Jury 2021

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PHILIPPE KOCH

Belgium - Luxemburg

 

 

In addition to being leader of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Philippe Koch is a professor of violin at the Luxemburg Conservatoire and the Liège Royal Conservatoire, a soloist, a chamber musician and a co-founder of the Koch Trio. After perfecting his craft with master violinists C. Ferras, P. Amoyal and A. Grumiaux, he embarked on a solo career in Europe, Japan, the United States and Latin America, performing concerti and other works with many famous conductors and orchestras. He has recorded more than 35 CDs, many of which have won prestigious awards (including the Diapason d’or, Choc de la musique, Recommandé par Répertoire and Pizzicato). He has served as a judge at the Queen Elisabeth Competition (violin). Philippe Koch is also chamber musician, performing with the Trio Grumiaux (with L. Devos and L. Dewez), the Brussels String Quartet, the Quatuor Louvigny, G. Caussé, P. Gililov, M. Kliegel and many others.

PRESIDENT OF THE JURY

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ASHOT KHACHATOURIAN

Belgium-Armenia

 

Ashot Khachatourian is considered as one of the most inspiring artist of his generation.

He started playing the piano at the age of five with Valentina Melikyan and Elena Galustova at the Charles Aznavour Music School in his home country. He then continued his studies with Gerard Wyss in Basel, Switzerland,  Eliso Virssaladze in Fiesole and Munich, and Maria João Pires at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Brussels.

Creator and artistic director of YSAYE INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPETITION.

​Ashot Khachatourian has particularly excelled in his interpretations of Rachmaninov’s 2nd and 3rd concertos. He won the 1st Prize of the Rachmaninov Piano Competition and the 1st Prize of the Martha Argerich Piano Competition in 2007. He is also a Prize winner of the Top of the World Piano Competition in 2011 and Concours d’Epinal in 2013.

The virtuoso has been invited to perform in BBC Radio London St Luke’sand with many important orchestras such as the London Chamber Orchestra, the Norway Radio Orchestra, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, the Basel Symphony Orchestra, the Wallonie Royal Chamber Orchestra, The Olympique Orchestra, Lausanne Sinfonietta, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and to collaborate with masters such as Jan Caeyers, Rodolfo Fisher, Augustin Dumay, Daniele Gatti, Thomas Søndergård, Christopher Warren-Green and others. Ashot has appeared at the Salle Pleyel, Cortot, Salle Molière, Salle Gaveau, the Berliner Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Flagey in Brussels, Cadogan Hall, Palais des Bozar, Concertgebouw Brugge, Musis Sacrum Arnhem, Saint-Petersburg Philharmonie, De Singel Antwerp, TivoliVredenburg Utrecht, Muziekgebouw Frits Philips Eindhoven, Palau de Valencia, Stiftung Mozarteum in Salzburg and other prestigious halls of the world. 

As a chamber musician, Ashot Khachatourian collaborates with outstanding artists such as Misha Maisky, Maxim Vengerov, Cho-Liang Lin, Ivan Monighetti, Liana Issakadze, Zakhar Bron, Augustin Dumay, Gary Hoffman, Toby Hoffman Gerard Caussé and others. Today, Ashot Khachatourian shares his time between concerts and recordings. His first solo recording dedicated to Haydn and Beethoven was released in 2013, in  2019 his solo recording dedicated to Chopin by Azur Classical. The recording was received with critical acclaim by the international press. Ashot's next album will be released in 2022, again on Azur Classical, and feature works by Schubert.

He regularly shares concerts in duo with Maria João Pires all over the world  proving his exceptional talent and revealing a musical soul at its purest. 

MIKHAIL YAKOVLEV 

Russia-Switzerland

Mikhail Yakovlev was born in St. Petersburg into a family of musicians.

He discovered the violin for himself and had already appeared in public by the

age of five. As only an eight year old he entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory. 

In 2004 he concluded his studies with Michail Gantvarg, earning his soloist diploma 

With Tibor Varga at the Music Academy in Sion, as well as with György Pauk at the Music School in Winterthur.

He was a master student of Alberto Lysy at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Gstaad.

