The Carl Bechstein Foundation awarded prizes worth 7,000 euros on the occasion of the final concert of the Carl Bechstein Competition for Children and Youth held at Britz Manor in Berlin. For the first time the competition was open to applicants for the category “Jazz Piano Solo”. Participants came from almost all over Germany. Professor Wolfgang Köhler, chairman of the jury, was pleased with the “exceptional standard of the competition”.

Ten young jazz pianists from ages eleven to nineteen years played at the final concert for prizewinners. The repertoire included standard pieces by Erroll Garner, John Taylor, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Charles Mingus and Michel Camilo as well as numerous self-composed works. Participants in the age categories 15 to 16 years and 17 to 18 years gave outstanding performances. Vincent Meissner won first prize in age group III and composed three works of extraordinary musical fantasy. Reinel Ardiles Lindemann from North Rhine-Westphalia gave a highly professional performance in the prizewinner concert with a magnificent rendition of swing with Michel Camilos’ Caribe, so that he was awarded first prize in age group II.

The like-minded jury members were the jazz pianist and piano tutor Prof. Wolfgang Köhler (jury chairman), Prof. Hubert Nuss, Benjamin Schaefer and Nicolai Thärichen as well as the jazz writer and event organizer Dr Berthold Klostermann. The jury chairman commented: “The competition certainly made an interesting, inspiring and motivational event for all participants and the atmosphere was very harmonious.” Professor Christian Höppner, secretary general of the German Music Council and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Carl Bechstein Foundation, explained at the prizewinners’ concert the reason for including “jazz piano solo” as a category in this year’s competition: “Jazz still has an underrated reputation in our country, but we’re convinced that it has a great potential and therefore deserves special support.”

Prizewinners of the 2018 Carl Bechstein Competition for Children and Youth

Age Group I (until 14 years):
1. Preis: Adrian Surojit Müller (Thüringen)
2. Preis: Benedikt Jung (Berlin)
3. Preis: Marcel Lemmer (Baden-Württemberg)

Age Group II (15 to 16 years):
1. Preis: Reinel Ardiles Lindemann (Nordrhein-Westfalen)
2. Preis: Emmanuel Walter (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
3. Preis: Jonathan Reitze (Niedersachsen)

Age Group III (17 to 18 years):
1. Preis: Vincent Meißner (Sachsen)
2. Preis: Lajos Milan Meinberg (Schleswig-Holstein)
3. Preis: Valentin Gottlob (Brandenburg)

Age Group IV (19 and 20 years):
2. Preis: Moses Yoofee Vester (Brandenburg)
3. Preis (geteilt): Konrad Bogen (Berlin)
3. Preis (geteilt): Julius Schepansky (Nordrhein-Westfalen)