Chairman of the jury
Victor Buffin de Chosal
Belgium, °1867 - 1953
Lieutenant-General and composer.
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Vytautas Bacevicius
Lithuania, °1905 - 1970
Composer and pianist Vytautas Bacevicius was an exceptional personality in the Lithuanian music history, one of the first avant-garde composers of the interwar period. He "is the first Lithuanian composer, who leads towards contemporary European music culture", wrote another Lithuanian modernist, Jeronimas Kačinskas, in 1932. Vytautas Bacevicius' piano and symphonic music legacy is especially large and valuable.
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Arthur Bliss
Great Britain, °1891 - 1975
Sir Arthur Bliss is generally remembered as an English composer, a pillar of the British musical establishment, but he was in fact half-American (on his father’s side), and America was to play an important part in his life and career.

Bliss was born in London on 2 August 1891 and was educated at Rugby School and Pembroke College, Cambridge. In the spring of 1914 he attended the Royal College of Music - only for a term, but long enough to receive valuable instruction and advice from Vaughan Willliams and Holst. His studies were interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War. Bliss obtained a commission, to serve in France, first with the Royal Fusiliers, and then with the Grenadier Guards. He was wounded on the Somme in 1916 and, two years later, gassed at Cambrai, and his bravery was commended in despatches, but he survived - unlike his brother Kennard, whose loss he felt keenly.

Bliss began to make an impact as a composer shortly after the War, with works like Madam Noy (1918) and Rout (1920), and he also began to be noticed as a conductor. The modernity of these early works had gained him a reputation as an enfant terrible but a more mature tone entered his voice with the Mêlée Fantasque of 1921 and, in particular, the Colour Symphony, first performed at the Three Choirs Festival in 1922; it was commissioned at the behest of Elgar, whom Bliss had first met in 1912.

In 1923 Bliss went with his father to the United States, composing little during this period but becoming highly active as a conductor, pianist, lecturer and writer; he also heard his music played by the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Pierre Monteux and the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski. During this period he met Trudy Hoffmann, whom he married in 1925; early the following year they returned to England and the stream of compositions began to flow again: Introduction and Allegro for orchestra (1926), a quintet for oboe and strings (1927), Pastoral ("Lie strewn the white rocks") for soprano, chorus, flute, timpani and strings (1928) and a Serenade for baritone and orchestra (1929). In the late 1920s Bliss began work on the score that may well be his masterpiece, Morning Heroes, a symphony for orator, chorus and orchestra dedicated to the memory of his brother Kennard and "all other comrades killed in battle". With it, Bliss said, he exorcised his own horrific memories of action in the First World War.

One of Bliss’ most influential scores was his film music for Alexander Korda’s version of H. G. Wells’ Things to Come (1934-1935), which set a benchmark for future composers. This was followed by three equally influential ballets: Checkmate (1937), Miracle in the Gorbals (1944) and Adam Zero (1946). Bliss always responded to the stimulus of writing for individual musicians, and his Piano Concerto (1939) was composed for Solomon, the Violin Concerto (1955) for Alfredo Campoli and the Cello Concerto (1970) for Mstislav Rostropovich. He also continued to produce a number of impressive orchestral scores, not least the Meditations on a Theme of John Blow (1955) and the late Metamorphic Variations (1972).

Bliss’s only attempt at a stage opera, The Olympians (1949), to a libretto by J. B. Priestley, was only moderately successful, and he attempted the genre only once again, in the TV opera Tobias and the Angel (1960), to a text by Christopher Hassall. He continued to enjoy writing for voice: The Enchantress (1952), a scena for contralto and orchestra, was composed for Kathleen Ferrier, and The Beatitudes (1962) is an extensive cantata for soprano, tenor, chorus and orchestra. His last major work was another cantata, Shield of Faith (1975).

Bliss was always at the centre of British musical life: he worked in the Overseas Music Service of the BBC in 1941, and was the BBC’s Director of Music from 1942 to 1944. He was knighted in 1950, and was appointed Master of the Queen’s Musick in 1953, in succession to Sir Arnold Bax. He died on 27 March 1975.

Arthur Bliss is published by Boosey & Hawkes.
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Robert Casadesus
France, °1899 - 1972
Robert Casadesus est aujourd'hui considéré comme l'un des grands pianistes français du 20ème siècle. Issu d'une famille de musiciens, il obtient à quatorze ans un premier prix de piano au Conservatoire de Paris et le prix Diémer en 1920. L'année suivante, il commence ses premières tournées en Europe entamant ainsi une carrière internationale qui durera un demi-siècle.
En 1935, Robert Casadesus se fait entendre pour la première fois aux Etats-Unis. Toscanini l'invite l'année suivante et le succès est immédiat ; ceci marquera le début de très nombreuses tournées, tout particulièrement aux Etats-Unis, mais aussi dans une quarantaine de pays en Europe, au Moyen-orient, en Afrique du Nord et au Japon.

