all the great concertos, a wide array of chamber music pieces, and the complete works for solo piano of Maurice Ravel. Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden was knighted by King Philippe in 2018.
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Tamas Vasary
Hungary (Republic), °1933
The Hungarian pianist and conductor Tamás Vásáry gave his first public performances at the age of eight. He studied with Ernst von Dohnányi and Józef Gát at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest and later served as assistant to Zoltán Kodály. He won first prize in the Franz Liszt Competition in Budapest in 1948 and was also a laureate of the Chopin Competition in Warsaw (1955), the Long-Thibaud Competition in Paris (1955), the Queen Elisabeth Competition (1956), and the Rio de Janeiro Competition (1957). His international career took off after 1960, in the wake of his immensely successful debut in the Royal Festival Hall in London. He has performed with the world’s leading orchestras and most eminent conductors. He has made twenty recordings, mostly for Deutsche Grammophon. He has conducted over 100 orchestras. In England he was music director of the Northern Sinfonia (1979-1982) and principal conductor of the Bournemouth Sinfonietta (1989-1997). He was music director of the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1993 to 2004. Tamás Vásáry has been awarded many prizes and distinctions, including the Bach and Paderewsky medals, the Kossuth Prize, the Millennial Kölcsey Prize, the Gold Medal of the President of the Republic of Hungary, and the Hungarian Heritage Prize. In 2012 he received UNESCO’s Mozart Medal. He is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music and of the Royal College of Music in London and is also a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (France).
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Elisso Virsaladze
Georgia, °1942
Elisso Virsaladze attended the conservatory in her native city, Tbilisi (Georgia), before moving to Moscow. At the age of 20 she won the Third Prize in the Tchaikovsky Competition and four years later the First Prize at the Schumann Competition in Zwickau. Ever since, she has been recognised as one of the great interpreters of Schumann. Her heart also goes out to the composers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, especially Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin. At the same time, the pianist is well known for her wide repertoire up to and including modern Russian composers. Elisso Virsaladze today regularly performs in London, Milan, Rome, Paris, Lisbon, Baltimore, Tokyo and Berlin, both with orchestra and in recital. She regularly performs under renowned conductors such as Rudolf Barschai, Kyril Kondraschin, Mariss Jansons, Ricardo Muti, Kurt Sanderling, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Evgeny Svetlanov and Juri Temirkanov. She teaches at the Moscow Conservatory and at the Munich Musikhochschule and frequently serves as a member of the jury of international competitions, including those in Santander and Munich, the Geza Anda in Zurich, the Rubinstein in Tel Aviv, and the Tchaikovsky in Moscow. Her recordings on the Live Classics label perfectly convey her musical personality.

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