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Personalities / The laureates
The laureates
Download the complete prize list of the Queen Elisabeth Competition from 1937 until 2019.
Personalities
636 items | 64 Pages | Page
Unranked laureate
VIOLIN 2012
After studying in his homeland and later at the Conservatorio G.F. Ghedini in Cuneo (Italy), Ermir Abeshi pursued his studies under Salvatore Accardo at the Accademia Walter Stauffer in Cremona and at the New England Conservatory in Boston under Dora Schwarzberg. As concertmaster of the Cuneo Conservatory Orchestra from 2001 to 2005, he gave a number of concerts in Europe. He has also appeared in recitals as a soloist and in chamber music in Italy, the Czech Republic, Germany and in Boston. In 2004 he made his debut as a soloist with the Ghedini Symphony Orchestra. He has also played with the New England Conservatory Chamber Orchestra, the Bacau Philharmonic (Romania), and the Piedmont Symphony (Virginia).
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Sixth Prize
VIOLIN 1993
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First prize - Queen Elisabeth International Grand Prize
COMPOSITION 1960
Jean Absil was, first, a pupil of Alphonse Oeyen, organist at the basilica of Bonsecours. From 1913 he attended classes at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, where he completed his musical studies. After learning orchestration and composition with Paul Gilson, he was awarded the Rome Prize and the Rubens Prize. He also sought the advice of Florent Schmitt. He was a professor at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel and, for more than forty years, he was director of the Music Academy in Etterbeek, which has borne his name since 1963. He was also a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium. Two activities dominated Jean Absil’s life and career: education and composition. An undisputed educator, he trained generations of composers for more than forty years. A leader who allowed his disciples to discover the music of their time, Absil synthetized the French School, Stravinsky, Bartok, polytonal, atonal and serial music (J. Stehman). His extensive works encompass all genres. His first distinguishing work was La mort de Tintagiles. His research on polytonality and atonality led to a brief study: Postulat de la musique contemporaine, prefaced by Darius Milhaud. Between 1929 and 1936 Absil applied the principles of his style mainly to numerous chamber music works. In 1936 he returned to large orchestral works with a second Symphony and Concertos for various instruments, including a Concerto for piano which, as a compulsory piece at the Ysaÿe Competition of 1938, definitely established his reputation. He produced large-scale works such as Les Bénédictions, Pierre Breughel l’Ancien, Les Voix de la Mer, and many choral works, whether religious or secular. Moreover, he often drew his inspiration from the folklore and rhythmic subtleties of Central Europe. When characterizing the Absilian language, Joseph Dopp notes that the ear never suffers from an impression of tonal insecurity when listening to Absil’s music: while it is no longer possible to find a reference to the classical major or minor tonalities, the composer invents new modes, which he replaces for each piece. From these modes emerge chords which, even if they are different from the classical ones, also have an expressive sense (tension or resolution). Absil never practised a real atonality: the apparent tonal independence of the voices always resolves itself into a unique tonality.
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First prize - Queen Elisabeth International Grand Prize
PIANO 1972
Valery Afanassiev was born in Moscow in 1946. He studied piano at the Moscow Conservatory with Emil Gilels and Yakov Zak. His international career took off in 1970 when he won the Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition. After completing a concert tour in Belgium he decided to leave his native country to seek political asylum in the West, becoming a Belgian citizen. His reputation as an artist extends his exceptional achievement as a pianist: he has written many novels as well as plays, inspired by Mussorgsky's piano cycle, Pictures at an Exhibition and Robert Schumann's Kreisleriana. Apart from this, he wrote the accompanying texts to his CD's with music from Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Mussorgsky and Chopin. Valery Afanassiev is also a very active chamber musician who performs with artists such as Gidon Kremer and Misha Maisky. He is a man of extraordinary culture, a wine expert and a dedicated collector and connoisseur of antiques. Recently, he started exploring his ambitions as a conductor and is trying to reconstruct the inimitable characteristic of the unique performances of Wilhelm Furtwängler, Willem Mengelberg, Otto Klemperer, Bruno Walter and Hans Knappertsbusch.
