Chairman of the jury
Arie Van Lysebeth
Belgium, °1938
Arie Van Lysebeth was the President of the Jury of the Queen Elisabeth Competition from 1996 to 2018. He took up the violin at the age of four. He completed his higher education at the Brussels Conservatory in music theory, bassoon, chamber music, and orchestral conducting. Following a competition, he was appointed bassoon soloist of the Belgian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra. Two years later, he came joint first in the Prague International Bassoon Contest. He also studied conducting under Bruno Maderna in Salzburg and under Pierre Boulez in Switzerland. Starting in 1970, he conducted the Flemish Chamber Orchestra, both in Belgium and abroad. As a guest conductor, he has appeared with the major Belgian orchestras as well as with symphony orchestras in the United States of America, Argentina, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany. He has performed with many famous soloists, including Igor Oistrakh, José Van Dam, Murray Perahia, and Augustin Dumay. From 1995 to 2004 he was the regular conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the Brussels Conservatory, where he taught chamber music for many years (1970-1994) and served as director (1994-2003). From 2004 to 2014, he was the artistic director of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel.
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Paul Badura-Skoda
- 2019
Paul Badura-Skoda is one of the most important pianists of our time. A legendary artist who has been heard in all the world´s greatest concert halls, and for years was the pianist who had the largest number of records available in the market. His musical personality is characterized by complete immersion in music, a passionate search for the essential, and a sense of artistic responsibility. It soon becomes evident to any listener that he loves music with every part of his being.

In 1945, Paul Badura-Skoda entered the Vienna Conservatory. Two years later he won first prize in the Austrian Music Competition and a scholarship which allowed him to study with Edwin Fischer. In 1949, Wilhelm Furtwängler and Herbert von Karajan became aware of Badura-Skoda´s outstanding talent and invited him to play concerts. Practically overnight the young viennese became a world-famous artist.

Since then, Badura-Skoda has been a regular and celebrated guest at the most important music festivals and a soloist with the world´s most prestigious orchestras. In addition to Furtwängler and von Karajan, he has collaborated with such renowned conducters as George Szell, Karl Böhm, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Georg Solti, Kent Nagano and John Eliot Gardiner.

Paul Badura-Skoda has recorded a vast repertoire - more than 200 LPs and dozens of compact discs including the complete cycles of the piano sonatas of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert.

Badura-Skoda performs with equal authority on both period and modern instruments. He was a pioneer in proposing the use of period pianos in perfomance. His profound knowledge of instruments from Bach´s and Mozart time up to the present has given him the capacity to extract from modern instruments a quality of sound which never fails to amaze audiences and critics alike.
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Pierre Bartholomée
Belgium, °1937
Pierre Bartholomée began studying the piano at the age of six. He is a laureate of the Royal Brussels Conservatory, where his piano teacher was André Dumortier. In Italy he followed a series of Beethoven piano performance classes given by Wilhelm Kempff.

He is, with Henri Pousseur, a founder of the Ensemble Musique Nouvelle and of the Centre de Recherches et de Création Musicales de Wallonie. After embarking on a career as pianist that enabled him to give recitals, perform with orchestra and play chamber music in Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland and Spain, he took the Ensemble Musique Nouvelle not only to the main cities of Belgium but also to many European festivals (Avignon, Paris, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Madrid, Belgrade, Zagreb), while being a producer for the musical services of Belgian television (RTBF). He subsequently devoted thirty years of his career to orchestral conducting, conducting many Belgian, Dutch, French, Italian, Swiss, Austrian, German, Norwegian, Finnish, Spanish and American orchestras, and for twenty-two seasons he directed the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège.

Invited all over Europe, America and Japan to perform a very broad repertory, Pierre Bartholomée has collaborated with soloists such as Arthur Grumiaux, Yehudi Menuhin, Leonid Kogan, Frank-Peter Zimmerman, Boris Belkin, Nikita Magaloff, Yvonne Loriod, Elisabeth Leonskaya, Shura Cherkasky, Martha Argerich, Christian Zacharias, Hélène Grimaud, Jessye Norman, Barbara Hendricks, Montserrat Caballé, José Van Dam, Narciso Yepes, Heinrich Schiff, Janos Starker, Paul Tortelier and made many radio and discographic recordings, awarded with among others a Prix Charles Cros, a Victoire de la Musique, a Koussevitzky Prize and two Cecilia Prizes.

