Regular Scholarships of the Carl Bechstein Foundation

Every three years the Carl Bechstein Foundation awards four scholarships to outstanding young pianists.

The nationwide competition “Jugend musiziert” has been organized by the German Music Council since 1964. Every year, several thousand children take part, and countless successful artists have emerged from it. Every three years, the Carl Bechstein Foundation selects four particularly talented pianists from among the numerous prizewinners in age group III and supports them with a scholarship for a period of up to three years.After the Foundation had been able to accompany the first four young musicians for three years and witness their musical development, the Carl Bechstein Foundation awarded four scholarships to outstanding young pianists for the second time in 2017. In 2020, many competitions had to be cancelled due to the restrictions imposed by the Corona pandemic, so that the new scholarships were awarded in cooperation with the junior institutes of the German music academies.

Special Scholarships for Covid-19 aid

Covid-19 aid worth 352,000 euros awarded to young pianists.

Young pianists are particularly affected by the social consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Soloists, in particular, earn their living primarily by giving concerts, which was barely possible in 2020 and in early 2021. For this reason, the Carl Bechstein Foundation decided to support eighty-six young pianists with scholarships and one-time payments totaling 352,000 euros. This sum includes eighteen one-year scholarships worth 12,000 euros each and sixty-eight grants of 2,000 euros each.

In February 2021, the Carl Bechstein Foundation announced a total of ten scholarships to be awarded to outstanding young classical pianists who aspire to a solo career. Gregor Willmes, member of the Executive Board, stated: “We received more than ninety applications, eighty-six of which met all the criteria. On this occasion, we realized that all of the young professional pianists experience exceeding hardship: they finance their lives through concerts and competition prizes, but both of these income sources almost completely disappeared last year.” Accordingly, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and Executive Board unanimously decided to increase the number of scholarships to eighteen and to help all applicants who were not selected with one-time payments.

The scholarship recipients include winners of major competitions such as ARD-Musikwettbewerb, Internationaler deutscher Pianistenpreis, Felix-Mendelssohn-Bartholdy-Wettbewerb and the Gina Bachauer Competition. And although applicants had to be German or Austrian citizens or have resided in Germany or Austria for at least two years, the list of scholarship recipients reflects the internationality of the music world.