Already during his studies in St. Petersburg he appeared as a soloist and with orchestra

musicians at renowned Russian festivals, such as the St. Petersburg Composers Union

Festival of the "Musical Spring". A big breakthrough for Mikhail Yakovlev as a

musician came in 2007 when he was given the honor as assistant concertmaster under

Gennady Rozhdestvensky of the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. He performed as

concertmaster of the Oslo Opera Orchestra and is now engaged in the Basel Symphony

Orchestra. He regularly appears as a soloist as well as with the St. Petersburg State

Academic Symphony Orchestra under Yuri Lebedev and with the St. Petersburg State

Capella Symphony Orchestra under Urs-Michael Theus. He won prizes at the London

Chamber Music Competition and also at the Concours International de Violon Tibor

Varga, in Sion. In addition, he was awarded the scholarship with "Migros Culture

Percentage".

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ALEXEI MOSHKOV

Russia-Belgium

Alexei Moshkov completed his study at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow in the class of Professor Igor Bezrodny, where he obtained the diplomas of soloist and chamber music. 

He is a laureate of the USSR National Competition, and laureate of the Shostakovich International Chamber Music Competition.

In 1992 Alexei began as a solo violinist in the ensemble "Soloists of Moscow" under the direction of Yuri Bashmet, and in this ensemble traveled to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Central Asia, Mexico, Japan, Taiwan etc.

As a chamber musician, Alexei Moshkov has distinguished himself in concerts with the best performers, such as S.Richter, Y.Bashmet, N.Gutman, V.Tretyakov, B. Berezovsky, M.Portal, A.Dumay, G. Danguin, MJJude, V. Repin and many others.

Since 1993 Alexei Moshkov has participated in numerous festivals, among others in Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, France, Germany and Great Britain. He is regularly invited to festivals in Belgium: Festivals of Beloeil, Wallonia, Flanders, Ostbelgienfestival etc.

He is also invited as a soloist by many orchestras with which he performs the concertos of Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Dvorak, Tchaikovski, Sibelius, Prokofiev, Shostakovich etc.

Passionate about pedagogy, he has given master classes in Belgium, France and Japan (Musa Shino and Ondai Conservatories in Tokyo).

From 2012 until 2018 Alexei Moshkov was professor of violin at the Conservatoire de Cambrai (France).

From September 2021 he is invited as a Professor of violin at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp.

Since 1995 Alexei Moshkov has been part of numerous chamber music ensembles in Belgium and France.

 

Konzertmeister (solo violin) of the National Orchestra of Belgium since 1998, Alexei Moshkov performs regularly as a soloist with this orchestra.

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JOHANNA PICHLMAIR

Austria

She did not even know what a violin looked like, but its song-like sound, which she listened to on recordings, fascinated Johanna Pichlmair so much that she was determined to learn the instrument. At the age of six, the native Austrian became a pupil of Alexandra Rappitsch, who taught her until the beginning of her music studies and had a decisive influence on her.

Johanna Pichlmair completed her first year of study at the Mozarteum University Salzburg under Igor Ozim. In 2009 she moved to Berlin, where she first studied at the Academy of Music “Hanns Eisler” under Antje Weithaas and Feng Ning, and later at the University of the Arts under Nora Chastain. 

In the course of time she won over 20 prizes as a soloist at national and international competitions. In July 2018, she received the First Prize at the Ysaye International Music Competition in Liège. In 2019, she received three Second Prizes at the Peter Pirazzi Competition in Frankfurt, at the International Max Rostal Violin Competition in Berlin and as a final highlight, at the Montreal International Violin Competition.

As a soloist, she has performed with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, the Münchener Rundfunkorchester, the Nürnberger Symphoniker, the Grazer Philharmoniker and the Pforzheimer Kammerochester. She has also performed as a chamber musician at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Ludwigsburg Festival and the Heidelberg Spring Music Festival. 

From 2014 to 2016, she was a scholarship holder of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Karajan Academy. In 2017, she received her first position with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. Since March 2020, she has been a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s first violin section.

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ROBERT STEPANIAN

France

Robert Stepanian was born in Yerevan (Armenia) and started playing the violin at the age of seven with Tatyana Vorobyova(student of Boris Goldstein) in Moscow.

He continued his education at the Music College of Moscow Conservatorywith professor Zoria Shikhmurzaeva and at the Moscow State Conservatory with professor Ara Bogdanyan(student of David Oistrakh ).Robert is a laureate of international competitions in Switzerland, Spain, Russia, Ukraine.

