Department of Piano

Masterclass with Cyprien Katsaris

In connection with the awarding of the Franz Liszt Honorary Prize 2023 to the pianist Cyprien Katsaris, the Frenchman will give an exclusive master class for the Department of Piano. He will teach the students on Saturday, May 27 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Festsaal Fürstenhaus at the grand concert piano. The master class will kick off at 11:00 a.m. with student Mikhail Kambarov, who will bring Frédéric Chopin's Third Sonata in B minor, Op. 58. 

Other works by Chopin, Liszt and Debussy will be the focus of the following lessons with pianists Tamta Magradze (12-13h), Max Mostovetsky (13-14h), Emir Ilgen (15-16h), Artemiy Sokolovsky (16-17h) and Veronika Voloshyna (17-18h). 

The pianist Cyprien Katsaris will receive the Franz Liszt Honorary Prize 2023. The NEW LISZT FOUNDATION and the Klassik Stiftung Weimar will award the prize on Thursday, May 25 at 6:00 p.m. in the Festsaal Fürstenhaus of the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar.

The internationally renowned French pianist and composer of Cypriot descent is the seventh recipient of this prize, following Alfred Brendel and Kurt Masur (2011), Leslie Howard (2017), Johannes and Eduard Kutrowatz (2019), and Martin Haselböck (2021).

The Honorary Prize thus honors the life's work of a great European Liszt player, a world-class piano virtuoso with a very special affinity for Liszt. Throughout his life, Cyprien Katsaris has contributed greatly and in a special way to a profiled new view of Franz Liszt's piano works in all their fullness. Early on, he included the hitherto largely unnoticed large area of Liszt's transcriptions in his concert programs. 

After greetings from Prof. Anne-Kathrin Lindig, President of the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar, and the Thuringian Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Nike Wagner will give the laudatory speech for Cyprien Katsaris. The publicist, dramaturge and music manager holds an honorary doctorate from the Weimar Academy of Music and is the great-great-granddaughter of Franz Liszt. The honorary award will be presented jointly by Bodo Ramelow, Anne-Kathrin Lindig and the President of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar, Dr. Ulrike Lorenz.

Michail Lifits is the new professor for piano at the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar

The Piano Department of the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar is rejuvenating itself and is delighted to have highly competent reinforcement: Michail Lifits has been teaching as the new professor of piano since April 2022. As winner of the Busoni Competition, he looks back on a worldwide concert career with recitals and as soloist of renowned orchestras. Lifits has been an exclusive artist with the "Decca" label since 2011.

"The creative exchange with young people and the imaginative elaboration of significant literature for piano is an exciting process that never ends and helps both students and us teachers to develop," explains Michail Lifits.

"Authentic, inspiring, expressive music-making, based on a solid pianistic technique, coupled with an artistic curiosity are the pillars on which I build my teaching," he adds. "An appreciative approach to teaching, individual encouragement and career-oriented work are important to me. And of course, as a teacher with an 'open ear', I am inclined towards the students."

The winner of the 57th Ferrucio Busoni International Piano Competition has given numerous concerts at venues including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, the Philharmonie Berlin, the Herkulessaal and Philharmonie in Munich, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Sala Verdi in Milan, the Tonhalle Zurich, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.

As a soloist, Michail Lifits has appeared with many renowned orchestras such as the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Residenzorchester Den Haag, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, the Haydn Orchestra Bozen, the Moscow Soloists, Orchestra of Valencia, Orchestra dell'Arena di Verona, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Munich Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Chamber Orchestra. Lifits is a welcome guest at renowned international festivals.

In addition to his extensive solo activities, Michail Lifits is an equally passionate and sought-after chamber musician. He has performed with renowned artists such as Vilde Frang, Nicolas Altstaedt, Steven Isserlis, Cristina Gómez Godoy, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Andreas Ottensamer, Veronika Eberle, Gil Shaham and Nils Mönkemeyer. With his chamber music partner Vilde Frang, he recorded two CDs for "Warner Classics", which were awarded the "Echo Klassik" and a "Diapason d'or", among others.