Rolf-Dieter Arens, Germany
His magical floating performance of Mozart and Liszt, his passion for Hummel's work and his many years of experience as a piano professor are just three aspects of a complex personality. The pianist, educator, former rector of the Weimar Musikhochschule and tireless cultural strategist Rolf-Dieter Arens spends much of the year in Thailand following his retirement. There he teaches Thai pianists at the Mahidol University in Bangkok - and quite successfully, as the pianist Ariya Laothitipong recently demonstrated by winning 1st prize at the 5th International Franz Liszt Competition for Young Pianists in Weimar. Born in Zinnwald in 1945, Rolf-Dieter Arens studied in Leipzig. As a soloist with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, he toured across Europe until 1991, but was also successful as a soloist in Asia and South America. Since 1986 he taught as a piano professor in Weimar, and from 2001 to 2010 he served as rector of the Musikhochschule there. For his services to the artist Franz Liszt, in 2011 he was awarded the Premio Liszt in Grottamare (Italy).