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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Nicolas Bolens
Switzerland
Nicolas Bolens was born in Geneva and has studied the piano since childhood with the pianist and composer Arié Dzierlatka. He furthered his musical studies at the conservatory of his home town, under the guidance of Elisabeth Athanassova (piano) and Jean Balissat (composition) among others. Composers such as Eric Gaudibert, Rudolph Kelterborn, Klaus Huber and Edison Denissov have given him their advice. He composes for ensembles such as Trio Grumiaux, Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain (NEC), Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and Orchestre de l'Académie Tibor Varga.

In 1993, he was one of the award winners of a competition for young composers organised by the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne with Musique pour Orchestre de Chambre. He has been commissioned to write numerous pieces for such ensembles as the Trio Grumiaux, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain, etc. The first CD dedicated to his works came out in 1998 with the support of the Grumiaux Foundation. The same year, the Leenaards Foundation granted him a scholarship in recognition of his work. In 2002, he won the competition organised by the Cultural Foundation of the BCN with La Vigie - a musical theatre composed in collaboration with the director Pierre-André Gamba.

In parallel with his composing activities, Nicolas Bolens spends a great deal of his time teaching. He teaches counterpoint and writing of the 20th century at the conservatory of Geneva and is responsible for the preparatory class of composition taught by Michael Jarrell. He has taught the piano and improvisation at the Jacques Dalcroze Institute in Geneva.

His scores are edited by Papillon and Editions Musicales Suisse (EMS).
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Luis de Pablo
Luis de Pablo was born in Bilbao (Spain) in 1930 and started his musical studies very young. He then went on to study law at the University of Complutense in Madrid. Egged on by his interest in the most modern forms of art, Luis de Pablo, a lawyer at the time, endeavoured to complete his training through the personal and intense study of the major scores of the twentieth century ; practising composition in parallel as an autodidact. At the end of the 1950s, he gave up the law and started to have his works performed in public. In 1958, with Ramón Barcé, he set up the group Nueva Música, joined by Cristóbal Halffter. Since his early works of 1953, he has become renowned worldwide, maintaining his position as one of the foremost representatives of contemporary Spanish music. He is a teacher at the Madrid Conservatory and the founder of several ensembles and musical associations in his country. He has also been appointed visiting professor at a number of European and American universities. Most of his works, which total over a hundred, have been created outside his own country ; in Europe, America and Japan. They display a universal understanding of all musical genres and techniques anticipating new developments in contemporary music, and are integrated within a very personal means of expression which refuses to draw from the musical heritage of the past.
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Ivan Fedele
Italy
Ivan Fedele was born in Lecce in 1953. He studied the piano with B. Canino, V. Vitale and I. Deckers, and composition under the guidance of R. Dionisi, A. Corghi and F. Donatoni. At the same time, he studied Philosophy at the University of Milan, with E. Paci, L. Geymonat, G. Giorello, R. Mangione and R. Cantoni. He owns to his father, a mathematician, the passion for mathematics, as it becomes evident in his compositional researches, including the examination and use of the concept of "spatialisation" (Duo en résonance, Ali di Cantor, Donacis Ambra), the formulation of a "library" of creative processes and the definition of a prototype of "granular synthesizer", like the one used for the realization of the electronic part of Richiamo (for brass, percussions and electronics - IRCAM 1993).

Ivan Fedele's catalogue, edited by Suvini Zerboni, consists of about eighty titles, to which one should add the opera Antigone, commissioned by the Teatro Comunale of Florence for the inauguration of the Festival "Maggio Fiorentino", in April 2007. In addition to a large body of chamber music, his catalogue includes various works for orchestra with and without soloists, the most recent piece being Arco di vento, for clarinet and orchestra.

He has collaborated with Boulez, Eschenbach, Chung, Saalonen, Muti, Slatkin, Robertson, Kalitze, Wit, Valade and Rophé, among others, and his music has been performed by various orchestras and ensembles, like for instance: BBC, Berlin Radio, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart SWR, National de France, National de Lyon, Warsaw Symphony Orchestra, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Santa Cecilia, Ensemble InterContemporain, London Sinfonietta, Klangforum Wien, etc.

