The Edvard Grieg International Piano Competition has by now established itself as a large musical exposition.
When we now organize the competition for the 15th time – and for the third time in Bergen – it is with more participants, more prestigious prizes and greater ambition than ever before. This year, 130 pianists from 34 countries applied to come to Bergen to compete through solo programmes at Troldhaugen and piano concertos performed with the historic Harmonien (Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra) – Grieg’s own orchestra.
The winner can expect generous prizes and concert bookings at other venues. Those who successfully passed the pre-qualification are presented in this book, and all of them have a realistic dream of an international solo career. This competition might be their first opportunity to present themselves and their music to a wider public.
The Grieg Competition represents opportunities. For young pianists, a competition of this format is an opportunity to gain international attention, financial leeway and important music contracts. International competitions like the Grieg Competition offer chances that circumvent standard mechanisms influencing the music scene; these possibili- ties are independent of contestants’ nationality and schooling and the networks of institutional leaders. At their best, piano competitions are arenas of possibility, open for everyone to enjoy and designed expressly for young people to participate in. An important goal for those of us who are Grieg-ambassadors is that the competition will encourage future top names to include Grieg’s music in their repertoires.
For us, the Grieg Competition is also a great opportunity to organise an international piano event at a high level. For the public, the programme includes concerts, excursions, lectures and the possibility to experience master classes.
Many music milieus, individuals and supporters, also the dedicated public of Bergen, come together to create this major piano event in Norway’s historical music capital. We especially thank our closest musical collaborator, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, which will present a world-class concert final. We also express profound thanks to the Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Foundation, the competition’s main sponsor and sole private contributor. The foundation enables this 15th International Edvard Grieg Piano Competition to be a musical opportunity for all the participants, the organisers and the public.
Enjoy! And don’t forget to pick your favourite participant!
Sigurd Sverdrup Sandmo,
Director, Edvard Grieg Museum Troldhaugen