Competition 2020 / 2021
For more than two decades, the European Piano Competition Bremen has been offering the opportunity to present themselves to an esteemed jury and an interested audience to young pianists from all over Europe including CIS states, Turkey and Israel.
The 2020 competition has been postponed to 2021 due to the global Covid19 crisis. We are happy to announce that the 17th European piano competition could take place from the 2nd round in presence in Bremen from 12-18.7.2021. The 1st round was held by video submission.
We sincerely thank all sponsors and prize donors who supported the competition 2021:
Die Sparkasse Bremen
Heinz Peter und Annelotte Koch-Stiftung
Waldemar Koch Stiftung
Karin und Uwe Hollweg-Stiftung
Bremer Tageszeitungen AG
Internationaler Arbeitskreis Frau und Musik e.V.
Konstanze Eickhorst – Chair (Germany)
The pianist Konstanze Eickhorst is not a musician who is easily pigeonholed: she is a soloist, a chamber musician and a teacher. “These are the three pillars on which my musical life is built,” she said in a recently broadcast interview. Konstanze Eickhorst was a pupil of Karl-Heinz Kämmerling in Hanover and Vlado Perlemuter in Paris. Joachim Kaiser has praised her not only for her “immaculate command of piano technique”, but also for the “intensity of expression” that is her particular hallmark. The jury at the renowned Clara Haskil Competition thought so too, as did the jury of the Géza Anda Competition, at both of which she won first prize. She has also won prizes at the Toronto Bach Competition (in memoriam Glenn Gould) and at Belgium’s Concours Reine Elisabeth. Konstanze Eickhorst appears at many leading international festivals, including Lucerne, Montreux, Salzburg, Ravinia (Chicago) and Berlin. She has also performed with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich and others, with conductors such as Christoph Eschenbach, Andrew Davis, Peter Schneider, Manfred Honeck and Ingo Metzmacher. She has been privileged to work in a solo capacity with Sándor Végh and Ferdinand Leitner. She is a member of the Linos Ensemble, which performs in combinations ranging from duo to nonet in concert halls throughout the world and has numerous awards and CD recordings to its credit. Her strong interest in merging music and literature led to close collaboration with the late actor Karl Michael Vogler. Since 2010 she has performed with the actor Johanna Gastdorf. Alongside her activities as a solo pianist, Konstanze Eickhorst sees it as her mission to transmit the fruit of her experience to the younger generation of pianists. She was one of the youngest professors in the story of German music-academies when, in 1989, she embarked on her successful teaching career at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hanover. In 1998 the Musikhochschule Lübeck invited her to join its staff. She now conducts masterclasses for soloists and ensembles, and is frequently on the panel of judges at competitions in Germany and abroad.
Ian Fountain (United Kingdom)
In 1989 Ian Fountain became the youngest winner of the Arthur Rubinstein
Piano Masters Competition in Tel Aviv at the age of 19. He was educated as
a chorister at New College, Oxford and later at Winchester College. He
studied piano under Sulamita Aronovsky at the RNCM.
Since that time he has enjoyed a wide-ranging and varied career, performing
extensively throughout Europe, the USA, the UK and the Far East, with
orchestras such as the London Symphony and Sir Colin Davis, the Israel
Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, and the Czech Philharmonic and Jiri
Belohlavek. He has also performed with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester
Berlin, the Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, Halle, CBSO, Vienna Chamber
Orchestra, Singapore Symphony and Utah Symphony amongst many others. In
Moscow he was invited to open the 1992/3 season of the Moscow Conservatoire
and in Poland he marked the 150th anniversary of Chopin’s death by
playing both Chopin Concertos in Krakow.
As recitalist, he has performed in major centres such as New York, Chicago, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, and Jerusalem. He is a regular guest of international festivals such as Prague Spring, Berlin, Schleswig-Holstein, Enescu (Bucharest) and Kuhmo. He has performed an extensive repertoire of over 60 concertos, including the complete cycle of Mozart Concertos.
As a chamber musician, he enjoys many long-standing collaborations with musicians such as David Geringas, Ulf Hoelscher, and the Mandelring and Emperor Quartets, performing in concerts and festivals throughout Europe, Japan and Korea. Recent performances include concerts with the Hungarian Philharmonic and Zoltan Kocsis in Budapest, the Enescu Philharmonic and Cristian Mandeal in Bucharest, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Paavo Jarvi in Japan, the London Chamber Orchestra and the Armenian Philharmonic in Yerevan.
Ian Fountain has made several critically acclaimed recordings, including for EMI (20th Century Piano Sonatas), CRD (Beethoven Diabelli Variations), and for Sony and Haenssler Classics the complete works for cello and piano of Beethoven, Chopin and Mendelssohn and Rachmaninov with the cellist David Geringas. In 2008 he collaborated in the preparation of the present editions of Beethoven Sonatas and Variations for Piano and Cello published by Henle Verlag, Munich. In January 2019, his fingerings for the complete Beethoven Variations for piano will be published in the new Henle edition. Since 2001, Ian Fountain has been a piano professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London. His students have won many competitions and awards. He holds an annual summer masterclass in Cervo, Italy, and further masterclasses around the world, in China and across Europe. He has served on the juries of many international piano competitions, including at the Arthur Rubinstein Competition in 2011.