As a soloist and chamber musician, Robert  gives concert more than 40 countries.He played in venues such as the Carnegie Hall (New York), Salle Gaveau (Paris), Danish Radio Concert House,Oslo Konzerthous,Tchaikovsky Hall (Moscow), the Pablo Casal Concert Hall (Spain) the Moscow International Music House,the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory etc.

His festivals appearances include the Mendelssohn Festival, Midis de Minimes(Belgium),Great Names of Art in memory of(Kogan, Gilels, Rostropovich) (Russia), Juventudes Musicales(Spain), Beethoven Festival(Germany), Pupligne Classique(Switzerland),

Tyrolean Beethoven Days, Matthias Kendlinger Festival(Ukraine), Festival Internacional de Musica de Esmeraldas(Ecuador), Guadalajara International Music Festival and others.

Robert has received a number of grants and awards from the Russian Performing Arts Foundation, the World Music Fund and the medal prize from Irina Arkhipova’s Foundation (2010). He also received a diploma for “Achievements in Musical Art" from the International Academy of “Creative Endeavours”.

His recording of Sonate of Beethoven  and Franck with pianist Ashot Khachatourian was released on the Azur Classical label in 2015. Recently Robert Stepanian’s recording was broadcasted on BBC Radio,France Musique,Espase 2 and others.

Robert gives masterclasses in Germany, France,Austria, United States and South America.He served as adjudicator in different violin competitions in Italy,Spain and Belgium including Ysaye International Violin Competition in Belgium.

In 2019 austrian composer Matthias Kendlinger composed violin concerto named “Galaxy” especially for Robert Stepanian and had dedicated to him. His recording of Galaxy violin concerto was released in DaCapo label in 2020. In 2019 Robert with  cellist Francisco Vila and pianist Ashot Khachatourian founded Fine ART Trio. In 2020 composer Eduardo Florencia composed and dedicated to Robert his new op.98 for violin and orchestra which calls "Souvenirs d'Artsakh"

 

Robert plays on a 1760 G.Gagliano

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ORI EPSTEIN

Israel

The youngest of 3 musical siblings, Ori began to play the cello at the age of 6. In 2002, together with his family they left Israel and relocated to London.

He has since studied with Miklós Perényi and Bernard Greenhouse and completed his degrees at the Bern University of Arts in the class of Antonio Meneses. For a period of 5 years Ori was Artist in Residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel under the guidance of Gary Hoffman. 

His achievements on the cello have been recognised by a number of prizes, including the 3rd Prize at the Bromsgrove International Competition and1st Prize at Tunbridge Wells International Competition. 

Ori is the cellist of the Busch Trio, which in recent years has developed into one of the leading piano trios. Together with his brother Omri on the piano and violinist Mathieu van Bellen, the Busch Trio has regularly appeared on major stages and festivals throughout Europe and the USA. Their many years of fruitful collaboration with the Alpha Classics label have resulted in a series of four CDs covering the complete works of Antonin Dvorák for piano and strings. 

In 2016 the Busch Trio were awarded the prestigious Kersjes Prijs in the Netherlands. They have carried off several other international awards since and were winners of the 2018 Nordmetall-Ensemble Prize at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival. The trio have performed at London’s Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Bozar, as well as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and frequently appear live on NPO, France Musique, Musiq’3, WDR, NDR and Deutschlandfunk. 

For Alpha Classics, Ori recorded Édouard Lalo’s Cello Concerto with Jean-Jacques Kantorow and l'Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège. In 2019 with his brother as duo partner, LINN Records published their recordings of Beethoven’s Complete Sonatas and Variations to critical acclaim. 

Ori plays on an 1815 Giovanni Battista Ceruti, Cremona. Considered to be one of the best-preserved examples of Ceruti’s work - it is also thought to be the last cello made by him. It has been kindly lent to Ori by a private syndicate of sponsors. 

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GEORGE TUDORACHE 

Romania-Belgium 

George Tudorache is concertmeister of the  Royal Philharmonic orchestra of Liege and "Guest Leader" of the London Symphony Orchestra. He began studying the violin at the age of 5 with Stefan Gheorghiu and Magdalena Ursu, at the "Dinu Lipatti" National College of Arts in Bucharest. In 2007, he continued his study at the National Conservatory of  Music and  Dance in Paris under the leadership of Jean Jacques Kantorow and Svetlin Roussev.

