Beaming with pride: Winners of the Carl Bechstein Competition for Children and Youths in Berlin

The Carl Bechstein Foundation and the C. Bechstein Center Berlin awarded prizes worth over €10,000 on November 13, 2016 at the winners’ concert for the third Carl Bechstein Competition for Children and Youths in the auditorium of Britz Manor in Berlin-Neukölln.

Like in the first Carl Bechstein competition, only piano duos could participate in the third edition of the event. Professor Manz praised the excellent musical level of the participants and stated:

“The Carl Bechstein Foundation fills a gap with this event as piano duo competitions, which became rare after their heyday in the 19th century, are again high in demand. The success of modern duos and the fact that numerous music conservatories now offer duo courses underscore the importance of making children and youths aware of the advantages of playing in duo.”

During the final concert given at the idyllic Britz Manor, Cornelia and Markus Nick of Karlsruhe (first prize winners in age group IV) played a particularly demanding piece, Camille Saint-Saëns’s Danse macabre Op. 40. No prize was awarded in age group III, but Marie and Florentine Lehnert, who came from Leipzig, were the laureates of the first prize in age group II. Last but not least, the duos Valeria Erandi/Alejandro Gonzáles Gerwig (Königswinter) and Nina Patricia Purto/Wilhelmine Freytag (Leipzig) were the joint winners of the first prize in age group I.

Three works commissioned for the occasion by the Carl Bechstein Foundation were premiered at the competition: Gespräch der Gartenzwerge by Susanne Hardt, Drei Marionetten by Adrian Goldner and Story of the Rocks by Jesse Passenier. The young composers were selected by the Foundation in collaboration with the Neues Zeug association. The Foundation also presented a special prize in each age group for the best interpretation of the works. The Bärenreiter publishing house, a partner of the competition, provided another eight special prizes in the form of vouchers for sheet music. The jury included the following pianists and piano teachers: Professor Wolfgang Manz (chairman), Mona Bard, Simone Foth, Götz Schumacher and Professor Gerrit Zitterbart. 

The next Carl Bechstein Competition will feature soloists and take place November 17 through 19, 2017 at Britz Manor.

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Photos: Thorsten Eichhorst/Carl Bechstein Stiftung

Impressions of the winners’ concert