Andreas Groethuysen (Germany)
Andreas Groethuysen, born in Munich, studied piano with Ludwig Hoffmann in Munich and with Peter Feuchtwanger in London. After a few years of solo concert playing, Groethuysen joined forces with Yaara Tal to form a piano duo, which has since become the centre of his artistic activities and is active in international concert life with performances in most European countries, Asia, North and South America. An exclusive collaboration with SONY CLASSICAL has enabled the duo to record an unprecedented series of over 30 CDs, which have received numerous awards (10x “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik”, 5x “Echo-Preis”, and “Cannes Classical Award”). Andreas Groethuysen conducts a class for solo piano and piano duo at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
Violetta Khatchikyan (Russia)
Violetta Khachikyan is a versatile concert pianist and celebrated
chamber music partner. Born in Krasnodar (Southern Russia), she studied
among other things at the renowned governmental Rimsky-Korsakov
Conservatory in St. Petersburg and at the Lübeck Conservatory of Music in
the She graduated from the class of Prof. Konstanze Eickhorst. Violetta
Khachikyan is the winner of the European Piano Competition Bremen and has
won numerous prizes. International competitions such as the George Enescu
Music Competition Bucharest (2nd prize) , the Maj Linde Competition
Helsinki (3rd prize), the Scottish International Piano Competition Glasgow
and of the Paderewski International Piano Competition. she received
important artistic impulses from the Willem Brons, Dmitri Bashkirov,
Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Pavel Gililow, Paul Badura-Skoda and Leon
In 2007 Violetta Khachikyan released her first solo CD in the context of a Scholarship of the Lion Club Germany. This was followed by a recording of Radio Bremen with Works by Rachmaninov, Schumann, Scarlatti and Hiller. She regularly gives concerts in Europe, Japan and Brazil, and has worked with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki-Philharmonics, the Bremen Philharmonic, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Hansestadt Lübeck and the Academic Symphonic Orchestra of Saint Petersburg. Numerous concert appearances led them to the Beethovenfest Bonn, to Schleswig-Holstein music festival, the Aarhus International Piano Festival, the Brahms Festival in Lübeck and the many others. As a chamber music partner, she regularly performs with young ensembles at the Konzerthaus Berlin and the Berliner Philharmonie and works with renowned musicians. like Jens Peter Maintz, Troels Svane, Konstantin Heidrich and Sebastian Klinger. Violetta Khachikyan is a lecturer at the Musikhochschule Lübeck and the UdK Berlin.
At the end of 2017, a new solo CD by Violetta with works by Robert Schumann and Theodor Kirchner appeared.
Matthias Kornemann (Germany)
Matthias Kornemann, born 1967 in Lippstadt/Westphalia, studied German language and literature, musicology, art history and journalism in Münster and Vienna. In 1997 he received his doctorate with a thesis on the neuromanticist and myth researcher Eduard Stucken. Between 2003 and 2016 he was responsible for the indexing of the music archive of the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin, which had returned from Ukraine. Since his school days he has devoted himself to music criticism, first in the local press, and since 1993 as a music journalist regularly for magazines such as Rondo, Stereo and FonoForum. The focus of his work is on the piano repertoire. Matthias Kornemann has published books on Johannes Brahms, Zeltersche Liedertafel and the piano. He is currently working on a “Cultural History of the Piano”, which will be published by Bärenreiter-Verlag.
Gülsin Onay (Turkey)
Gülsin Onay began her piano training at the age of three and gave her first public concert on Turkish radio when she was just six years old. With the help of a special state scholarship, she was able to study with Ahmed Adnan Saygun and Mithat Fenmen and then attend the Paris Conservatory, where she passed her final examination at the age of 16 and won the prestigious “Premier Prix du Piano” prize. She soon won prizes in the most prestigious international piano competitions, such as the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris and the Ferruccio Busoni Competition in Bolzano.
Gülsin Onays’ truly international career then took place in 80 different countries on all continents, from Venezuela to Japan. Gülsin Onay has also performed with the following conductors: Vladimir Ashkenazy, Erich Bergel, Michael Boder, Andrey Boreyko, Jörg Faerber, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Edward Gardner, Neeme Jarvi, Emmanuel Krivine, Ingo Metzmacher, Esa-Pekka Salonen, José Serebrier, Vassily Sinaisky, Stanislaw Wislocki and Lothar Zagrosek. Gülsin Onay’s festival appearances ranged from Berlin, Warsaw, Granada and Würzburg to Newport, Schleswig-Holstein and Istanbul.
Since Gülsin Onay is an excellent Chopin interpreter, she was honoured in 2007 with the award of a state medal by the country of Poland. Ms. Onay is also recognized worldwide as the best interpreter of the music of A. Adnan Saygun, whose works have a high status in her concerts and recordings and whose Second Piano Concerto was dedicated to her. She was also awarded the honorary titles “State Artist” and “Soloist for the Presidential Symphony Orchestra”. Gülsin Onay is “Artist in Residence” at Bilkent University in Ankara and has received honorary doctorates from Bosporus University in Istanbul and Hacettepe University in Ankara. The Sevda-Cenap And Music Foundation awarded Gülsin Onay the coveted “Honorary Award: Gold Medal” in 2007, and she was also named “Pianist of the Year” in the 2011 Donizetti Classical Music Awards. Finally, in 2014, she was awarded the Medal of Honor of the 42nd Istanbul Music Festival.
Erik Tawaststjerna (Finland)
Erik T. Tawaststjerna (“Ta-va-sher-na”) is Professor Emeritus at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He earned degrees from the Vienna Music Academy and the Juilliard School as well as a doctorate from New York University. After winning the second prize at the Finnish Maj Lind piano competition in 1968 he has played concerts around the world. In 1990 he was invited to perform at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. He has recorded the complete piano music by Jean Sibelius (BIS records) and given master classes at several major conservatoires in Europe and Asia. Many of his students have received prizes in international piano competitions. He has also been a jury member at international piano competitions in Fort Worth, Barcelona, Dublin, Valencia, Vilnius, London, Vienna, Oslo, New York, and Weimar, among other cities.