The European Piano Competition Bremen will take place for the 18th time from February 6th to 13th, 2024. It is open to pianists aged from 16 to 30 years from Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Georgia, Ukraine, Turkey and Israel.
It was originally founded in 1987 as the Bremen Piano Competition and quickly developed into a renowned international competition of the highest standards and quality. The competition aims to support talented pianists headed for an international career. Besides looking for artistic excellence and outstanding musical personalities, it seeks to develop and foster the communication between the contestants and the audience. The participants may showcase their conceptual skills in the semi-final round in a freely chosen recital programme, which is also to be verbally presented to the audience. Moreover, the competition aims to feature contemporary music and works by female composers.
Elements of audience development for all age groups, including children, are an integral part of the competition. In addition, a concert focusing on works from the contestants’ respective home countries underlines the important idea of European cultural exchange. These projects do not only serve to make classical piano music more accessible to everybody but also enhance communication between the local audience and the contestants.
Furthermore, the European Piano Competition Bremen is a cultural encounter between various nations, the audience and artists, fostering an atmosphere of openness, understanding and communication transcending any borders or barriers.
The quarter- and semi-final rounds take place in the wonderful acoustics of the ‘Bremer Sendesaal’; the imposing concert hall ‘Die Glocke’ is the location of the orchestra finale, accompanied by the renowned Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra. For the first time this year, there also takes place a matinee concert in the Hans.Otte Klanghaus of the Weserburg, Museum of Modern Art.
We sincerely thank all sponsors, partners and prize donors who supported the competition 2024:
- Landesmusikrat Bremen e.V. (Träger)
- Die Sparkasse Bremen (GUT FÜR BREMEN Stiftung der Sparkasse in Bremen)
- Sendesaal Bremen
- Glocke Veranstaltungs-GmbH
- Bremer Philharmoniker GmbH
- Radio Bremen
- Weserburg - Museum für moderne Kunst
- Bremen erleben - WFB Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH
- Familie Saacke
- Familie Osmers
- Heinz Peter und Annelotte Koch-Stiftung
- Waldemar Koch Stiftung
- Karin und Uwe Hollweg-Stiftung
- Heinz A. Bockmeyer Stiftung
- Archiv Frau und Musik
- Zentrum für Kunst (Referat 14 - Der Senator für Kultur)
- Hochschule für Künste Bremen
- Musikschule Bremen
- Universität Bremen, Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Musikpädagogik
- Stadtbibliothek Bremen
- Steinway & Sons Hamburg
The three rounds of the competition will take place from Wednesday, 7 February to Tuesday, 13 February 2024 in Bremen. All rounds are open to the public.
In addition, all rounds will also be available as live streams on the YouTube channel of the Landesmusikrat Bremen. In parallel, Radio Weser.TV will broadcast some of the rounds: The semi-finals and the final will be broadcast live on the radio programme, while the final can also be followed live on the television screens.
Admission: €5 half day, €8 all day
Tickets at the box office
10:00 – 11:00 Emir Ilgen
11:15 – 12:15 Nikolay Pushkarev
12:30 – 13:30 Viktor Soos
NEW 15:00 – 16:00 Performance will not take place due to cancellation of the participant
16:15 – 17:15 Francesco Maccarrone
17:30 – 18:30 Muzaffar Muidinov
10:00 – 11:00 Sergey Belyavsky
11:15 – 12:15 Lukas Katter
12:30 – 13:30 Vincent Neeb
15:00 – 16:00 Elžbieta Liepa Dvarionaitè
16:15 – 17:15 Gabriel Yeo
17:30 – 18:30 Florent Ling
10:00 – 11:00 Alexander Doronin
11:15 – 12:15 Nasti
12:30 – 13:30 Tomer Rubinstein
15:00 – 16:00 Elizaveta Kliuchereva
16:15 – 17:15 Théotime Gillot
17:30 – 18:30 Roni Levy
NEW 18:45-19:45 Dominic Degavino (Successor)
ca. 20:30 announcement of the results
Tickets at the box office
Sat 10.02.2024 - 17:00
*17:00 Viktor Soos
18:30 Francesco Maccarrone
20:00 Vincent Neeb
Sun 11.02.2024 - 15:00
15:00 Elžbieta Liepa Dvarionaitè
16:30 Alexander Doronin
18:00 Théotime Gillot
ca. 20:00 announcement of the results
Final with orchestra
Conductor: Tung-Chieh Chuang
Tue 13.02.2024 - 19:00
Die Glocke Bremen
Admission: 15 € / Reduced: 6 €
Tickets: 0421 33 66 99
In addition to the competition rounds, there will be numerous educational formats for children, young people and families (all details here) as well as a matinée concert with the participants.
