Record number of participants in the sixth Carl Bechstein Competition for children and young people in Berlin

The Carl Bechstein Foundation awarded prizes worth around 10,000 euros at the sixth Carl Bechstein Competition for Children and Young People, which was held from 1 to 3 November 2019 in the Kulturstall of Schloss Britz in Berlin.

For the first time, the competition was announced for the category "Piano Solo Classical Music and Jazz". Over 90 young pianists had applied during the application period, which had to be shortened by two months due to the great demand. 64 pianists from all over Germany were accepted - a new record number of participants.

The participants could choose between classical or jazz music. The top-class jury, however, evaluated both categories and thus consisted of pianists and piano teachers from both genres: Prof. Gesa Lücker (chair), Prof. MarkusBecker, Anke Helfrich, Prof. Björn Lehmann, Stefan Lietz and Alexander Wienand. At the prizewinners' concert, there was a lively mixture of classical and jazz contributions. And Prof. Christian Höppner, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Carl Bechstein Foundation, concluded by praising the "successful experiment" of combining the two musical genres in one competition, as well as the "outstanding level of the competition".

Sixteen young pianists aged ten to seventeen years played works by Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Scriabin, Rachmaninov and others at the prizewinners' concert in the Kulturstall, but also, for example, a standard by Chic Corea and above all the young jazz pianists' own compositions, for example by Benedikt Jung from Berlin and Finn-Joel Malz from Dresden. Contemporary music played a very important role this year anyway, as three works by Isabel Pardo, Julika Lorenz and Erik Ziegler, commissioned by the Carl Bechstein Foundation for the competition in cooperation with the association Neues Zeug e.V., were premiered. Four special prizes were awarded for the best interpretation of these compositions as well as of another contemporary work by Jonatan Blomeier from the Edition Jeunesses Musicales Deutschland.

Among the many outstanding achievements in the competition and the prizewinners' concert, it is difficult to single out any of them. For this reason we would like to refer to the list of prize winners.