Ses nombreuses apparitions en public (près de 3000 concerts) et sa discographie abondante (une centaine d'enregistrements) lui confèrent une renommée toujours vivace de nos jours. Il se produisit avec les plus grands chefs de son époque, tels Ansermet, Barbirolli, Beecham, Bernstein, Celibidache, Karajan, Krips, Mengelberg, Monteux, Munch, Mitropoulos, Ormandy, Rosbaud, Schuricht, Stokowsky, Szell, Toscanini, Bruno Walter, Weingartner. Il aimait également partager la scène avec sa femme Gaby, son fils Jean et le violoniste Zino Francescatti, son ami, avec lequel il forma un duo mémorable lors de nombreux concerts et enregistrements.

Pédagogue de réputation internationale, Robert Casadesus a été associé pendant près de trente ans au Conservatoire américain de Fontainebleau, en France et aux Etats-Unis, comme professeur et directeur général.

Compositeur confirmé, il laisse une œuvre importante constituée de 69 opus dont sept symphonies, plusieurs concertos (pour piano, deux pianos, trois pianos, violon, violoncelle, flûte) et de nombreuses œuvres de musique de chambre. Aujourd'hui, des enregistrements de plus en plus nombreux témoignent de la qualité intemporelle de son œuvre.

Robert Casadesus a été élevé aux grades de Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur, Commandeur de l'Ordre de Léopold (Belgique), Commandeur de l'Ordre de Nassau (Pays-bas).
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Marcel Ciampi
France, °1891 - 1980
French pianist and teacher Marcel Ciampi (1891-1980) studied from an early age with Marie Perez de Brambilla, a former student of Anton Rubinstein, and in 1909 he received a premier prix in the class of Louis Diémer at the Paris Conservatoire. He performed throughout Europe as a soloist, as the pianist in a trio with Maurice Hayot and André Hekking, and as the frequent partner of Casals, Enescu and Thibaud. From 1941 to 1961 he taught at the Paris Conservatoire, where his students included Yvonne Loriod, Cécile Ousset and Eric Heidsieck. He also taught at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris and at the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey. His few recordings, which include Franck's Quintet (with the Capet Quartet) and works by Chopin and Liszt, reveal a broad, free style and a subtle approach to sound that seem to reflect the Russian influence of his first teacher. Marcel Ciampi was also a noted interpreter of Debussy, for whom he once played.
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Jean Doyen
France, °1907 - 1982
French pianist and teacher Jean Doyen studied the piano at the Paris Conservatoire with Sophie Chéné, Louis Diémer and Marguerite Long, receiveing a premier prix in 1922. After his debut in 1924 at the Concerts Colonne he returned to the Conservatoire to study counterpoint with Paul Vidal and composition with Henri Busser. From 1941 to 1977 he taught piano at the Conservatoire, where his students included Idil Biret, Philippe Entremont and Dominique Merlet. He was an ardent champion of the piano music of his French contemporaries, particularly Pierné, d'Indy, Hahn, Samazeuilh and Ropartz. His recordings of Ravel's concertos (with the Lamoureux Orchestra under Jean Fournet) and Chopin's complete waltzes are outstanding for their subtlety and esprit; he also made a pioneering but uneven recording of the complete piano works of Fauré. He composed a piano concerto, some chamber music and cadenzas for concertos of Mozart and Haydn.
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Samuel Feinberg
, °1890 - 1962
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Paul Frenkel
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Emil Frey
, °1889 - 1946
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Ignaz Friedman
Poland, °1882 - 1948
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Walter Gieseking
France, Germany, °1895 - 1956
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Siegfried Grundeis
Germany, °1900 - 1953
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Bernard Heinze
Australia, °1894 - 1982
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Léon Jongen
Belgium, °1884 - 1969
Upon completion of his studies at the Conservatory of Liège, Léon Jongen became organist at the Saint Jacques church in his native city. In 1913, he won the First Grand Prize of Rome with his cantata Les fiancés de Noël. He started a career as pianist. In 1918 after World War I he travelled extensively to Africa, India, China and Japan and for 2 years was director and conductor of the Opéra Français of Hanoï.