Matinée concert with participants of the competition
Sat 10.02.2024 - 11:30
Weserburg Museum für Moderne Kunst
The international piano stars of the 18th European Piano Competition Bremen take the audience on a musical journey through Europe. Admission: Pay what you want
GLOCKE seat cushion concert “Pianoforte” (unfortunately already sold out!)
Thu 08.02.2024 - 9:30
Glocke, Small Hall
Admission: €9 (adults) / €6 (babies)
For parents and their babies aged 0 to 18 months
Duration: approx. 45 min.
Tickets available from the Glocke ticket service (tel. 0421 33 66 99)
GLOCKE socks concert “Pianoforte” (unfortunately already sold out!)
Thu 08.02.2024 - 11:30
Glocke, Small Hall
Admission: €10 (adults), €7 (babies)
For parents and their toddlers aged 1.5 to 3 years
Duration: approx. 45 min.
Tickets available from the Glocke ticket service (tel. 0421 33 66 99)
GLOCKE school concert “Pianoforte”
Our school concerts give pupils the opportunity to listen to first-class piano music in a relaxed atmosphere in the Small Hall. The young people experience pianists, who are themselves only between 16 and 30 years old, up close and personal and get to talk to the “stars of tomorrow”. The programme includes the highlights of the respective competition repertoire as well as interesting, curious or unexpected facts from the world of piano music.
Fri 09.02.2024 - 9:30 and 11:30
Glocke, small hall
Admission: €4 per pupil (free admission for 2 teachers per class and personal assistants)
For grades 5 to 13
Duration: approx. 45 min.
Registrations via booking form at “Musik im Ohr” (email@example.com, Tel. 0421 33 66 658)
Jury + Conductor 2024
Konstanze Eickhorst – Chair (Germany)
Konstanze Eickhorst was born in Bremen and received her initial instruction in music at the Bremen-Nord Music School. At the young age of eleven she was admitted to Prof. Karl-Heinz Kämmerling’s class at the Hanover College of Music. Kämmerling would become her most important mentor, and she also received decisive artistic pointers from Vado Perlmutter during her studies in Paris.
First prizes at the Clara Haskil and Géza Anda International Competitions enabled her to launch her career following her successes at German national competitions.
Konstanze Eickhorst was appointed to a professorship at the Hanover College of Music at the age of twenty-eight and has continued her activity in the educational sphere at the Lübeck College of Music. She is committed to conveying and transmitting her experience to others. She has been a member of the jury of the EKWB since 2007 and serves as a member of its executive artistic board.
Silke Avenhaus (Germany)
Silke Avenhaus is internationally renowned for her concert performances and her over 40 recordings. Numerous solo concerts and appearances in chamber music ensembles have taken Silke Avenhaus throughout Europe, the USA and South East Asia. She regularly appears in venues such as the Wigmore Hall in London, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Salle Gaveau in Paris, the Brahms-Saal of the Wiener Musikverein, the Philharmonie in Cologne, Munich and Berlin as well as the Carnegie Recital Hall, New York. She has accepted invitations to the Marlboro Music Festival, to the Chamber Music Festivals in Prussia Cove and Moritzburg, to the Berliner Festwochen and the Rheingau Music Festival, the Salzburg Festspiele, the Lucerne Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Klavier-Festival Ruhr and the Beethovenfest in Bonn. Silke Avenhaus has worked with orchestras such as the NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the German Radiophilharmonie and the Munich Chamber Orchestra.
