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Competitions / PIANO 1952 / Candidates / Candidates
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First prize - Queen Elisabeth International Grand Prize
Legendary pianist Leon Fleisher represents the gold standard of musicianship and he continues to impart his life-affirming artistry throughout the world, thriving in a sustained career as conductor and soloist, recitalist, chamber music artist, and master class mentor. Leon Fleisher’s musical pedigree alone is remarkable: he was the youngest-ever student of the great Artur Schnabel, who studied with keyboard giant and pedagogue Theodor Leschetizky, a pupil of Carl Czerny, who in turn studied with Ludwig van Beethoven. He made his debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1944 and in 1952 became the first American to win the Queen Elisabeth Competition, establishing himself as one of the world's premier classical pianists, concertizing with every major orchestra and making numerous touchstone recordings for Columbia/Epic (now Sony). At the height of his success, he was suddenly struck silent at age 36 with a neurological affliction later identified as focal dystonia, rendering two fingers on his right hand immobile. Rather than end his career, Fleisher set off on an epic journey in search of a renewed life in music. He began focusing on repertoire for the left hand only, forging a new path as a soloist, conductor and teacher. Experimental treatments using a regimen of rolfing and 'botulinum toxin' (Botox) injections finally restored the mobility in Fleisher’s hand, and for years he has played with both hands, winning enormous acclaim for his 2004 'two-hand' recording aptly titled Two Hands, and several subsequent recordings, most recently Mozart Piano Concertos (Sony Classical, 2009). For the 2011-12 season, Leon Fleisher returns to some of Europe's most prestigious musical capitals - London, Paris and Brussels - performing as soloist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Royal Festival Hall and in chamber music at Wigmore Hall, with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France at Salle Pleyel in Paris and in recital at the Brussels Palais des Beaux-Arts. He makes his UK conducting debut with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, tours the US with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, and traverses North America in appearances as conductor/soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and as soloist with the St. Louis and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras. Chamber music appearances include New York's Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and historic Town Hall, with memorable master classes given at universities and conservatories around the country. A recipient of numerous honors and awards, Leon Fleisher received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors in 2007 for his contribution to US culture, and is the subject of the 2006 Oscar- and Emmy-nominated documentary film Two Hands, written and directed by Nathaniel Kahn (My Architect). His memoir, My Nine Lives: A Memoir of Many Careers in Music, co-written with Washington Post music critic Anne Midgette, is available on Doubleday. He and his wife, Katherine Jacobson Fleisher, a noted pianist with whom he frequently tours, live in Baltimore, MD.
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Second Prize
Swiss pianist Karl Engel studied with Baumgartner at the Basle Conservatory and with Cortot at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris. After winning prizes at the Queen Elisabeth (1952) and Busoni (1953) competitions he began an international career, specializing in the sonatas and concertos of Mozart, the Beethoven sonatas and the works of Schubert and Schumann. He also played chamber music with, among others, Pablo Casals, and was a discerning accompanist in Lieder, notably with Hermann Prey and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. He made many recordings, including Mozart concertos, Schubert and Brahms Lieder and the complete piano works of Schumann. Karl Engel was a professor at the Hanover Hochschule für Musik from 1955 to 1986 and subsequently taught at the Berne Conservatory.
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Third Prize
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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Fourth Prize
Tout en poursuivant ses activités de concertiste, Frans Brouw a entrepris sa carrière de pédagogue en 1960 au Conservatoire royal de musique de Gand en Belgique, où il enseigne le piano jusqu'en 1964. Cette même année, il s'installe définitivement au Québec et y entreprend une fructueuse carrière de professeur de piano à l'Université Laval. Dès son arrivée à l'Université, il assume la responsabilité du département de piano et y effectue une révision complète de tous les répertoires d'enseignement et d'examens de piano, tout en voyant à l'organisation des examens et à la formation des jurys. Récipiendaire d'un premier prix en piano du Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles, il y obtient également un diplôme de virtuosité. Cette solide formation, comme son talent et sa grande musicalité, l'amène à s'illustrer, en 1952, en tant que lauréat du Concours Reine Elisabeth. Grâce au succès obtenu lors de ce concours, Frans Brouw se distinguera rapidement sur la scène internationale. Au cours des années, de nombreuses tournées le mènent dans la plupart des capitales d'Europe, aux États-Unis, au Canada, en Afrique et en Russie. Le public de Québec n'est pas en reste puisqu'il a pu l'entendre en concert, entre autres, à la Société artistique de l'Université Laval, à l'Institut canadien, à l'Institut Saint-Jean-Eudes, à la société Radio-Canada, au Palais Montcalm et au Grand Théâtre. Reconnu pour son professionnalisme et pour la finesse de son jugement, Frans Brouw a également été sollicité à maintes reprises à titre de membre de différents jurys, notamment au Conseil des arts du Canada, à l'Université de Montréal, au Conservatoire de Montréal, de Trois-Rivières et de Québec, au Festival de Sillery, de Sherbrooke et de Saint-Georges-de-Beauce. Comme un retour aux sources, on l'invite à trois reprises à siéger au jury du Concours Reine Elisabeth. Nommé «Citoyen d'honneur» d'Izegem (Belgique) en 1999, puis de Veurne (Belgique) en 2001, ville dont il est originaire, Franz Brouw a été proclamé professeur émérite de la Faculté de musique de l'Université Laval en 2004.
