15. International Johannes Brahms competition

15. International Johannes Brahms competition

In 2008 Gün­ter Haumer and Chan­da Van­der­Hart took the third prize at the Inter­na­tion­al Johannes Brahms com­pe­ti­tion.

Lis­ten here to their final round of the com­pe­ti­tion:

[Playlist brahms-com­pe­ti­tion-poertschach not found]

1. Preis: Tobias Berndt (Deutsch­land, geb. 1979)
2. Preis: Falko Hönisch (Deutsch­land, geb. 1977)
3. Preis: Gün­ter Haumer (Öster­re­ich, geb. 1973) und Tay­lan Memioglu (Türkei, geb. 1980)
      (ex aequo)

Kärn­ten Heute”, Sep­tem­ber 3, 2005 (in Ger­man only)
Copy­right: Aus­tri­an Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion — ORF Lan­desstu­dio Kärn­ten 2005

19th International Johannes Brahms Competition Pörtschach, Austria
September 1 - September 9, 2012

The sum­mer of 2012 sees the 19th anniver­sary of the Inter­na­tion­al Johannes Brahms Com­pe­ti­tion in Pörtschach. The rep­u­ta­tion of our piano und cham­ber music com­pe­ti­tions is built on the high stan­dard of musi­cians — pianists; vio­lin, vio­la and cel­lo play­ers; cham­ber musi­cians and singers — we attract.

Each year, more than 400 musi­cians from over 40 nations com­pete. We attract entrants from most Euro­pean coun­tries, from Fin­land in the north to Greece in the south. A tru­ly inter­na­tion­al feel is pro­vid­ed by com­peti­tors from Aus­tralia, Chi­na, South Africa, Japan and the USA. Just under a tenth of those who reg­is­ter come from Aus­tria.

So what makes our Brahms com­pe­ti­tion so appeal­ing to musi­cians the world over? A dif­fer­ence between the Pörtschach event and those else­where is the trans­paren­cy in the mark­ing. Rather than using a com­mit­tee that is out of sight, our jurors each have to give their marks imme­di­ate­ly after the per­for­mance and in full view of the audi­ence. This helps the under­stand­ing of both com­peti­tor and spec­ta­tor, and also elim­i­nates the unnec­es­sary wait for the results that mars oth­er events. Fur­ther­more, it offers the chance for the audi­ence to com­pare their judg­ments with the artis­tic and tech­ni­cal mer­it scores announced.

Our for­mat may strike you as unusu­al, but this way of mark­ing has shown itself to be much appre­ci­at­ed by our entrants, who see that each juror can­not influ­ence his or her col­leagues. The musi­cians are enti­tled to dis­cuss their marks with indi­vid­ual jurors, should they wish to.

The com­pe­ti­tion in each dis­ci­pline com­pris­es three rounds. In the first round musi­cians must per­form pieces from a giv­en list. The empha­sis is on demon­strat­ing a mas­tery of the instru­ment in ques­tion. As this stage serves to reduce the field of can­di­dates to a man­age­able num­ber the points from round one are not car­ried for­ward, thus every­one begins the sec­ond round on an equal foot­ing. It is here that pow­er of expres­sion, per­son­al style and artistry come to the fore. Since the scores for the sec­ond round and third round are added, vic­to­ry goes to the can­di­date who con­sis­tent­ly per­forms very well, rather than a musi­cian who pro­duces an iso­lat­ed dis­play of excel­lence.

In my expe­ri­ence the pub­lic get caught up in the dra­ma of the Pörtschach Brahms Com­pe­ti­tion, they choose their favourites and ride the roller­coast­er of emo­tions with them. Where else can you watch such high-cal­i­bre musi­cians in excit­ing com­pe­ti­tion for free?

Have a good time,

Mag. Wal­traud Arnold
Pres­i­dent, Johannes Brahms Soci­ety Pörtschach