His personal catalogue includes two operas, two oratorios, six works for large orchestra, chamber music, vocal music, instrumental pieces and electronic music. Most of these works have been performed, some in the great international centres for music (Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Washington, Montreal, Quebec, Geneva, etc.). The oratorio Ludus Sapientiae, composed to a text by François Jongen on the occasion of the 575th anniversary of the foundation of the University of Louvain, was given its first performance in 2001 in the Grande Aula of Louvain-la-Neuve, conducted by Jordi Savall, and was also performed in Brussels on 10 June 2007 conducted by Jean Tubéry.

La Monnaie has commissioned three works from him, inspired by Henry Bauchau: Le Rêve de Diotime, a dramatic scene for soprano and chamber orchestra, first performed in 2000 and revived in 2002, and Œdipe sur la route, an opera in four acts, first staged in 2003 in a performance conducted by Daniele Callegari with stage direction by Philippe Sireuil, and with José Van Dam in the title role. In 2008 his opera La Lumière Antigone with a libretto by Henry Bauchau was world premiered.

Having for several years taught musical analysis at the Royal Brussels Conservatory, Pierre Bartholomée was composer in residence at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) where he was guest professor and where he set up and for three years ran an inter-faculty composition workshop. One of his recent works, Fragments des Belles Heures, a song cycle for soprano and small instrumental ensemble, with texts by Liliane Wouters, was premiered in Brussels at the instigation of the UCL.

His 13 Bagatelles for piano and his String Quartet were given first performances in Brussels in 2004. The String Quartet subsequently featured in the programmes of several concerts in Germany. His Sonata for viola and piano was performed several times in 2004, Pentacle for eight instruments, commissioned by the Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain, was premiered in Switzerland in 2005 and All days are nights (two visions of Shakespeare’s Sonnet XLII), for female voice, flute, cello and piano, was incorporated into a music-poetry production and was published in a CD/book by Éditions Esperluète.

In 2006 a Passacaglia for marimba and live electronics, a commission from the Centre de Recherches et de Formation Musicales de Wallonie, was first performed in Liège and later performed in Brussels, at the Ars Musica Festival, further performances of 13 Bagatelles, Fragments des Belles Heures and of the String Quartet, the premiere in Brussels of Histoire d’un caillou, three songs for soprano and piano to a short poem by Henry Bauchau, the composition of 7 x 7 for 7 concertante instrumentalists, a commission from Ars Musica (the first performance taking place in March 2007), and the completion of two large-scale works, a Requiem, first performed in Brussels in 2007 and Oraisons for cello was premiered in Paris in 2007.

Commissioned by the city of Maastricht, La Rupture des Falaises was created in 2008 for the Ensemble 88. In 2009 Ars Musica Festival has featered Face à face. For its 50th anniversary in 2010, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège commissioned and performed Symphonie. In 2011 he has composed the string quartet Envol et mort d’un papillon and a score for the National Orchestra of Belgium to accompany a silent film by Joris Ivens. A new production of La Lumière Antigone will take place in Switzerland in 2012.

The record labels Cypres, Igloo and Fuga Libera have issued recordings of most of Pierre Bartholomée’s symphonic works as well as a large part of his chamber music output. Several of his discs have won many awards from the international musical press (Choc from Le Monde de la Musique, Joker from Crescendo, etc.).

Pierre Bartholomée is a member of the fine arts division of the Royal Belgian Academy. He has on several occasions presided the jury of the Antonio Pedrotti International Orchestral Conducting Competition in Trento (Italy) and has been a member of juries for the Queen Elisabeth Competition, the Gaudeamus Competition (Hilversum), the Queen Marie-José Composition Competition (Geneva), the Composition Competition of the International Besançon Festival, the Geneva International Piano Competition and the International Saxophone Competition of Dinant.

His works are published by Universal (Vienna), Salabert and Jobert (Paris), Cebedem (Brussels) and Quindicesima (Valenciennes).

