Chairman of the jury
Arie Van Lysebeth
Belgium, °1938
Arie Van Lysebeth was the President of the Jury of the Queen Elisabeth Competition from 1996 to 2018. He took up the violin at the age of four. He completed his higher education at the Brussels Conservatory in music theory, bassoon, chamber music, and orchestral conducting. Following a competition, he was appointed bassoon soloist of the Belgian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra. Two years later, he came joint first in the Prague International Bassoon Contest. He also studied conducting under Bruno Maderna in Salzburg and under Pierre Boulez in Switzerland. Starting in 1970, he conducted the Flemish Chamber Orchestra, both in Belgium and abroad. As a guest conductor, he has appeared with the major Belgian orchestras as well as with symphony orchestras in the United States of America, Argentina, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany. He has performed with many famous soloists, including Igor Oistrakh, José Van Dam, Murray Perahia, and Augustin Dumay. From 1995 to 2004 he was the regular conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the Brussels Conservatory, where he taught chamber music for many years (1970-1994) and served as director (1994-2003). From 2004 to 2014, he was the artistic director of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel.
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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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Václav Kucera
Czech Republic - 2017
Vaclav Kucera studied composition at Moscow Conservatory with Vissarion Shebalin and simultaneously graduated from musicological studies. He has worked for the Czechoslovak Radio, headed the Cabinet of Contemporary Musical Studies affiliated to the Union of Czecho slovak Composers and was scientifically active at the Institute of Musical Science in the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. From 1969 to 1983, he he has been secretary-general of the Union of Czech Composers and Concert Artists. In recognition of his work, he was awarded the state distinction For Outstanding Work in 1979 and the honorary title of Merited Artist in 1986.

During his early creative period when his idiom was basically tonal and his starting-points issuing from folklore with a tendency towards monumentalization, Vaclav Kucera composed The Distant Home, a sonata for violin and piano, the dance drama Brigands Fire, the ballet Festival Fairy-tale, and the cycle Songs of the Earth. His symphony for large orchestra of the beginning of the sixties represents a turning point after which Dramas for 9 Instruments, and the stereophonic concerti no The Pied Piper, stand for a movement towards new stylish certainties. In the seventies, his style, imbued with modern compositional technology not only in the instrumental and vocal areas, but also in the sphere of electronic music, is turning to new emotionality. This is especially evident in his works of the seventies, including besides others the cycles Diario, Orbis pictus and The Spring Manifesto, or the vast musical-dramatic fresco Lidice. An important part in the forming of his present performance is impersonated by his vocal cycles of the latest years, especially Bitter and Other Songs on the verses of Josef Kainar.

The compositions of Vaclav Kucera have won a number of distinctions : The Tableau for Piano and Orchestra the prize of Queen Maria-Jose in Geneva (1970), Lidice, a special recognition of the Czechoslovak Radio for the 25th anniversary of Czechoslovakia s liberation (1970), as well as the prize of the Italian Radio Prix d'Italia (1972), the cycle The Celebration of Spring the first prize in the competition of the Central Council of the Trades-Unions (1977), the string quartet the Consciousness of Continuities the prize of the Union of Czechoslovak Composers and Concert Artists (1983).

He is known for his very vast theoretical, musicological and publishing activities. He is among others the author of M. P. Mussorgsky - Music of Life, Talent, Mastery, World Outlook, New Trends in Soviet Music, a number of scientific studies, radio and TV musical-educational programmes as well as popularization lectures.

He has been a teacher of the department of composition at the Prague Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.
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Jan Michiels
Belgium, °1966
Jan Michiels studied with Abel Matthys at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. From 1988 to 1993 he studied at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin under the direction of Hans Leygraf - he was awarded an exceptional distinction for his interpretations of Bartók's Second concerto for piano and Ligeti's Etudes. He was Tenuto-laureate in 1988; in 1989 he won the international E. Durlet competition. In 1992 he was awarded the JeM/ Cera prize for musicians and in 1996 he was signed up as festival star of the Flanders Festival. He is also laureate of the 'Gouden Vleugels/KBC Muziekprijs' 2006.

