Prize winners

Category I (up to 13 years)

1st Prize

Ariya Laothitipong (Thailand)

She was not the only contestant from Thailand at the Liszt Competition – but she was the most successful. She began studying piano already at the age of four, and now, at the age of 13, she studies at the "Regent's International School" in Bangkok. Her nickname in Thailand is "Jija", pronounced "Tchitcha". When she isn’t playing the piano, she practices mountain climbing in a climbing gym or plays the flute. Ariya Laothitipong has already won 1st prizes at international piano competitions in London, Hong Kong, Paris – and now in Weimar.

3rd Prize

Ryan Martin Bradshaw (Slovakia/Australia)

He was born in Austria, but his parents are from Australia and Slovakia, where he lives today. At 10 years of age, Ryan Martin Bradshaw is the youngest prize-winner. He not only loves playing the piano but also the violin – and besides music, his favourite subject is math. In 2016 he won three, and in 2017 two 1st prizes at international piano competitions, and in Salzburg he also won the "Exceptional Young Talent Prize". He has performed as a soloist many times in public performances of the Mozart Piano Concertos. Since 2016 he has been a junior student at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.

3rd Prize

Kacper Kuklinski (Poland)

In the midst of the Liszt Competition, on 29 October, Kacper Kukliński celebrated his 13th birthday. At that point, the young Polish pianist already knew that he had made it to the final round. The works of his compatriot Frédéric Chopin are particularly dear to him, in particular the virtuoso sonatas and scherzos. It is his dream to participate in the renowned Chopin Competition in Warsaw someday. Kacper Kukliński lives in Danzig and has already won a number of prizes at international competitions in Spain, Italy, Poland and Belgium. Every day, he spends three to four hours of his free time practicing the piano.

3rd Prize

Ben Lepetit (Germany)

For many years, the 11-year-old Ben Lepetit commuted between Chemnitz and Weimar as a junior student. Since the beginning of this school year, it has become more convenient for him as a student at the Musikgymnasium Schloss Belvedere, which is the centre for highly-gifted students that belongs to the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar. Not only playing the piano but also composing is his passion: His newest work is a series of his own piano variations on a theme by Rossini. Ben Lepetit has already been on several television shows, the most recent of which was the ARD TV-show "Klein gegen Groß". In March, he won the 2nd prize at the International Schumann Competition in Düsseldorf.

Category II (14 - 17 years)

1st Prize

Simon Bürki (Switzerland)

After his performance in the first round, he was quite self-critical. But then, surprising even himself, the 17-year-old masterfully won the Weimar Liszt Competition in his age category. Without his parents or his teacher, Simon Bürki travelled to Weimar from Moscow, where he has attended the "Central Music School" of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory for the past three years. He was born in the year 2000 in Switzerland. He speaks six languages, including Ukraine and Russian. This year he also won a 2nd prize in Lleida, Spain – and the 1st prize at the competition "Step towards" mastery in St. Petersburg.

2nd Prize

Barbare Tataradze (Georgia)

The 14-year-old Georgian has the same piano teacher, Natalia Natsvlishvili, as Mariam Batsashvili, who won the Weimar Liszt Competition in 2011 and has become an internationally successful rising star in the meantime. Barbare Tataradze wants to follow in these great footsteps and practices every day for six hours to that end. She was born in Tbilisi and attends the "Mikeladze Central Music School" there. Along with Mozart and Beethoven, her favourite composers include Chopin and Liszt. She has already won 1st prizes at competitions and performed several times with orchestras – including the Mariinsky Orchestra in Moscow.

3rd Prize

Jeonghwan Kim (3rd Prize)

This young South Korean is a full-blooded musician. In the second round of the competition he performed a sonata that he had composed himself that will also be on the programme of today's prize-winner concert. Jeonghwan Kim was born in Seoul at the turn of the millennium, but has been a student at the Bach Musikgymnasium in Berlin since 2012 and studies piano at the Hanns Eisler School of Music. Along with music, he is especially interested in art, literature and sports. The 17-year-old has already served as an accompanist for voice competitions. The final round in Weimar was also his debut as an orchestra soloist.

Special Prizes

  • Special award in the amount of 1 000 Euros for the best interpretation of a work by Franz Liszt, donated by THE LISZT FONDATION: Xiaolin Zhang
  • Special award in the amount of 1 000 Euros for the best interpretation of of a contemporary work, donated by the Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Hessen-Thüringen: Milda Daunoraité
  • Special award in the amount of 1 000 Euros for the best interpretation of the chamber music work, donated by the Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Hessen-Thüringen: Sun Ah Kim
  • Special award in the amount of 600 Euros for the best interpretation of the baroque work, donated by the Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Hessen-Thüringen: Ben Lepetit and Simon Bürki
  • Special award in the amount of 600 Euros for the best interpretation of a work by Béla Bartók, donated by the Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Hessen-Thüringen: Shuan Hern Lee and Jeonghwan Kim
  • Special award in the amount of 600 Euros for the best interpretation of a classical sonata, donated by the Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Hessen-Thüringen: Jeonghwan Kim
  • Special award in the amount of 500 Euros for the best improvisation or own composition, donated by THE LISZT FONDATION: Simon Bürki
  • emcy Prize: Simon Bürki



Junior Jury Prize

Kacper Kuklinski (Category I)

Simon Bürki (Category II)