Chairman of the jury
Eugène Traey
Belgium, °1915 - 2006
Count Eugène Traey (1915-2006) was born in Amsterdam of Belgian parents and studied music at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Antwerp, where his piano teacher was Emmanuel Durlet. He went on to study in Paris under Robert Casadesus and in Germany under Karl Leimer and Walter Gieseking. After this international training as a pianist, Eugène Traey pursued a career both as a concert performer and a teacher at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, of which he was the director until 1980. He gave recitals, performed with orchestras and took part in chamber music recitals with Arthur Grumiaux and Jean Laurent, as well as performing piano duos with Frédéric Gevers. He was the founder of the deSingel concert hall in Antwerp and was a regular member of juries at international competitions (Moscow, Warsaw, Munich and Tokyo, among others). From 1982 until 1995 Eugène Traey presided over the jury of the Queen Elisabeth Competition.
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Friedrich Cerha
Austria, °1926
Composer Friedrich Cerha, born in Vienna in 1926, has long been considered one of the most important Austrian composers of our time. In 1958, he founded the Vienna-based ensemble die reihe. He directed die reihe, an ensemble comprised of talented soloists, for decades. In 1960 and 1961, he composed a work that became central to his compositional output - a cycle entitled Spiegel. In 1979, he completed Berg's three-act opera Lulu, a work which garnered him international attention.

Friedrich Cerha has spent much of his career delving into various 20th century musical styles, such as twelve-tone technique, neoclassicism, and serial music. He has also maintained an interest in replicable emotional developments, which permeate both his orchestral and chamber works.

Music-theatre has also played an important role in Friedrich Cerha's compositional output. For example, he created a version of Spiegel that included movement groups, lights, and objects. Soon after this he wrote the music-theatre piece Netzwerk. In the late 1970s, he became highly interested in Bertolt Brecht's Baal and produced a work of the same name that grappled with the relationship between the individual and society. This work was followed by Der Rattenfänger (1984-1986) and Der Riese vom Steinfeld (1997). His most important orchestral works include Langegger Nachtmusik III and Impulse. Over the past several years he has produced multiple solo concertos, such as his Concerto for violin and orchestra (2004), Concerto for soprano, saxophone and orchestra (2003/2004) and Concerto for clarinet and orchestra (2009).

Today, Friedrich Cerha is as exceptionally productive as ever. His Concerto for percussion and orchestra premiered in the autumn of 2009 (Martin Grubinger, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg), followed by Instants (WDR Symphonieorchester), Like a Tragicomedy (BBC Philharmonic Orchestra), and Kammermusik for orchestra (ORF Radio Symphonieorchester), performed at the Wiener Festwochen 2010. In September 2010, Ensemble Modern and Hans Holliger have come together to put on the world premiere of Cerha's Quintet for oboe and string quartet. The Salzburg Biennale made Friedrich Cerha, whose 85th birthday was celebrated, a main focus of its festival in 2011.