She studied with Bianca Bodalia, Klaus Schilde, György Sebök , Sandor Végh and Sir András Schiff. Silke Avenhaus holds an honorary professorship at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich. From the 2021/2022 season, Silke Avenhaus is visiting professor for piano chamber music at Musikhochschule Lübeck.
Carsten Dürer (Germany)
Carsten Dürer played actively piano for several years and studied Musicology in Cologne. He began his career as a music journalist in 1984 and wrote articles for daily newspapers, important music magazines in the classical field and for the public broadcasting company. After finishing his studies, he took over simultaneously two positions as editor in chief. He founded the Staccato-Verlag in 1994, publishing since 1997 as founder and chief editor the German piano magazine ”PIANONews”. He also founded the chamber music magazine ”ENSEMBLE”, which was published fom 2003 until 2014. Moreover, his company has recently published biographies of pianists, reprints and important pedagogical books in the field of piano- and chamber music.
In addition Carsten Dürer writes texts for programm booklets, CD-booklets, introduces concert programmes for the audience and holds lectures for students. He sits in several juries of international piano competitions. He was a member of the board of „European Chamber Music Teachers Association“ (ECMTA) and member of the jury of the ECHO-Klassik Prize. He taught for several years at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Rostock piano literature and at the Anton Rubinstein International Music Academy music education/audience developement as well as musical stiles.
Christopher Elton (Great Britain)
Christopher Elton was born in Edinburgh and received most of his musical education at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he achieved the unusual distinction of gaining the Academy’s highest performing award - the Dip. RAM - on both piano and cello. Christopher Elton’s teaches an award-winning piano class at the Royal Academy of Music and sits in juries of prominent international piano competitions. He was invited by the piano faculty at the Yale School of Music as a Visiting Professor. Within the last few years he has given masterclasses in the USA, Japan, Israel, Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Spain, Germany, Ireland and Vietnam, many of them for important conservatories or universities. He has also given recitals in the UK, USA, Ireland, Spain, Australia and Vietnam.
He was a prizewinner in several British and international piano competitions, playing and broadcasting regularly both as a soloist and in chamber music. At the same time he worked as a freelance cellist with the major London orchestras. Christopher Elton was Head of Keyboard at the Royal Academy of Music, London, (where he was elected a Fellow in 1983,) from 1987 to 2011. In 2002 the title of Professor of the University of London was conferred on him. He now also holds the title of Emeritus Head of Piano, and still maintains a large class of students at the Royal Academy of Music.
Roland Krüger (Germany)
Roland Krüger is a winner of many awards, such as the first prize of the Concours de Genève in 2001. He has performed in many important international venues such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, the Musikhalle (Laeiszhalle) in Hamburg, the Philharmonic Hall of Cologne, the Victoria Hall in Geneva, the Casino in Basel, the Beethoven Hall in Bonn, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and the Rheingau Musik Festival or the Festival di Ravello in Italy. As a soloist, he worked with several orchestras under conductors like Fabio Luisi, Dennis Russell Davies, Othmar Maga, Eiji Oue or Marc Soustrot.
Roland Krüger studied with Prof. Oleg Maisenberg and Prof. Karl-Heinz Kämmerling. From 1999 until 2001 he was one of the very few selected students in the class of Krystian Zimerman in Basel, Switzerland. His recordings include Debussy’s 12 Études for Ars Musici as well as solo works by Schubert, Janáček and Bartók for paladino music. For naxos he recorded chamber music by Joseph Merk, Hummel’s transcriptions of Mozart-Symphonies and the complete works for Cello and Piano by Carl Reinecke. In 2007, Krüger became professor at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media where he is currently the Head of Keyboard and the Head of the Solo performance programme. Many of his students have regularly won prizes, for example in Aarhus, Barletta, Dresden (Anton Rubinstein), Meiningen (von Bülow), at the “Young Pianists of the North” Competition, in Paris (Ile de France), Sendai, Vevey (Clara Haskil), Vilnius (Čiurlionis) or Zwickau (Schumann).