Editor Mardaga and the Conseil de la Musique de la Communauté française have dedicated a book by Robert Wangermée to him : Pierre Bartholomée - parcours d’un musicien.
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Sergei Dorensky
Russian Federation
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Abdel Rahman El Bacha
Lebanon, France, °1958
Born in Beirut in 1958, Abdel Rahman El Bacha lives in France. At the age of 16 he pursued his piano studies under Pierre Sancan at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris, where he obtained four first prizes (for piano, chamber music, harmony, and counterpoint). Since his talent was discovered at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1978, he has performed in the most prestigious concert halls around the world. He has played with a variety of orchestras, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Orchestre de Paris, the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo, and the English Chamber Orchestra. His first disc, devoted to the works of Prokofiev, received the Grand Prize of the Charles Cros Academy. Since then he has recorded many works (including Bach, Ravel, Schubert, and Schumann) with Forlane, as well as Prokofiev’s five concertos with Fuga Libera. His complete Beethoven sonatas and complete works for solo piano by Chopin have been a great success, both in concert and on CD. Abdel Rahman El Bacha is also a composer and is master in residence for the piano at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel.
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Ts'Ong Fou
- 2020
Born in Shanghai in 1934, Fou Ts’ong began his studies in China and later studied under Zbigniew Drzewiecki in Warsaw. He was awarded the special Mazurka prize at the 1953 Chopin Competition, which resulted in many performances in Eastern Europe. In 1959 he was invited to perform under Carlo Maria Giulini at the Royal Albert Hall and since then has made London his home. Recognised by his peers, the public, and the critics alike, Fou Ts’ong has given many concerts all over the world. His recordings on the Meridian label include works by Scarlatti, Handel, Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, and Debussy. This year he has made a recording of Haydn’s sonatas. He teaches at the Lake Como International Piano Academy and the Shanghai Conservatory and has given master classes at many musical institutions and festivals. This year he is serving as a member of the jury of the Chopin Competition in Warsaw.
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Valentin Gheorghiu
- 2023
Born in Romania, Valentin Gheorghiu started learning the piano at the age of four and was admitted to the Bucharest Royal Academy of Music at the age of seven. From 1937 to 1939, thanks to a recommendation by George Enescu, he continued his piano and harmony studies at the National Conservatory in Paris. His debut with an orchestra came at the age of 15 with the Bucharest Philharmonic. He has since performed throughout Europe and in North America, Israel, and Japan, with prestigious orchestras such as the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Orchestre de Paris, and the orchestras of Chicago, Tokyo, Osaka, Geneva, and Prague, among others, under conductors such as Seiji Osawa, Simon Rattle, Kurt Masur, and Rafael Kubelik. Valentin Gheorghiu has served on the juries of more than 60 international competitions. He has received an honorary doctorate from the National University of Music in Bucharest and has been awarded the George Enescu Prize for his compositions and the Romanian Academy Prize for his career as a whole, as well as the Award for Excellence in Romanian Culture.
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Karl-Heinz Kämmerling
- 2012
Karl-Heinz Kämmerling studied the piano at the Musikhochschule in Leipzig with Anton Rohden and Hugo Steurer. He has taught the piano at the Musikhochschule in Hanover, where he has served as vice president for six years, and at the Salzburg Mozarteum, where he has also been director.
Karl-Heinz Kämmerling founded the German EPTA, serving as its president for many years. He has been very active at the University of Paderborn as member of an institute devoted to research and the encouragement of young talent. He was also a board member of the International Music Academy Management for Soloists and president of the German High School Foundation, as well as co-editor of the review Üben und Musizieren, published by Schott.
Karl-Heinz Kämmerling has won many international prizes and conducted numerous master classes in Asia, Europe and the United States. He has been a jury member at many international competitions. Germany and Austria honoured him with a merit award in 1999 and 2000.
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Kum Sing Lee
For over three decades, Professor Kum Sing Lee has earned a reputation as a pianist from audiences and critics in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia - as a soloist as well as in duos and in chamber music.

Kum Sing Lee studied with Gerhard Puchelt in Berlin and with Julius Katchen and Magda Tagliaferro in Paris. He debuted in New York's Carnegie Hall in 1963 and in London's Wigmore Hall in 1969. He has collaborated in concerts with leading artists such as Cho-Liang Lin, Alfredo Campoli, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Rivka Golani and Kim Borg and has been featured with BBC, Australian and Canadian Broadcasting Corporations, and on numerous Asian and European radio and television recordings.