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Eighth Prize
PIANO 1960
Jouri Airapetian was born in Yerevan, Armenia. From 1941 to 1951 he studied at the Yerevan School of Music, in the class of R.K.Andriasyan. He continued his studies at the Yerevan State Conservatory. In 1956 he graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory (Y.V.Flier's class) with excellence, and in 1960 he did his graduate program in the same professor's class. Jouri Airapetian started teaching in 1961. He has been an Associate Professor since 1973 and has been teaching at the Yerevan State Conservatory since 1978. He was the Dean of its piano faculty from 1977 to 1994. In 1979 he received an academic degree of a Professor. Since 1960 he has maintained close creative relations with the Moscow State Conservatory. He headed the State Examinations Commission at the Moscow Conservatory from 1987 to 1992. Since 1985 Jouri Airapetian has taught master classes in cities across Russia and other countries such as France, Yugoslavia and South Korea. In 2004 he was awarded a Movses Khorenatsi Medal (RA) for his achievements in performing and for his teaching activities. He is a winner of the Fifth World Festival of Youth and Students in Warsaw (the 2nd Prize, 1955) and such international competitions as Franz Liszt (the 4th prize, 1956) and Queen Elisabeth (1960). Since 1982 Jouri Airapetian has been a jury member of a number of international competitions held in Moscow, St Petersburg, Bucharest, as well as cities in Latvia and other countries.
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Fifth Prize
SINGING 2000
Lubana Al Quntar pursued higher education in Damascus, where her first teacher was Galina Khaldiave. During her studies in Maastricht and London, she went on tour in the United States, performing Dido in the first open-air performance of Dido and Aeneas. She then joined the Royal College of Music in London, where for a year she continued her training under Kenneth William and Graziella Sciutti before taking up studies with Claude Miloni in France. Since winning fourth prize at the International Singing Competition of Belgrade, she is invited to give concerts in Belgrade, Greece, Lebanon and Syrie. Currently she is the head of the Voice & Choral Department in the High Institute of Music in Damascus.
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Unranked laureate
VOICE 2018
Germán Enrique Alcántara began his studies at the Escuela Superior de Música in Posada, Misiones. He went on to further studies in singing and choral conducting at the National University in Cuyo, where he was taught by Silvia Nasiff and Ricardo Portillo. In 2014, he moved to Paris to study at the Maitrise de Notre-Dame under Rosa Dominguez and later attended the Reina Sofía School of Music. He is a laureate of the Concurso Bach Joven in Paraguay, the Concurso para Jóvenes Estudiantes de Canto Lirico, the Ad Alta Voce competition, and the Concurso de Zarzuela de Valleseco. Among other venues, Germán E. Alcántara has performed at the Philharmonie de Paris, at the Rheingau Musik Festival, at the Escales Lyriques festival, and at the Metz opera house. He also sings in the University of Mendoza Choir, the Teatro Colón opera choir, the Chorakademie Lübeck, and the Coro Academia Teatro del Lago.
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Third Prize
PIANO 1972
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Second Prize
PIANO 1978
Gregory Allen, Professor of Piano at the Butler School of Music, was the Grand Prize winner of the 1980 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv, won the second prize at the 1978 Queen Elisabeth Competition, and received top honors in the Los Angeles Young Musicians Foundation, the Gina Bachauer, and the Washington International Competitions. He has appeared with the New York, Los Angeles, and Israel Philharmonics, as well as orchestras in San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Major teachers include John Perry, Jerome Lowenthal, and Leon Fleisher.
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Twelfth Prize
PIANO 1960
Kenneth Amada began the study of piano at the age of three and played his first full-length recital at the age of five. Graduating from Rutgers University at age nineteen, he gave his New York debut recital that same year. He studied with Moriz (or "Maurycy") Rosenthal. Kenneth Amada has made several hundred appearances throughout the world on radio, television, in recital and as guest soloist with symphony orchestras. His orchestra credits include The Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of both Eugene Ormandy and Arthur Fiedler, the Symphony of the Air with both Alfred Wallenstein and Milton Katims, the Detroit Symphony, the National Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the National Orchestra of Belgium, and the Warsaw Philharmonic. He has made seven international concert tours. He has played in every major European country including the Soviet Union to the highest acclaim. He has been a prize winner in many international competitions including the Queen Elisabeth Competition and the Leventritt Competition. Kenneth Amada has also been the recipient of many other honors including the Harriet Cohen International Piano Award and also has been awarded touring grants by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Office of International Education for the purpose of presenting outstanding American performers to audiences internationally. Kenneth Amada was appointed to the faculty of The University of Iowa School of Music in 1967 and was later its chairman of the Piano Department. He is now Professor Emeritus.
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636 items | 64 Pages | Page
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