Varvara Nepomnyashchaya (Russia / Germany)
Born in Moscow, Varvara studied at the Gnessin Special Music School and at the Tchaikowsky Conservatory with Mikhail Voskressensky. She continued her studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg with Prof. Evgeni Koroliov. She is a laureate of numerous international competitions, such as Johann Sebastian Bach-Competition in Leipzig (2006) and winner of the first prize of Géza Anda Competition (2012). Varvara plays as a soloist of prestigious orchestras such as Orchestra of the Tonhalle Zürich, SWR Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of the Mariinski Theater, Wiener Kammerorchester, Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre Nationale de Lille and collaborates with conductors such as Eliahu Inbal, Valery Gergiev, David Zinman, Cornelius Meister, Tamás Vásáry, Yaron Traub and Vladimir Fedoseyev.
She performs at the Luzern Festival, Klavier-Festival Ruhr, September Musical in Montreux, Gstaad Menuhin Festival and at important venues such as Tonhalle Zürich, Auditorio Madrid, Philharmonie de Paris, Palau de la Música Barcelona, Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg and Konzerthaus Dortmund. Varvara is an enthusiastic chamber musician. Her discography includes works of Mozart, Händel and Liszt. Her recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations will be released soon.
Andrzej Pikul (Poland)
Andrzej Pikul graduated from the piano class of Prof. Tadeusz Żmudziński at the Academy of Music in Kraków (1980). He continued his studies I the master class of Prof. Paul Badura-Skoda at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna (1981–1983). He also participated in many other master courses taught by eminent pianists (including A. Jenner, V. Perlemuter, G. Agosti, T. Vasary). He is a laureate of the Polish Piano Festival in Słupsk (1981), the International Competition Foundation Cziffrra in Senlis (1983), the European Broadcasting Competition in Bratislava (1985). Andrzej Pikul has played worldwide concerts in prestigious concert halls such as the Brahms-Hall and the Beethoven Hall (Vienna), the Wigmore Hall (London), the Norsk Opera (Oslo) and the Izumi Hall (Osaka) and African Forum Theater (Pretoria).
He has been invited to numerous festivals, and has done recordings for Polish Radio and Television, Österreichischer Rundfunk, Radio Suisse Romande, and recorded several albums. He has given master classes in Australia, Chile, Israel, Japan, Brazil, Germany, New Zeeland, Portugal, Republic of South Africa and Spain, and sat on juries of Polish and international music competitions . He was a visiting professor in Kobe College Japan (2002/2003) and at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz (2011/2012). He is Professor of Piano at the Krzysztof Penderecki Academy of Music Kraków.
Tung-Chieh Chuang (Conductor)
Tung-Chieh Chuang has been General Music Director of the Bochum Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Anneliese Brost Musikforum Ruhr since August 2021. Previous engagements have taken him to the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, WDR Sinfonieorchester, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. He has repeatedly conducted the MDR Sinfonieorchester, Dresdner Philharmonie, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Lapland Chamber Orchestra, Sønderjyllands Symphony Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and Oviedo Filarmonía. The sought-after conductor from Taiwan laid the foundation for his international career in 2015 when he won the International Malko Competition in Copenhagen. He had previously won prizes at the ‘Sir Georg Solti’ International Conducting Competition in Frankfurt, the ‘Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition’ in Bamberg and the ‘Jeunesses Musicales International Conducting Competition’ in Bucharest. Tung-Chieh Chuang comes from a family of professional musicians and learnt to play the horn and piano at an early age. He gave his first public concert at the age of eleven. He studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and at the Franz Liszt School of Music in Weimar. His mentors include Mark Gibson, Gustav Meier, Otto-Werner Mueller and Nicolás Pasquet. Today, the conductor lives with his family in Bochum.