F.For the nine nominees for the International German Pianist Award, things will get serious in a few days: On October 18 and 19, these candidates, who were selected from 140 applicants from all over the world from videos submitted by a jury with their solo programs in the Frankfurt Literaturhaus, will be standing three rounds of further decision. As soon as this is done, the winner travels to Baden-Baden on the same day to orchestral rehearsals with the local Philharmonic Orchestra in order to present the result at the “Grand Prix Final Concert” on October 20th in the Alte Oper.
The prize money for the winner in the amount of 20,000 euros and the audience award endowed with 3000 euros are only part of the funding for the Frankfurt-based International Piano Forum, which is organizing the competition for the second time after the pandemic-related cancellation last year. The initiative, founded in 2008 as an association, which annually acquires up to 400,000 euros in private funding, supports all nominees, for example by arranging performances and CD productions. Maryam Maleki, the full-time initiator and president of the International Piano Forum, is now looking at the concentrated program with particular excitement, after the disappointment caused by the two cancellations in the previous year was so great.
“An enormous administrative burden”
The competition originally scheduled for March 2020 could not be held on the catch-up date in December. After a lot of work, it was only about “damage limitation”, reports Maryam Maleki. 1500 tickets had already been sold, most of which had to be refunded: “That was an enormous administrative burden.” That in April 2020 the music and the promotion of young talents provided the strongest motivation.
On her initiative, one of the nominees from the previous year will now take part in the competition: Jung Eun Séverine Kim, born in Seoul in 1994, is one of four young Korean stars who can be heard in Frankfurt alongside two Russians, a Chinese, a Swiss and an Austrian will be. The excellent German-speaking artist cannot say for herself why there are so many outstanding talents in Korea in particular, and why K-Pop has long been successful on a broad front as well as K-Pop: “Many children in Korea play instruments, and there is one very good early intervention in academies, ”she says.
In addition to the regular school, which was “a kind of music gymnasium”, she attended the Korean National Institute for the Gifted in Arts in her hometown as a young student, where she was trained in music theory and music theory as well as instrumental lessons – “similar to one German university “. Your mother and father were not at all musically active as teachers and journalists and did not push them in this direction, as Kim describes. Only her older sister has already played the piano, and that’s what she wanted. She soon practiced voluntarily for several hours every day: “The piano was my childhood best friend,” she says with a beaming smile.
When she was 17 years old, her Korean piano teacher recommended that she go to Professor Bernd Goetzke for further studies and the Hanover University of Music, which is a regular pianist stronghold, where she is currently still enrolled in the concert exam course. As a minor and without any knowledge of German, she came to Germany for the first time with her mother in order to be able to go looking for an apartment with her, among other things.
Already performed worldwide
Awarded and honored with scholarships, she gave concerts worldwide even before the pandemic and last summer also created something that she – like the native Persian Maryam Maleki – made a voluntary cultural event: With her German partner, who is also a pianist, she launched the “Celler Summer Concerts” festival with seven very well-attended events.
The competition for the International German Pianist Prize will be held on October 18 and 19 in the Frankfurt Literaturhaus. The final concert in the Alte Oper begins on October 20th at 7 p.m. More information at www. ipf-frankfurt.com, cards at 069/1340400