Professor Kum Sing Lee has been Head of the Piano Department at the Vancouver Academy of Music and Professor of Piano at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Since 1985, he also has been Visiting Professor to the Beijing Conservatory of Music. Well sought after internationally as a teacher, Kum Sing Lee has been conducting master classes and has been on faculty at international summer schools and festivals in Holland, Poland, France, Belgium, Italy, Japan, China, the USA and Canada. He has been a jury member of many international competitions, including the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw.
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David Lively
United States of America, France, °1953
David Lively won Fourth Prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1972. On the advice of Jules Gentil, assistant to Alfred Cortot, he moved to Paris from the United States and became the favoured pupil of Claudio Arrau, going on to further studies with Nadia Boulanger, Wilhelm Kempf, and Erich Leinsdorf. He has had a strikingly distinctive career. He has been a bold advocate of rarely-heard repertoire and his virtuosity has enabled him to record the concertos of Joseph Marx, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Ferruccio Busoni, and Sergey Rachmaninov. He has a special affinity with Aaron Copland, Eliott Carter, Henri Dutilleux, Philippe Boesmans, and Benoît Mernier and is very interested in contemporary works. Indefatigably curious, David Lively is equally passionate about historic keyboard instruments and today’s synthesisers. A professor and director of examinations at the École Normale de Musique in Paris, he is also the artistic director of the Festival of Saint-Lizier in the Pyrenees. His recent recordings include the complete chamber works of César Franck and the complete solo works of Philippe Boesmans. A recording of William Blank’s piano concerto, which was written for him, will be released shortly and one of Benoît Mernier’s is planned.
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Viktor Merjanov
Russian Federation - 2012
Viktor Merjanov is professor of piano and director of the department at the Moscow Conservatory. He was educated at the same institution, studying there with professor Feinberg. A laureate of many national and international competitions, including the Chopin Competition in 1940, he has had several pupils who have in turn themselves become competition prize-winners.
His career as soloist, teacher and lecturer, has led Viktor Merjanov all over the (then) Soviet Union, to many European capitals, to Cuba and the United States. He has played under the baton of many celebrated conductors, such as Kondrashin, Temirkanov, Maderna and Berglund.
He is also the author of articles on a variety of musical and pedagogical themes. Viktor Merjanov is president of the Association of Soviet Pianists and has often been a jury member at international competitions.
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Eugène Moguilevsky
Ukraine, °1945 - 2023
Born in Odessa in 1945, Eugène Moguilevsky took his first piano lessons with his mother. He then became a pupil of H. Neuhaus (teacher of Gilels and Richter) at the Moscow Conservatory. Winning First Prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1964 enabled him to perform with conductors such as André Clytens, Charles Munch and Bernard Haitink. He gave solo concerts around the world and, in 1973, received the prize for Best Performer of the Year in the USA for his performance of Rachmaninov’s Concerto No. 3 with K. Kondrachin and the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra.
Since then, he has given concerts in Melbourne, Singapore, New York (Carnegie Hall), Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, as well as in Germany, Switzerland and Spain. Since 1992, Eugène Moguilevsky has been a teacher at the Brussels Royal Conservatory. Many of his performances are available on CD.
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Cécile Ousset
France, °1936
Born in Tarbes, France, Cécile Ousset studied under Marcel Ciampi at the Paris Conservatoire, where she won the First Piano Prize at the age of 14. She was a prize-winner at several major international piano competitions, including the Van Cliburn, Queen Elisabeth, Long-Thibaud, and Ferruccio Busoni competitions, before undertaking an international performing career that has taken her to all five continents. She has recorded a vast repertoire, including concertos by Johannes Brahms, Edvard Grieg, Franz Liszt, Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Piotr Tchaikovsky, Sergey Rachmaninov, Sergey Prokofiev, Maurice Ravel, and Francis Poulenc, under conductors such as Kurt Masur, Simon Rattle, Günther Herbig, and Neville Marriner. Cécile Ousset gives master classes in the USA, Canada, Europe (including at Puycelsi, France, since 1984), Australia, and the Far East. She frequently serves as a jury member at major competitions such as the Van Cliburn, Rubinstein, Leeds, and Long-Thibaud. In 2011, she was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite.
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Daniel Pollack
Recent concert highlights of Michael Pollack include appearances as soloist with conductor Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra in St. Petersburg, Russia and as soloist with such major international philharmonics as London's Royal, Seoul, Korea, Hong Kong, Kiev, Ukraine, Bogota, Colombia, Montevideo, and in the U.S., as soloist with the philharmonics of New York, Los Angeles, Baltimore, San Francisco and Minnesota.

Additionally, he has performed solo recitals in such major music centers of the world as London's Royal Festival Hall, Vienna's Musikverein, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Buenos Aires' Teatro Colon, Seoul's Arts Center, Moscow's Bolshoi Hall, New York's Carnegie Hall and Chicago's Orchestra Hall.

Michael Pollack has participated on major international competition juries such as the Tchaikovsky in Moscow, Vladimir Horowitz, Kiev, Ukraine; Leeds, England; Maria Callas, Athens, Greece; Jose Iturbi, Los Angeles, California; and the Rachmaninoff in Moscow, among others.

