Jury 2017

Maurizio Baglini – Italy – President of the jury (See website)

Maurizio Baglini was born in Pisa in 1975. A the age of 18, he won a prize at the Epinal International Piano Competition. He unanimously won the Piano Masters of Monte Carlo when he was only 24. He also won a prize at the prestigious Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano. His prolific career led him all across Europe, America and Asia, in the greatest musical stages. His wide repertoire goes from Byrd to contemporary music, with particular attention to Chopin, Liszt and Schumann. He regularly performs in duo with the cellist Silvia Chiesa.

In 2011, he published “Rêves” (“Dreams”), a collection of Liszt’s masterpieces for piano solo (prize “Année Liszt” (“Liszt Year”) in France). In 2011, he recorded with Silvia Chiesa the Cello and Piano Sonatas by Brahms, the "Arpeggione" Sonata by Schubert and the Carnaval by Schumann. At the beginning of 2014, he recorded works by Domenico Scarlatti: “In tempo di danza”. The same year, he released a double CD of Moussorgski’s complete works for piano. In January 2016, he released another disc at Decca containing works by Schumann (the Sonatas No. 1 and 2).

In 2005, Maurizio Baglini created the Amiata Piano Festival in Tuscany, of which he is still today the artistic director. Since 2013, he has also directed the dance and music festival at the Teatro Comunale Verdi in Pordenone: in 2015, he got the support of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Activities for his project “Homage to Pasolini”.

He is often invited to be part the juries of the greatest international competitions.

Hie-Yon Choi – South Korea (See website)

Born in Korea, Hie-Yon Choi gave her debut concert at the age of six in her hometown. After she won all four most coveted national competitions in Korea (Choong-Ang, Dong-A, Korea, Ehwa) she came to Germany to study with Prof. Klaus Hellwig then with the late Prof. Hans Leygraf and the late Prof. György Sebök.

Her success at international competitions such as Busoni, Epinal, brought her into international recognition. Since then Choi performed with prestigious orchestras and gave solo recitals in Germany, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Japan and in USA.

For her excellence as an artist of the highest caliber, Choi was awarded with Nanpa Music Prize in 2002 and The Arts Award of the Year 2005. She then extended the cycle with the complete piano trios, violin sonatas and cello works of Ludwig van Beethoven, as well as several projects exploring the chamber music of Brahms & his associates.

Choi was the inaugural Artist-in-residence at Tong-Yeong International Music Festival (2009) in Korea. With her growing interest in modern music Choi performed all etudes by Claude Debussy. In Ars Nova Series of the Seoul Philharmonic Choi appeared as a soloist with works by Olivier Messiaen, György Kurtag and Sukhi Kang. Choi’s intensive cooperation for the new music series at Seoul National University resulted in founding its Ensemble-in-residence, Ensemble2021.

Choi joined the piano faculty at Seoul National University in 1999. She gave countless master classes at colleges in Korea, US, Germany, England and also was invited as a faculty at international seminar/festivals such as CCM Prague, Amalfi, Vienna.

Constantin Sandu, Romania (See website)

Constantin Sandu’s interpretative art developed under the influence of his Romanian teachers. His artistic personality mixes strictness and respect of the music score with poetic sensibility and a seducing sound imagination. Since his beginnings with an orchestra at the age of 14, he has developed a rich activity as a concert artist, in Europe and in Asia.

He won several prizes in international competitions: Epinal (France) in 1985, Maria Canals, Barcelone (Spain) in 1985, Paloma O´Shea, Santander (Spain) in 1984, Viotti-Valsesia (Italy) in 1981 and Senigallia (Italy) in 1980.

He is invited to prestigious festivals, such as: Enescu in Bucarest, Chopin in Paris, Santander, Internationalen Trossinger Tastentage, Primavera de Sevilla, Ciudad de Ayamonte...

He often plays as a soloist in the greatest Romanian orchestras – Philharmonics: George Enescu in Bucarest, Transilvania in Cluj, Moldova in Iasi, Oltenia in Craiova, National Radio Orchestra of Romania and he plays with prestigious European orchestras, such as: Arthur Rubinstein in Lodz, Philharmonique de Halle, Bodensee Orchestra in Konstanz, National Orchestra of Belarus, Symphony Radio Orchestra of Kiev, Philharmonic National Orchestra of Moldavia, National Orchestra of Porto.

He was part of the jury of international competitions: Vianna da Motta in Lisbon, Cidade do Porto, Viotti - Valsesia, Pinerollo - Cittá della cavalleria, Ciudad de Toledo and Propiano in Bucarest.

Doctor of music of the Bucharest National Music University, he is a piano professor at the Superior School of Music and Performing Arts of Porto.

Erik T. Tawaststjerna – Finland (See website)

Erik Tawaststjerna began to study music in Helsinki before going to Moscow to study with Genrietta Mirvis. He has a diploma of the University of Music of Vienna and of the very prestigious Julliard's School, where he attended Sascha Gorodnitzki’s classes. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of New York, where he studied under Eugene List’s direction. He took part in the master classes given by Wilhelm Kempff and Dmitri Bashkirov.

In 1968, he won the second prize at the Helsinki Maj Lind Competition and started to give concerts all across the world. In 1981, he gave the first interpretation in Finland of “The Age of Anxiety” by Leonard Bernstein. He performed as a soloist with the greatest orchestras, especially the Concertos No. 2 and 3 by Rachmaninoff et the Concerto No. 1 by Tchaikovsky. In 1990, he gave a concert at the Tokyo Imperial Palace for the Emperor Akihito and his wife.

He made many recordings, among them Jean Sibelius’s complete works in eight CDs. He has been teaching at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki since 1982. Many of his students received prizes in international competitions. He is often asked to be part of the jury of great competitions (London, Vienna, New York, St. Petersburg, Dublin, Barcelona) and to teach master classes (Guildhall School of Music in London, Berlin, Tokyo, Vienna). He was designated teacher of the year in 2006 the Finnish Teachers’ League.