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72nd International ARD Music Competition with Steinway & Sons

The ARD Music Competition has been held annually since 1952 and is one of the largest international competitions. In an changing rotation, the focus is on different instruments or ensembles. In addition to harp, double bass and viola, the focus in this edition was on the piano trio. From 1 to 9 September 2023, the rating concerts took place in Munich and were broadcast live around the world. Steinway & Sons, as the exclusive partner, prepared and provided the pianos for the competition and looked after them at the various venues.

The piano trio — a special instrumentation in chamber music

After the successful ARD Music Competition in the subject of solo piano last year, which Lukas Sternath, student of Steinway Artist Igor Levit, won, the chamber music side of the piano is now in the foreground.

Contrary to what the name of the subject Piano Trio might suggest, the piano is not the sole focus. Instead, the chamber-musical interaction of violin, violoncello and piano plays the mayor role. With the diverse repertoire ranging from Haydn to Beethoven and contemporary works, each instrument has the opportunity to present itself while always entering into dialogue with the others.

This is where the special quality of the concert grand D-274, which was used in all rounds, becomes apparent: With its richness of colour and round sound, all the pianists of the participating trios had a great opportunity to express themselves, which also had a decisive influence on making music together with their colleagues at violin and violoncello. The joy of playing of all musicians was correspondingly great!

Trio Orelon, Amelio Trio and Trio Pantoum — the winning piano trios of the ARD Music Competition 2023

Among the 18 participating piano trios of the 72nd International ARD Music Competition, three ultimately played their way into the final, which took place on 9 September in the Prinzregententheater. With a wonderful Schubert Trio in E-flat major D 929 and a tense chamber sonata by Henze, the Trio Orelon not only played their way into the hearts of the guests for the audience prize, but also convinced the jury. For this, Marco Sanna, piano, Judith Stapf, violin, and Arnau Rovira Bascompte, violoncello, received the 1st prize.

The Amelio Trio with Philipp Kirchner, piano, Johanna Schubert, violin, and Merle Geißler, violoncello, won 2nd prize. The Trio Pantoum with Virgile Roche, piano, Hugo Meder, violin, and Bo-Geun Park, violoncello, was awarded 3rd prize.

Steinway & Sons congratulates all the participating piano trios on their outstanding concerts in the competition and looks forward to seeing them again in the near future!

Photos: Daniel Delang

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