The recording ANIMUS ANIMA (Cd Stradivarius STR33629) has been awarded the prize Choc de la Musique 2003 from Le Monde de la Musique, while MAYA (Cd L'Empreinte Digitale ED13198) has received the Coup de Coeur 2004 from the Académie Charles Cros.

Ivan Fedele carries also an intense academic activity, which has seen him participating to the activities of important institutions, like Harvard University, University of Barcellona, Sorbonne and IRCAM in Paris, Sibelius Academy of Helsinki, Chopin Academy of Warsaw, Centre Acanthes in Avignon, CNSM in Lyon and CNR of Strasbourg as well as Italian Conservatoires, namely Milan, Bologna and Turin. In 2000 he has been awarded the honour of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Lettres et des Arts by the French Ministry of Culture. In 2005 he was appointed a member of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. In 2007 he has been nominated teacher of Composition for the Corsi di Perfezionamento in Studi Musicali at the same Accademia. Since 2009 he is the Artistic Director of the Milan Orchestra I Pomeriggi Musicali.
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Luca Francesconi
Italy
After studying piano and composition at the Milan Conservatory, Luca Francesconi perfected his skills in Boston and Rome, under Stockhausen and Berio. He has been awarded a number of prizes: the International Gaudeamus Competition in 1984, the Martin Codax Prize in 1985, the Guido d’Arezzo Prize in 1985, the New Music Composer’s Competition and the Kranichstein Prize from Darmstadt in 1990. He was appointed visiting professor at the Rotterdam Conservatory in 1990-1991 and has taught composition at the Como Conservatory while also conducting. In 1990, he set up his own electronic music studio AGON, a production and musical research centre for new technologies. By broadening his musical universe to include other genres such as rock’n’ roll, jazz, cinema, and television, Luca Francesconi can confidently claim to have a global view of contemporary sounds. Among his works are three string quartets, two oboe concertos, the cycle Quatre études sur la mémoire (Memoria, Richiami, Richiami II, Riti neurali), Les Barricades mystérieuses, Trama, Etymo, Scene and the opera Ballata. At present he is professor and artistic director of composition at the Musikhögskolan of Malmö in Sweden.
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Michael Jarrell
Switzerland, °1958
With each newly created work, Michael Jarrell completes his musical self-portrait ; it reflects a constant quest for clarity and precision in his work as a composer.

Michael Jarrell studied composition with Eric Gaudibert in his native Geneva, attended various master classes at Tanglewood and completed his training with Klaus Huber in Freiburg. Between 1986 and 1988, he was a resident at the Cité des Arts in Paris and took part in the computer music course at IRCAM. He resided at the Villa Médicis in Rome during 1988/89 and then joined the Istituto Svizzero di Roma in 1989/90. Having also studied visual arts, the composer’s oeuvre is strongly influenced by both the music of Edgar Varese and the art of Alberto Giacometti. Also characteristic of his work is the connection between compositional creativity and visual thinking : his Assonances, which he has been working on since 1983, are presented like a sketchbook. In turn, his first major work for electronics, Congruences (1989), was inspired by spatial-geometric terms such as level, perspective, anamorphosis and figure, which he transferred into musical entities of time.

Some aspects of Jarrell’s oeuvre - such as the lucidity of elaborated sound textures, a certain purism in reprocessing material, the ingenuity of his harmonics - indicate a sound close to that of French composers. Recent compositions include La Chambre aux échos, which Michael Jarrell composed for the ensemble intercontemporain on the occasion of Pierre Boulez’ 85th Birthday in 2010, and ...Ombres... (2011) for orchestra. 2012 saw the premieres of his cello concerto Émergences (Nachlese VI) in Salt Lake City and Lyon, dedicated to Jean-Guihen Queyras, and the song cycle Nachlese Vb in Geneva and New York. In 2013, the world premiere of his monodrama Siegfried, nocturne (for male voice and ensemble) followed at the Wagner Geneva Festival and in January 2014, that of his piano concerto Reflets with Nicolas Hodges at the KlangZeit Festival in Münster.