In addition to his active compositional life, Friedrich Cerha taught at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna until 1988. His students have included Georg Friedrich Haas and Karlheinz Essl. Friedrich Cerha is a recipient of the Grand Austrian State Prize, a member of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an officer of the Order of Arts and Letters. The Biennale di Venezia awarded him with the Golden Lion for his life's work in 2006.
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Frédéric Devreese
Belgium, °1929 - 2020
Dutch-born Belgian composer of stage, orchestral, chamber, choral, and piano works; however, Frédéric Devreese is best known for his many memorable film scores and for his conducting. He received his first musical training from his father and then studied in Brussels (composition with Marcel Poot and conducting with René Defossez). He went on to study composition at the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome and conducting at the Wiener Staatsakademie. At the age of nineteen, he received the Prize of the Town of Ostend for his Piano Concerto No. 1. In 1983, his Piano Concerto No. 4 was the compulsory work for the Queen Elisabeth Competition. Devreese has received several national and international awards, including the Prix Italia for his TV opera Willem van Saeftinghe, the Georges Delerue Award, the Plateau Music Award (twice) for his film music, and the Klara-Carrièreprijs (2006). As a conductor, he has made a number of recordings for the Naxos Anthology of Flemish Music, for which he was nominated Cultural Ambassador of Flanders in 1996-97.
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Edison Denisov
Russian Federation, °1929 - 1996
Edison Denisov was a strikingly innovative Russian composer of Siberian extraction. A leading figure of the post-Shostakovich generation and a hugely influential teacher, he gravitated towards European models like Boulez and Ligeti as well as to the French aesthetic of Debussy and Messiaen. His modernist leanings provoked severe official disapproval, but he stayed loyal to his Russian roots including sweet romantic melodies of Glinka and confessional psycho-dramas of Shostakovich. His style is refined, ornately detailed and elaborate, at the same time romantic and melancholy, creating rich play with elaborate chromatic textures and micro-polyphony. A master of colourful instrumentation in such works as Peinture, he used his skills to complete pieces by Schubert, Musorgsky, Debussy and Mosolov. Edison Denisov wrote works for leading soloists including Heinz Holliger, Aurèle Nicolet, Gidon Kremer and Yuri Bashmet. His works include La Vie en Rouge (1975, Chamber cantata for voice and ensemble), Flute Concerto (1975, for flute and chamber orchestra) and Requiem (1980, for soloists, chorus and orchestra).
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Henri Dutilleux
France, °1916
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Theo Loevendie
, °1930
Theo Loevendie was born in 1930 in Amsterdam. He studied composition and clarinet at the Amsterdam Conservatory. Up to 1968 he dedicated himself almost exclusively to jazz and he performed with his own ensemble at the main European jazz festivals: Montreux, Juan-les-Pins, Nîmes, Warsaw, Molde (Norway) and Laren (Holland). For one of his jazz records he received an Edison in 1969. He was awarded the 1979 Wessel Ilcken Prize for all his jazz activities through the years.

From 1970 to 1988 Theo Loevendie has been a professor of composition at the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music, from 1988 to 1997 at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague and since 1995 at the Sweelinck Conservatory of Music in Amsterdam. He was central composer at many festivals and he has given master classes all over the world.

As of 1968 Theo Loevendie began to focus on the composing of concert music. His compositions are frequently performed both at regular concerts and at festivals all over the world. He has composed four operas: Naima (1985), which was premiered at the 1985 Holland Festival in Amsterdam, the chamber opera Gassir, the Hero (1990), premiered May 1991 in Boston (U.S.A.), Esmée, which was first performed in Amsterdam at the Holland Festival 1995 and in Berlin (1995)
and had a staging again in 1997 at Bielefeld, Germany, and the chamber opera Johnny & Jones, performed at the Holland Festival 2001 and in 2003 in Dresden.
Among his orchestral compositions are a Piano concerto (1996), a Violin concerto (1998), a Clarinet Concerto (2001) and Seyir (2002) for 25 western and non-western instruments (premiered in the Berliner Festspiele 2002). In 2003 Theo Loevendie founded the ensemble Ziggurat, a combination of western and non-western instruments. Since then he wrote many compositions for this ensemble.

The recording of De Nachtegaal (The Nightingale) was awarded an Edison in 1982; a year later followed the prize of the RAI (Italian Television and Radio) for the television production of this work, which since then has been performed in many languages all over the world. In 1984 Theo Loevendie shared with Pierre Boulez the American Koussevitzky International Record Award; he received the prize for Flexio (1979), written on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. The opera Naima (1985) was awarded with the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize 1986 of the City of Amsterdam.

In 1988 Theo Loevendie was the first composer to receive the prestigious 3M Music Award for his entire output and his great merits in musical life.
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Frederik van Rossum
Belgium, °1939
Frederik van Rossum was born in Brussels. Since he was awarded the Premier Grand Prix de Rome in 1965, his works have won many international awards. His Réquisitoire for brass and percussion, for example, won First Prize at the International Rostrum of Composers backed by UNESCO in Paris in 1981. His First Violin Concerto was the compulsory work at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1980 and was subsequently the subject of five different recordings. In 1988 his Aria a modo di vocalizzo was the compulsory work for the semi-final of the Queen Elisabeth Competition for Singing. A brilliant orchestrator, van Rossum has written a number of works for orchestra with and without soloists. He has also composed chamber music and music for the stage and for opera, along with an extensive and varied range of works for the piano ; he is himself an excellent pianist and his works for the instrument occupy a central place in his oeuvre. Frederik van Rossum is a member of the Académie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique. From 1995 to 2000 he was Composer in Residence of the Festival of Flanders.
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Piano 2020 postponed to May 2021
How the competition unfolds
H.M. Queen Mathilde
Piano Competitions' Juries
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