Back in Belgium in 1934 he taught fugue at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, afterwards he succeeded his brother Joseph as director of this institution. From 1939 to 1949 he conducted the concerts of the conservatory. His Violin Concerto was the compulsory work of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1963.

He wrote numerous symphonic works and he was attracted by the theatre. His opera Thomas l’Agnelet is one of the best lyrical works ever written in Belgium. Although a great admiror of the French romantic school and slightly influenced by César Franck he nevertheless developed towards more modernistic conceptions.
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Raoul Koczalski
Poland, °1884 - 1948
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Artur Lemba
Estonia, °1885 - 1963
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Marcel Maas
Belgium
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Nicolai Orloff
United States of America, °1884 - 1962
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Petros Petridis
, °1892 - 1978
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Jekabs Poruks
Latvia
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Arthur Rubinstein
Poland, United States of America, °1887 - 1982
Warm, lyrical, and aristocratic in his interpretations, Arthur Rubinstein performed impressively into extremely old age, and he was a keyboard prodigy almost from the time he could climb onto a piano bench. He came from a mercantile rather than a musical family, but fixated on the piano as soon as he heard it. At age three he impressed Joseph Joachim, and by the age of seven he was playing Mozart, Schubert, and Mendelssohn at a charity concert in his hometown. In Warsaw, he had piano lessons with Alexander Róóycki; then in 1897 he was sent to Berlin to study piano with Heinrich Barth and theory with Robert Kahn and Max Bruch, all under Joachim's general supervision. In 1899 came his first notable concerto appearance in Potsdam. Soon thereafter, just barely a teenager, he began touring Germany and Poland.

After brief studies with Paderewski in Switzerland in 1903, Arthur Rubinstein moved to Paris, where he met Ravel, Dukas, and Jacques Thibaud, and played Saint-Saëns' G minor Concerto to the composer's approval. That work would remain a flashy Rubinstein vehicle for six decades, and it was the concerto he offered in his American debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in New York's Carnegie Hall in 1906. His under-prepared American tour was not especially well-received, though, so he withdrew to Europe for further study. He became an adept and sensitive chamber musician and accompanist; his 1912 London debut was accompanying Pablo Casals, and during World War I he toured with Eugène Ysaÿe.

Arthur Rubinstein gave several successful recitals in Spain during the 1916-1917 season, and soon toured Latin America. Along the way he developed a great flair for Hispanic music; Heitor Villa-Lobos went so far as to dedicate to Rubinstein his Rudepoema, one of the toughest works in the repertory. Although he would later be somewhat typecast as a Chopin authority, his readings of Falla, Granados, and Albéniz would always be equally idiomatic.

Arthur Rubinstein's international reputation grew quickly, although he was by his own account a sloppy technician. In the mid-1930s he withdrew again and drilled himself in technique. By 1937 he reemerged as a musician of great discipline, poise, and polish -- qualities he would mostly retain until his farewell recital in London in 1976, at the age of 89. His temperament had sufficient fire for Beethoven but enough poetry for Chopin; his tempos and dynamics were always flexible, but never distorted. His 1960s recordings for RCA of nearly all Chopin's solo piano music have been considered basic to any record collection since their release, and his version of Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain is another classic, as are his various late collaborations with the Guarneri Quartet.

Arthur Rubinstein became a naturalized American citizen in 1946, but he maintained residences in California, New York, Paris, and Geneva; two of his children were born in the United States, one in Warsaw, and one in Buenos Aires. He had married Aniela Mlynarska in 1932, but womanizing remained integral to his reputation as an irrepressible bon vivant. He maintained that the slogan "wine, women, and song" as applied to him meant 80 percent women and only 20 percent wine and song.

Still, there was a serious side to his life. After World War II, he refused ever again to perform in Germany, in response to the Nazi extermination of his Polish family. Arthur Rubinstein became a strong supporter of Israel; in gratitude, an international piano competition in his name was instituted in Jerusalem in 1974. His honors included the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society of London, the U.S. Medal of Freedom (1976), and membership in the French Legion of Honor.
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Walter Rummel
Germany, °1887 - 1953
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Victor Schioler
Denmark, °1899 - 1967
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Olga Samaroff-Stockowksy
, °1880 - 1948
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Andrey Stoyanov
, °1890 - 1969
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Arne van Erpekum Sem
Norway, °1873 - 1951
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Emil von Sauer
Germany, °1862 - 1942
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Olof Wibergh
Sweden
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Carlo Zecchi
, °1903 - 1984
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Piano 2020 postponed to May 2021
How the competition unfolds
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