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Fifth Prize
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Sixth Prize
American pianist Lamar Crowson (1926-1998) studied at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and subsequently (1948-50) the piano at the Royal College of Music in London with Arthur Benjamin. He was appointed to the staff of that college in 1957. From 1965 to 1968 he was a senior lecturer at the University of Cape Town and from 1969 to 1971 professor at the Royal College. He returned to the University of Cape Town in 1972, where he was a senior lecturer and later (1980) a professor, receiving an honorary doctorate in 1996. Although Lamar Crowson's first success was as a soloist, it was as a chamber musician that he soon made his name. For many years he was the pianist for the Melos Ensemble. He worked with performers such as Jacqueline du Pré, Itzhak Perlman, Ruggiero Ricci, Janet Baker and Gervase de Peyer, and took part in the European premières of Poulenc's Sonata for clarinet and piano and Copland's Fantasy.
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Seventh Prize
Theodore Lettvin (1926-2003) studied piano with Howard Wells in Chicago from 1930 to 1935, and he continued his studies with Leon Rosenbloom from 1935 to 1941. He made his debut as soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on March 15, 1939. Frederick Stock, who conducted the concert, forecast a notable future for the boy. At the age of fifteen, the young pianist won a scholarship to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, where for the next seven years he studied with Rudolf Serkin and Mieczyslaw Horszowski. His career was briefly interrupted for service with the United States Navy in 1945. After resuming his career, Theodore Lettvin soon became recognized as one of the leading American pianists of his generation. He was the recipient of several prizes including the Naumberg Award in 1948, and the Michaels Award in 1950. While touring Europe and North Africa in 1952, he took part in the Queen Elisabeth Competition. As a recitalist, Theodore Lettvin performed at London's Wigmore Hall, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, and New York's Town Hall. In addition to his recital tours, he also appeared regularly with the major orchestras of the United States. Among them are the New York Philharmonic and the orchestras of Cleveland, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Baltimore, Omaha, Seattle, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and Atlanta. He appeared at the inauguration of the New York Philharmonic Promenades in the summer of 1964 with Andre Kostelanetz, who invited him to return the following season. He also appeared with the New York Philharmonic under William Steinberg, playing the American premiere of the Bartok Scherzo for Piano and Orchestra. On television he has been seen on The Voice of Firestone, the Chicago Theatre of the Air, with the Boston Symphony, and on educational TV. His recordings have been issued on the HMV and Columbia labels. Theodore Lettvin held numerous positions as a teacher including visiting lecturer at the University of Colorado (1956-1957), head of the piano department at the Cleveland Music School Settlement (1956-1968), professor of piano at the New England Conservatory of Music (1968-1977), the University of Michigan (1977-1987), and Rutgers (from 1987). His teaching activities included summer festivals at Marlboro, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Saratoga, and Salzburg. The University of Maryland houses the Theodore Lettvin Collection, consisting of correspondence, photographs, private recordings etc.
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Eighth Prize
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Ninth Prize
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Tenth Prize
In 2010, Philippe Entremont became Principal Conductor of the Boca Raton Philharmonic and Lifetime Laureate Conductor of the Munich Symphony Orchestra. His renown as an orchestral conductor and his dedication to developing orchestras’ artistic potential have led to numerous international tours, playing before full houses: ten tours in the US and seven in Japan with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, a tour of eleven concerts with the Orquestra de Cadaqués in capitals of countries in Asia, and a tour in Switzerland and Germany conducting the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra. As Principal Guest Conductor of the Munich Symphony Orchestra, he has led tours internationally, including the US in 2005 and 2006, conducting from the piano as well as the podium. He returned in both capacities for the Munich Symphony’s highly successful 15-concert US tour in February of 2009. In 1997, Philippe Entremont founded the biennial Santo Domingo Music Festival, of which he is Artistic Director and Conductor of the Festival Orchestra. The Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2007 with a special concert series featuring the premieres of two Festival-commissioned symphonies by Dominican composers, and performances by internationally renowned guest artists such as André Watts, Dan Zhu, Arturo Sandoval and Vitalij Kowaljow. He is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquestra de Cadaqués. In 2006, in connection with the Mozart Year, he conducted the Tokyo-based Super World Orchestra. Philippe Entremont was also among the 10 world-class pianists chosen to perform in the Piano Extravaganza of the Century at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Philippe Entremont was Music Director of the New Orleans Philharmonic Orchestra between 1981 and 1986, after which he became Music Director of the Denver Symphony. He was also Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra until 2002. After having served as Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra for almost thirty years, he is now Conductor Laureate for Life. He was also Music Director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra and is now their Conductor Laureate. Philippe Entremont has directed the greatest symphony orchestras of Europe, Asia and America: Philadelphia, San Francisco, Detroit, Minnesota, Seattle, St. Louis, Houston, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Montreal, The Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orquestra Nacional de España, the Academy of Santa Cecilia of Rome, l’Orchestre National de France, the orchestras of Göteberg, Stockholm, Oslo and Warsaw, the NHK of Tokyo, the KBS Orchestra of Seoul, the Vienna Symphony and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bergen, to name a few. He has worked with the worlds greatest soloists, both instrumental and vocal. One of the most recorded artists of all time, Philippe Entremont has appeared on many labels, including CBS Sony, Teldec and Harmonia Mundi, and he has garnered all of the leading prizes and awards in the industry. His 2008 releases include Mozart’s Concertone; Concerto for Violin and Piano with the Wiener Kammerorchester; Strauss’ lieder with Sophie Koch (mezzo-soprano); and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 with the Orquesta del Festival Musical de Santa Domingo. Great Cross of the Austrian Republic Order of Merit, Officer of the French Legion of Honor, Commander of the Order of Merit, Commander of the Order of Arts et Lettres, Philippe Entremont has also been awarded the Arts and Sciences Cross of Honor of Austria. He is President of the International Certificate for Piano Artists, President of the Bel’Arte Foundation of Brussels and is Director of the American Conservatory of Fountainebleau, a post formerly held by Nadia Boulanger.
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