His CD's include a recent release on Classical Records; COLORS, on RCM; a Grammy-nominated CD for Naxos of Samuel Barber's complete solo piano works; an all-Chopin CD released by Sony, and two crossover CD's of popular romantic works for Four Winds.

Pollack has held several artist faculty positions including The Juilliard School and Columbia University and Yale's School of Music and is now on the faculty of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

He is a graduate of the Juilliard School from the class of Rosina Lhevinne.
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Menahem Pressler
The career of Menahem Pressler has spanned more than five decades. Born in Magdeburg, he studied the piano in Israel and won the Debussy Competition in San Francisco in 1946. Since then, he has performed as a soloist, notably with the symphony orchestras of New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Dallas, and London, and in chamber music with the Trio Pasquier and the Juilliard, Emerson, Guarneri, and Cleveland quartets. In 1955 he founded the Beaux-Arts Trio, which was awarded the Concertgebouw Prize in 2006. For over 50 years he taught at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he was given the title of distinguished professor. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the North Carolina School of the Arts. His artistic talents have also been recognised by a number of awards, including Chamber Music America’s Distinguished Service Award (1994), the Gramophone magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award (1998), and the ‘Ehrenurkunde’ awarded by German critics, as well as by his nomination to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2009 he was made a citizen of honour of his native city. In addition to his many CDs with the Beaux-Arts Trio, his discography includes some thirty solo recordings of works ranging from Bach to Ben-Haim.
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Peter Rösel
Peter Rösel studied at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, first with Dmitri Bashkirov and later with Lev Oborin. He has won prizes at several major competitions, including the International Schumann Competition in 1963, the 1966 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, and the Montreal International Competition in 1968. He has played in over 40 countries all over the world, with orchestras such as the Berlin, New York, and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Detroit, Minnesota, Toronto and Montreal Symphony Orchestras, the BBC Orchestras, and the Dresden Staatskapelle, under Herbert Blomstedt, Charles Dutoit, Bernard Haitink, Günther Herbig, Dmitri Kitajenko, Kurt Sanderling, and Yuri Temirkanov, among others. His appearances at the BBC Proms in London and at international festivals in Berlin, Edinburgh, Perth, and Salzburg, as well as at the Hollywood Bowl and in Hong Kong, have been enthusiastically received by both audiences and critics. Since 1970 Peter Rösel has worked closely with Kurt Masur and the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and has given over 200 concerts with them. His discography includes many recordings for EMI, Capriccio, Ars Vivendi, Berlin Classics, and King Records. He has performed and recorded the complete Beethoven sonatas and concertos in Tokyo.
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Takahiro Sonoda
- 2004
Takahiro Sonoda (1928-2004) was born in Tokyo, where he initiated his studies under Leo Sirota. Later, he furthered his studies in Paris under the tutelage of Marguerite Long, and in Berlin under Helmut Roloff. Following his debut as a soloist with the Berlin Philharmonie in 1958, he has travelled extensively worldwide for his concert tours. He has appeared with a number of leading orchestras under such renowned conductors as Sergiu Celibidache, André Cluytens, Wolfgang Sawallish and many others. He was a member of the Japanese Academy of Arts and had an active life as a leading concert pianist and recording artist in Japan. He has also been an active member of juries at major international competitions, to name a few, the Chopin Competition in Warsaw, the Tchaikovsky and the Van Cliburn Competitions.
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Boyan Vodenitcharov
Bulgaria (Republic), °1960
Born in 1960, Boyan Vodenitcharov entered the Conservatory in Sofia in 1979, having already been a prizewinner at the Senigallia international competition. He went on to come third in the Busoni Competition in 1981 and in the 1983 Queen Elisabeth Competition. He undertook further studies with Leon Fleischer at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore in 1986 and 1987. He gives concerts throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, and Japan, performing at prestigious concert halls such as the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Palais de la Musique in Strasbourg, the Smetana Hall in Prague, and the Suntory Hall in Tokyo. For 20 years now, he has also taken an interest in period instruments, on which he has recorded a number of CDs. In addition to his activities as a performer, Boyan Vodenitcharov also works in the fields of composition and improvisation. A number of his works have been performed in France, Germany, Belgium, and Bulgaria. He currently teaches the piano, the fortepiano, and improvisation at the Brussels Royal Conservatory.
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Relive the performances of Violin 2024
The Competition's CD's
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