Jury

Akiko Ebi launched her international career by winning second prize and four special prizes given by Arthur Rubinstein in the Long-Thibaud Competition in Paris and reaching the final of the 10th Chopin Competition in Warsaw, earning the recognition of Martha Argerich, her future mentor. She studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Aldo Ciccolini and pursued additional studies with Vlado Perlemuter, Louis Kentner, Conrad Hansen and Colette Zerah. She has performed throughout the world, in such venues as the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Gewandhaus, Teatro Colón, Wigmore Hall and Suntory Hall, with such outstanding conductors as Brüggen, Calderon, Foster, Fournet, Guschlbauer, Janowski, Klee, Milanov, Sado, Sinaisky and Skrowaczewski. As a chamber musician, she has given piano duo recitals with Martha Argerich and performed with Augustin Dumay, Regis Pasquier, Angela Hewitt, Michel Dalberto and Yumino Toyoda, as well as the Parisii and Via Nova quartets. She appears regularly at festivals in La Roque d’Anthéron, Verbier, Menton, Echternach, Lugano, New York, Tokyo and Warsaw.

She has recorded Chopin’s complete etudes, preludes, nocturnes and impromptus and also his First Concerto, as well as works by Fauré, Franck, Grieg, Ravel, Pierne, Webern and Dynam-Victor Fumet (world’s first recording). She won two Grand Prix d’Or for her Hikari Ōe disc, which brought international attention to this composer, who was born mentally handicapped. Particularly highly rated by critics around the world are her recordings for the Fryderyk Chopin Institute: the Preludes, performed on a period instrument, and her recently released interpretation of the E minor Concerto from the ‘Chopin and his Europe’ festival with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and Frans Brüggen. Made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government (1993), she is also a recipient of Japan’s prestigious Exxon-Mobile Music Prize (2002). She has given masterclasses in many countries and been a juror of major important international piano competitions.

Janusz Olejniczak is one of the most outstanding contemporary Chopin interpreters. Born in Wrocław, he was the youngest prize-winner of the 8th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition (1970) and also won a prize in the Alfredo Casella International Competition in Naples. He has performed in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia, in the most famous concert halls, such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Salle Pleyel, Suntory Hall, Lincoln Center, Tonhalle in Düsseldorf and Concertgebouw. He has been a juror of piano competitions many times and given masterclasses abroad – in Europe, Canada, Japan and Columbia. Besides the core Classical repertoire, he also performs Polish contemporary music (incl. Lutosławski, Górecki and Kilar). He has played with orchestra under the direction of Witold Rowicki, Stanisław Wisłocki, Kazimierz Kord, Antoni Wit, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Wojciech Michniewski, Tadeusz Strugała, Charles Dutoit, Andrzej Borejko, Grzegorz Nowak, Jacek Kaspszyk and others.

For many years, he has also worked with Marek Moś and the Aukso Orchestra. He was one of the first performers of Chopin’s music on period instruments (Erard and Pleyel) and is a regular guest of the festival ‘Chopin and his Europe’ in Warsaw, including appearances alongside Martha Argerich and Maria João Pires. He has also appeared many times with Frans Brüggen’s Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées and Philippe Herreweghe. He has made over forty recordings, including the soundtracks to Roman Polanski’s The Pianist and Andrzej Żuławski’s La note bleu. Among his many recordings for the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, particularly notable is the recently finished complete set of mazurkas on period instrument. He has been decorated with the Officer’s Cross of the Rebirth of Poland (2000), the ‘Gloria Artis’ Gold Medal (2005) and ‘Fryderyk’ awards (eight times). From October 2015, he will be working with the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.

 

Nelson Freire is one of the very finest piano virtuosos around. Distinguished with state awards in many countries, he has performed in the leading concert halls and worked with the most outstanding soloists, conductors and orchestras. He was born in a small town in Brazil. He trained initially with Nise Obino and Lucia Branco. In 1957, at the First Rio de Janeiro International Piano Competition, he received a scholarship enabling him to study in Vienna with Friedrich Gulda’s teacher, Bruno Seidlhofer. Two years later, he launched his international career. To date, he has given concerts in more than 70 countries, with such conductors as Valery Gergiev, Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Chailly, Charles Dutoit, André Previn, Lorin Maazel, David Zinman, Kurt Masur and Colin Davis, performing with such orchestras as the Berlin, London and Israel philharmonic orchestras, the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest in Amsterdam, as well as other major orchestras of Europe and North America.

