Prize winners 2021

2nd Prize: Shota Kaya, Japan

For him, it was worth it to arrive safely in Weimar after a twelve-hour flight and five-hour train journey, despite all the Corona adversities. The 21-year-old had only a very short time to prepare for his first major international competition: it was only at the end of May that his professor had made him aware of the opportunity. "I was surprised that I was able to qualify for the competition at all in such a short time," says Shota Kaya. "I love Liszt," confesses the young Japanese, who is in his third year of study at the Tokyo College of Music. The motto of the pianist, who has already won several prizes at Japanese piano competitions, is simply "not only to become a good pianist, but a great musician." He played double bass in an orchestra at the age of 13, has a big heart for musical theatre, composes and conducts.

3rd Prize: Valentin Magyar, Hungary

Since the age of 16, he has played almost exclusively works by Franz Liszt, says the 21-year-old Hungarian, who studies at the renowned Liszt Academy in Budapest. Nevertheless, Liszt's piano concertos were uncharted territory for him in his preparation for the competition, and he had to tread this ground in the final concert with the concertante variation cycle Totentanz. He was supported by the Staatskapelle Weimar conducted by Dominik Beykirch in the Weimarhalle. In 2017 Valentin Magyar already won a 2nd prize and the special prize for the best interpretation of a Bartók piece at the 5th International "Béla Bartók" Piano Competition in Graz (Austria). Solo concerts took him to many cities in Hungary, Vienna and Belgrade. In February 2021 he played Johann Sebastian Bach's F minor piano concerto with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra in Budapest.

3rd Prize: Rune Leicht Lund, Denmark

In the final concert, Rune Leicht Lund played Liszt's E-flat major concerto, which the Danish pianist had already performed with an orchestra in Poland. In general, the 18-year-old pianist has already travelled a lot, with more than 100 concerts taking him all over Europe, to Georgia and Kazakhstan. As a 12-year-old, he made his debut with Beethoven's Second Piano Concerto not only with the chamber orchestra The Danish Sinfonietta, but also with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra in Copenhagen. He is currently in his fourth bachelor's semester at the Music and Art Private University in Vienna. Rune Leicht Lund has already won prizes at piano competitions in Sweden, Great Britain, Lithuania, Germany, Denmark and Poland. For him, the most important thing at the competition was "to play the two and a half hours of repertoire I had prepared."

Special prizes

For the best interpretation of the sonata in B minor by Franz Liszt Rune Leicht Lund
For the best interpretation of a classical Sonata Rune Leicht Lund
For the best interpretation of a work by Saint-Saëns Shota Kaya
For the best interpretation of a late work by Franz Liszt Balentin Magyar
For a particularly talented participant Oscar Paz Suaznabar
Scholarship for one semester at the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar Ilia Papoian
Audience Award Shota Kaya