Jan Michiels is currently active as piano professor at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel, where he also led the class of contemporary music for eight years. He conducted masterclasses in London, Murcia, Hamburg, Oslo, Montepulciano, Szombathely (Bartokfestival). He is fellow in the 'Platform' (VUB-KCB/The Brussels Model) and prepares a doctorate in the arts with the 'New Prometheus' of Luigi Nono as a guide.

He regularly performs as a soloist or with chamber music ensembles (a.o. the Piano Quartet Tetra Lyre and a piano duo with Inge Spinette) in several musical centres in Europe and Asia, with conductors such as Angus, Asbury, Baudo, Boreycko, Edwards, Eötvös, Meylemans, Nézet-Séguin, Ono, Pfaff, Rahbari, Rundel, Soustrot, Stern, Tabachnik, Tamayo, Zagrosek, Zender - but also with dance-productions of Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker, Vincent Dunoyer and Sen Hea Ha. His repertoire reaches from Bach to contemporary works.

Apart from his many radio recordings, he also recorded cd's with works by a.o. Bach, Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms, Busoni, Debussy, Dvorák, Janácek, Liszt, Rachmaninov, Ligeti, Kurtág and Goeyvaerts. The cd Via Crucis - a Liszt-portrait (Eufoda) - received a Caeciliaprize in 2002. He realized different complete cycles: the Beethoven sonatas, the piano works of Schoenberg, Webern and Berg and the complete chamber music with piano of Johannes Brahms.
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Akira Miyoshi
- 2013
After studying at the Paris Conservatoire and privately with Raymond Gallois-Montbrun, Japanese composer Akira Miyoshi graduated in French literature from Tokyo University in 1960. The influence of Dutilleux on him is evident in the transformation of motifs in early works including the sonata for flute, cello and piano (1955). In such works as the Sinfonia concertante (1954), the Piano Concerto (1962) and the Concerto for Orchestra (1964), Akira Miyoshi's individual technique of motif transformation, which at times evokes the incremental rhythms of Japanese traditional music, increasingly became a structural element. Many of his important works are for vocal forces. In Kogen-dansho (1955), En blanc (1962) and Duel (1964), atonal melodies follow the verbal intonation of Japanese. After the String Quartet no.2 (1967) his use of atonality has become more prominent, and he has experimented with graphic notation and unusual performance instructions. In his trilogy for chorus and orchestra, Requiem (1972), Psaume (1979) and Kyomon (1984), Miyoshi combines these elements with Japanese children's songs. Among his awards are four Otaka prizes for the Piano Concerto, the Concerto for Orchestra, the Cello Concerto (1974) and Kyomon.
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Alexander Müllenbach
Alexander Mullenbach (Luxembourg) studied piano, chamber music and composition at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He has composed more than 60 works since 1978, 6 of them for large orchestra. His compositions appear at major festivals such as Salzburg in 1986, the Festival du Midem Classique in 1986, Styrian Autumn in 1987, Echternach in 1987 and 1989, the International Summer Academy of the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Musica Strasbourg in 1991 and Europa Musicale Munich in 1993.

He has also composed set pieces for international competitions, viz. the International Mozart Competition Salzburg in 1988 and the European Piano Competition in 1987. His works have been played by Heinrich Schiff, Roberto Szidon, Roberto Fabbricanti, Edda Silvestri, Gottfried Schneider, Irena Grafenauer, Elliot Fisk and the ensembles Musica Viva of Dresden and Alter Ego of Rome. Conductors of renown have conducted his symphonic works: Ernest Bour, Leopold Hager, Günther Neuhold, Hans Graf, Udo Zimmermann.

In parallel with his activity as a composer, Alexander Mullenbach has devoted himself intensively to teaching at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, where he presently is the Director of the Summer Academy, and the Conservatory in Luxembourg. He has given numerous concerts in Europe and Canada as a pianist, chamber musician and accompanist.
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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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