Winner of numerous international competitions: Rodolfo Lipizer, Colmar, Flame, Bucharest and in 2015, he is semi-finalist of the Queen Elisabeth Competition, where he was hailed by international critics as well as by the public. He is invited to perform as a soloist and concertmeister in several orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, the BBC Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony, the City of Birmingham Orchestra, the Orchester Philharmonique de Radio France, the ''Orchestre National de Lyon", the Deutsches Sinfonier Orchester Berlin, the WDR Sinfonier Köln, the Orchester Capitol de Toulouse, the Orchestre National de Bordeaux, the Opera of Valencia ... under the direction of prestigious conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Antonio Pappano, Riccardo Chailly, Kirill Petrenko, Gianandrea Noseda, Myun-Whun Chung. He performs in the most important halls of the world such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Paris Philharmonic, the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, the Vienna Musikverein, the Barbican Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, the Atheneum Hall in Bucharest, the Amsterdam Concertgebow, Munich Philharmonic, etc. He is also Principal Violin Professor at the Namur Institute of Music and Pedagogy (IMEP). He regularly gives Masterclasses in Europe and Asia. His recording of Philippe Boesmans’s Violin Concerto with the OPRL and Gergely Madaras has won numerous prizes including 5 Diapasons.

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JEAN-MARC ONKELINX  

Belgium

Musicologist Graduated in Art History, Archeology and Musicology, Specialization in Musicology, from the University of Liège Musical studies at the Grétry Academy in Liège and at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Liège. Holder of the ESA certificate of professional reputation issued by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, authorizing the exercise of the function of professor of general courses related, in one way or another, to the History of Music and the art, in higher education of the long type and the Higher Schools of Arts. As a guitarist, he presented numerous solo and chamber music concerts between 1985 and 1995. Advisor at the classical music department of the Fnac de Liège from 1991 to 2012. Artistic mediator and jury coordinator of Ça Scale Classic, project of the Province of Liège bringing help to young composers. Responsible for classical music activities (conferences, meetings, concerts with commentary ...) at Fnac Liège and Louvain-La-Neuve. In charge of the commented Auditions and Seminars, visits and concerts at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Liège since 2012. Professor of History and Aesthetics of Music at the University of the Third Age since 1990 and in other institutions of Liège. Responsible for a cycle of concerts and a Summer Festival as part of the University of the Third Age. Holder of the History of Music courses at UTD Charleroi. Chairman of the jury of the Liège Piano Competition. Guest for conferences, seminars, guided concerts in many cities in Belgium and France (Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, Kortrijk, Leuven, Hasselt, Louvain-la-Neuve, Wavre, Nivelles, Liège, Charleroi, Mons, Namur, Verviers, Tournai, Paris, Evry, Cambrai, Maurepas ...). Regularly invited by the Royal Opera of Wallonia for introductory lectures to operas. Author of a music and art blog on the Internet with more than 1750 texts on music and art, which received more than 1,720,000 visitors from more than 150 countries in the last six years…

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PHILIPPE LEHAEN

Belgium

Secretary of the YIMC

 

Director of the Royal Academy César FRANCK of Visé and composer.

Philippe Lehaen started the piano at the age of 7 and give his first concert at the age of 9. He represented his music school as “young talent” on the Belgian television at the age of 13.

Mr. Lehaen finished the music school with a first prize of excellence and received the government medal in 1979. He received a special prize of the Rotary club and got a second prize at the National Competition “Credit Communal de Belgique” in 1980 and recorded several radio broadcasts in Namur and Liège.

In 1984, he got the first prize of piano and chamber music at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Liège and got a certificate of Superior Diploma in Piano in the class of the pianist “Jo ALFIDI” (3rd prize of Queen Elisabeth in 1972).

Philippe LEHAEN teaches piano and Orchestra since 1984. In 2002, he is responsible of several musical exchanges for young students between Belgium, Spain and Hungary.

As a secretary of the competition and mainly of the jury, Philippe produces the YIMC catalogues and helps in the organisation of schedules for rehearsals, juries, pianists and order of the candidates.