Prof. Henri Sigfridsson (Chairman)
The pianist from Finland, born in 1974, has been a guest for many years at international festivals such as the Augsburg Mozart Festival, Klavierfestival Ruhr, Lucerne Festival, Musical Olympus in St. Petersburg, Kissinger Sommer, Davos Festival, Festival der Raritäten Husum, Gidon Kremer’s Lockenhaus Festival or the Ravinia Festival (USA). He has appeared several times in concert with well-known European symphony orchestras including the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, Musikkollegium Winterthur, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, MDR Orchestra Leipzig, Belgrade Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lille, Weimarer Staatskapelle, Munich Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Academica Salzburg and Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra under famous directors like Georg Alexander Albrecht, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Lawrence Foster, Dennis Russel Davies Leif Segerstam, Okko Kamu, Sakari Oramo, Osmo Vänskä, John Storgårds, or Neville Mariner. Since 2000 he has regularly been performing in Japan and was invited for a major tour of the country in the 2004/2005 season.
Prof. Vladimir Ovchinnikov
Vladimir Ovchinnikov continues the traditions of the world known G. Neighaus Piano School. The pianist is a graduate of the famous Central Special Music School (the class of A. Artobolevskaya) and the Moscow Conservatoire (class of Prof. A. Nasedkin). The only pianist ever to win the top prizes at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1982) and Leeds International Piano Competition (1987), Ovchinnikov is also a laureate of the Concours International de Montreal (Canada, 1980, 2nd Prize), and the International Chamber Ensembles Competition in Vercelli (Italy, 1984, 1st Prize). It was his success at Leeds, however, which established his international career, a triumph which was followed by a triumphant début performance in London in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen.
Prof. Georg Friedrich Schenck
Georg Friedrich Schenck is teaching piano and chamber music as a Professor at Robert Schumann Hochschule, Düsseldorf, Germany. Schenck studied with Rudolf Dohm, Claudio Arrau, Professor Bernhard Ebert and André Watts. He played concerts in Europe, South America, USA and Japan with major conductors and orchestras like NHK Orchestra/Gerd Albrecht, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra/Takashi Asahina, Württembergisches Kammerorchester/Jörg Faerber etc. Together with André Watts as a piano duo he did concerts in New York, San Francisco, Pasadena etc.
Prof. Balazs Szokolay
Balazs Szokolay was born into a family of musicians in Budapest in 1961. His father is a Kossuth prizewinner, composer Sandor Szokolay. Balazs started to play the piano at the age of five, taught by Erna Czovek. Later, at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, his professors included Klara Mathe, Pal Kadosa, Zoltan Kocsis, Gyorgy Kurtag, and Ferenc Rados. Following his graduation in 1983, he won scholarships for two more years of studies in Munich and Moscow. He was instructed by Mikhail S. Voskresensky, Amadeus Webersinke, Ludwig Hoffmann and Yvonne Lefebure.
Prof. Erik Thomas Tawaststjerna
Erik T. Tawaststjerna (“Ta-va-sher-na”) began his musical education in Helsinki, took private lessons in Moscow from Genrietta Mirvis, and graduated from the Vienna Music Academy, where he studied with Dieter Weber, as well as from New York’s Juilliard School, where his teacher was Sascha Gorodnitzki. He also holds a doctorate from New York University where he studied under the guidance of Eugene List. He has participated in master classes given by Wilhelm Kempff and Dmitri Bashkirov. He won the second prize at the Helsinki Maj Lind national piano competition in 1968 and has since given concerts around the world.
Prof. Paolo Baglieri
Paolo Baglieri is one of the most prominent personalities of his generation. Acclaimed as “a pianist that perfectly mixes his personal view with the composer's ideas”, he is the winner of many international piano competitions. He has performed in Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Palestine, Israel and Chile for over 300 concerts in some of the most important concert halls: Taormina, Catania, Lucca, Rome, Turin, Pistoia, Bologna, Verona, Castle of Galeazza, Salzburg, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Paris, Brussels, Castle d'Ursel, Haifa, Jerusalem, Madrid, Santiago of Chile among others.