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19th International Johannes Brahms Competition in Pörtschach/Wörthersee, Austria

The winners of the 19th Johannes Brahms Competition were elected!
In the final round for piano:
1. Mari SATO (1987), Japan
2. Kanako KURODA (1982), Japan
3. David HAUSKNECHT (1992), Czech Republic

Two winners (Mari Sato & David Hausknecht) are students of Prof. Avo Kouyoumdjian, professor at the University for Music and performing Arts Vienna since 1997.

In summer 1877 Johannes Brahms visited Wörthersee for the first time and noticed that there “the melodies are flying”.

In memoriam of the composer, the “Johannes Brahms Gesellschaft” in Pörtschach launched the International Johannes Brahms Competition.
For three summers Brahms composed in Pörtschach at Wörthersee, which was – at that time – nearly undiscovered.

This year the competition at Wörthersee took place for the 19th time from September 1st to 9th. Initially as a competition for piano and chamber music, most qualified musicians for piano, violin, viola, cello, singing and chamber music gathered in Pörtschach at Wörthersee. About 500 candidates from 47 nations applied. Almost all nations from eastern and western Europe are represented. Most of the attendees this year were from Germany and Korea, followed by Japan and Russia. The share of Austrians was about 4% (as well as Chinese).

From left to right: Mrs Kanako KURODA (2nd Prize), Mrs Mari SATO (1rst Prize), Mr Prof. Avo KOUYOUMDJIAN (Jury Member), Mr David HAUSKNECKT (3rd Prize)

Kärnten Heute - TV-Bericht zum Schlusskonzert in Velden

Members of the jury for piano were Alexander Jenner, president of the Vienna Beethoven Society, Prof. Lehel Both, director of Liszt Ferenc College of Music, Prof. Dr. Young-Bae Kim, vice president of Piano Society of Korea, Prof. Avedis Kouyoumdjian, professor for piano and chamber music at the University for Music and performing Arts Vienna and juror at international competitions, as well as Prof. Jura Marguli, internationally sought-after pianist.

In the preliminary rounds the very qualified musicians were evaluated by the jurors directly after their presentations in the fields of piano, violin, viola, cello, chamber music and classical song. The very special at this competition is the fact that the participants know their evaluation directly after their performance.

Highlight of this competition was the final for violin and piano accompanied by the Euro Symphony SFK Youth Orchestra, conducted by Ernest Hoetzl in the congress center in Pörtschach on Saturday, Sept. 8th.The winners for piano were firmly in Japanese hands: Mari Sato, Japan (1st place), Kanako Kuroda, Japan (2nd place), David Hausknecht, Czech Republic (3rd place). Both, Mari Sato and David Hausknecht are student of renowned professor Avo Kouyoumdjian at the University for Music and performing Arts Vienna.

Sunday, Sept. 9th in the evening the final concert of the best participants took place in the well filled Casino in Velden, with great international media coverage.
The finalists in piano, classical song, chamber music, viola and cello performed Sunday evening the price winner concert and the audience enjoyed moving moments.
Also the winner of public choice was elected there: each guest received three chips to split them for the participants and at the end the French cellist Benjamin Truchi won the election. “I am very happy and did not yet realise it, that I won”, he said, besides he was also chosen for the 1st place by the jury.

The prize money for the first places was Euro 2.000,00. Ms. Waltraud Arnold, president of the Johannes Brahms Society, hopes to rise the prize money to Euro 3.000,00 for the next year.

Soroptimist Club Klagenfurt & Mrs Mari Sato (1rst Prize / Japan)

Soroptimist Club Klagenfurt & Mrs Mari Sato (1rst Prize / Japan)

Maestro Yuki Miyagi & Mrs Kanako Kuroda (2nd Prize / Japan)

Maestro Yuki Miyagi & Mrs Kanako Kuroda (2nd Prize / Japan)