Stage works have also become particularly important for Michael Jarrell : in 1994, he composed the monodrama Cassandre, in which he combines electronics with conventional timbres, and in 2006 the opera Galileo, based on the play by Bertolt Brecht. In 2010, his music theatre work Le père after Heiner Muller was first performed at the Schwetzingen Festival. At the start of the current season, the Arditti Quartet and Bamberger Symphoniker under Jonathan Nott gave the world premiere of his new concerto Spuren for string quartet and orchestra at the Festival Musica a Strasbourg. This work can also be heard in April 2015 in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, and in Lucerne with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra. Michael Jarrell is currently working on a new viola concerto for Tabea Zimmermann.

Michael Jarrell has received numerous awards including the Prix Acanthes (1983), the Beethoven Prize of the city of Bonn (1986), the Prix Marescotti (1986) and the Siemens-Forderpreis (1990). In 2004 he was appointed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in Switzerland. He has been Professor of Composition at the University of Vienna since 1993 and at the Geneva Conservatory since 2004.
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Tristan Murail
France
Tristan Murail was born in 1947. He is a composer and plays the Martenot waves. He graduated in economics and also has a degree in classical Arabic. He studied composition under Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatory (CNSM) from 1967 to 1971. He became a boarder at the Villa Medici from 1971 to 1973, where his encounter with Giacinto Scelsi made a lasting impression on him. In 1973, he collaborated to set up the ensemble L’Itinéraire, a group of composers and performers who sought to develop new relations between instruments and electronic means. He has also worked, both at the Ircam and independently, on a computer-assisted system of composition. From 1991 to 1997, Tristan Murail taught composition at the Paris Conservatory and at the Ircam, while also taking part in international conferences and seminars. He currently lives in New York, where he has been given a chair of composition at Columbia University. Tristan Murail’s music is based on physical properties, on the acoustics of sounds themselves, rather than on abstract or artificial theories. This composer’s catalogue encompasses works for orchestra, for small ensembles and soloists, as well as chamber music.
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Stefan Niculescu
Romania, °1927 - 2008
Romanian composer Stefan Niculescu (1927 - 2008) studied simultaneously at the Royal Academy and the University of Music, as well as at the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest. He was then appointed professor of composition and analysis at the University of Music. He was a member of the Romanian Academy since 1993 and became the founder and director of the International Week of New Music in Bucharest in 1991. Stefan Niculescu researched heterophony, which he studied in the music of Georges Enesco, and invented forms suited to heterophony (of which ‘synchrony’ and ‘heteromorphy’) and various compositional techniques based on modern mathematics and non-octaving scales. He has written 70 works for orchestra, chamber or vocal music - which have been awarded prizes - and 150 texts on heterophony, George Enesco, musical syntax and Postmodernism. Stefan Niculescu aspired to a new kind of musica sacra by integrating within his musical language archetypes such as those of the Byzantine, Gregorian and other sacred traditions.
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Kaija Saariaho
Finland
Kaija Saariaho, a Finnish composer, has lived in Paris since 1982. Among her major works are a violin concerto, "Graal théâtre", written for Gidon Kremer in 1995, two works written for Dawn Upshaw: "Château de l’âm"e, composed during the Salzburg Festival in 1996, and "Lonh", performed the same year during the Wien Modern Festival.
She has written several opera's. " L’Amour de loin" was commissioned by the Salzburg Festival and the Théâtre du Châtelet and has been created in Salzburg in 2000 and performed throughout Europe and the United States. "Adriana Mater", on a original libretto by Amin Maalouf, merging the dark realities of the present and dream, was staged by Peter Sellars at Opéra Bastille in march 2006 and in Helsinki and Santa Fe in 2008. "Emilie" has been premiered by Karita Mattila in March 2010 at the Opéra de Lyon and the Amsterdam Opera.
Kaija Saariaho has also signed a vast oratorio, "La Passion de Simone", commission by the Wien Festival, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Barbican and Lincoln Centers. "D’om le vrai sens", her clarinet concerto for Kari Krikku, was commissioned by The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra - who gave the first performance in September 2010 in Finlandia Hall, Helsinki conducted by Sakari Oramo -, and the BBC, Fundação Casa da Musica, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Radio France.
She has been awarded with numerous distinctions, among which the Italia Prize, the Ars Electronica Prize, the Nordic Music Prize, the Grawemeyer Award and the Shock Prize. In 2008 she was named Composer of the year by Musical America.
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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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