He is signed to Decca, and dozens of his albums have received prestigious prizes: Diapason d’Or, Grand Prix du Disque, Victoire d’Honneur, Edison, Gramophone monthly award and, in 2013, a Grammy Latino for the disc Nelson Freire Brasileiro. In 2003, João Moreira Salles directed a documentary film about him. He has appeared at the festival ‘Chopin and his Europe’ several times before. The French government has nominated him for the title Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Preselection Jury

Pianist Alexander Reitenbach studied in tradition of Russian, German and French piano schools with profs Oleg Maisenberg, Friedemann Rieger and Guenther Reinhold – one of the last students Cortots and Messiaens. Reitenbach graduated from Stuttgart Academy of Music with distinction. Alexanders repertoire reaches from Barock, which he also performs on organ and harpsichord to contemporary music, from piano solo works to chamber music in all instrumentations.

Reitenbach was guest to festivals and recitals to numerous countries in Europe and Asia. He performed with Thailand Philharmonic, Beijing Symphony, Korea Symphony, European Festival and Stuttgart State Orchestra. Last Season Alexander was invited to perform Chopin’s f-minor and Tchaikovsky’s G-major concertos in Stuttgart and Amsterdam.
He teaches piano at Stuttgart Academy of Music and Arts.

Magdalena Hirsz, a Polish pianist of Asian descent has been impressing audiences, critics and fellow performers alike with her vibrant pianism and sensitive musicality. She is prized for command of a rich and vivid tonal palette, and a virtuosity that is allied to intuitive and thoughtful interpretation. Among highlights of recent seasons have been recital engagements in Europe, Asia and Latin America. She has appeared at choice festivals including Septembre Musical and Lourmarin with different interactive projects as the G. Mancini, Béjart ballet or with the contemporary painters and photographers.

Magdalena Hirsz began her musical studies in Poland at the Music School and at the age of 14 she gave her first public concert performing Chopin and her own improvisations. On her 18th birthday she became a student in Geneva Music Conservatory in Switzerland. She nevertheless continued to study, musicology at the University of Geneva, then at the the Academy of Music in Łódź, Warsaw and Viena. Magdalena Hirsz’s repertoire is an eclectic mix of music from the Classical period to contemporary music. She has recorded 2 CDs. Besides, she has been developing a parallel career as a pedagogue: she was in charge of the piano class and chamber music at the Institut International de Lancy in Geneva, at Rene Gościnny French High School in Warsaw, the F. Chopin Music Conservatory in Warsaw, St. George’s International school in Montreux and Ecole de Musique in Villeneuve.

Magdalena is also a creator and artistic director of three Winter Piano Festivals in Warsaw, International Piano Competition for Youth “Jeune Chopin” in Martigny and the President of F. Chopin Institute in Switzerland.

Magdalena Hirsz began her musical studies in Poland at the Music School and at the age of 14 she gave her first public concert performing Chopin and her own improvisations. On her 18th birthday she became a student in Geneva Music Conservatory in Switzerland. She nevertheless continued to study, musicology at the University of Geneva, then at the the Academy of Music in Łódź, Warsaw and Vienna. Magdalena Hirsz’s repertoire is an eclectic mix of music from the Classical period to contemporary music. She has recorded 2 CDs. Besides, she has been developing a parallel career as a pedagogue: she was in charge of the piano class and chamber music at the Institut International de Lancy in Geneva, at Rene Gościnny French High School in Warsaw, the F. Chopin Music Conservatory in Warsaw, St. George’s International school in Montreux and Ecole de Musique in Villeneuve. Magdalena is also a creator and artistic director of three Winter Piano Festivals in Warsaw, International Piano Competition for Youth “Jeune Chopin” in Martigny and the President of F. Chopin Institute in Switzerland.