Jury selected participants from over 90 applications
By the mid-May deadline, 92 young pianists had submitted their application to take part in the International Telekom Beethoven Competition 2019. The selection committee then reviewed the video submissions over the course of two weeks. Reviewing the submissions were Professor Pavel Gililov, who serves as the competition’s artistic director and chairman of the jury, along with Andreas Frölich, professor at Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne, and Jinsang Lee, professor at Korea National University of Arts and pianist in the Beethoven Trio Bonn. Applicants were required to submit an audio-video recording of a Bach fugue and prelude, as well as one of Beethoven’s last three sonatas.
Of the 90 applicants, 27 participants were selected to compete in the International Telekom Beethoven Competition Bonn (ITBCB) 2019 from December 6 - 14. Also earning a spot in the ITBCB 2019 was the winner of the Junior Beethoven Competition, held in Bonn’s Chinese partner city Chengdu.
“The qualification round repertoire is considered one of the toughest tests for any musician,” says Gililov. “For pianists, interpreting the works by Bach and Beethoven requires the highest degree of technical mastery, cultural and stylistic knowledge, structured thinking, as well as emotion. Applying each of these criteria, the talented artists were selected from 13 different countries around the world, each of whom now brings his or her own style and interpretation to the competition here in Bonn. We can guarantee some world class performances.”
Once again, the large number of applications underscores the prestige of the Beethoven Competition. Bonn, the City of Beethoven, can certainly be proud of hosting this event. The arts are an important part of the social fabric, which is why our support for the arts is such a key component of corporate social responsibility at Deutsche Telekom. With the Beethoven Competition, we want to help keep Beethoven’s music and musical legacy alive here in Bonn and beyond. Our focus is on promoting talented young artists and introducing young people to the world of classical music.”, says Timotheus Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom.
Competing this year are 12 women and 15 men between the ages of 22 and 32, hailing from 13 different countries: Bulgaria, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Croatia, Austria, Romania, South Korea, Taiwan, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and USA. The competition’s first three rounds begin on December 6, followed by the two final rounds on December 13 and 14. To prepare for the competition, the artists will be studying the work of Ludwig van Beethoven. In each competition round, Beethoven’s work will be set against a different period in music history: first the Baroque era, then German Romanticism, followed by classical modern. The 2019 festival program includes an additional evening: the new chamber music final on December 13, featuring the three finalists playing a complete Beethoven piano trio together with members of the Beethoven Trio Bonn. For the final on December 14, the remaining three artists interpret a Beethoven piano concerto accompanied by the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn.
The winner receives €30,000 in prize money, the second-place finisher €20,000, and the third-place finisher €10,000. The competition will also award a number of special prizes totaling more than € 10,000:
- The Audience Favorite award for best interpretation of a piano concerto in the final
- The Chamber Music Prize sponsored by the Beethoven Trio Bonn
- The Beethoven Haus Prize (live audience favorite during the semi-finals)
- The Deutsche Telekom StreamOn Beethoven Award (livestream audience favorite)
- The best interpretation of a contemporary piece
- The best interpretation of a Robert Schumann piece
- Musical score prizes for the three finalists, sponsored by the Bärenreiter publishing house
Along with their prize money, winners will also receive numerous opportunities to perform around the world in solo recitals or as orchestra soloists.