The 15th International Beethoven Piano Competition Vienna came to its glorious conclusion on 8 June 2017: its final round in the packed Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein witnessed three young pianists’ performances of piano concertos by Ludwig van Beethoven accompanied by the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra (cond.: Alejo Perez).

Rodolfo Leone
Rodolfo Leone, winner of this year’s competition ©Stephan Polzer

Rector Ulrike Sych introduced the subsequent presentation of awards onstage at the Golden Hall. In her address, Sych pointed out the outstanding international significance of the Beethoven Competition, which has been held by the mdw since 1961. Jan Jiracek von Arnim has been the competition’s artistic director since 2011.

Over 250 candidates registered for the competition’s 15th edition. The international pre-selection round in early 2017 chose 34 young talents for the main competition, musicians who then presented themselves at the highest level of artistry between 28 May and 8 June in Vienna. Following the competition’s three rounds, the jury crowned 25-year-old Italian Rodolfo Leone as the competition’s winner. Leone received a Bösendorfer grand (Model 200) and a EUR 10,000 cash prize donated by the foundation RPR Privatstiftung. The prizes were presented by Bösendorfer CEO Sabine Grubmüller and Ronny Pecik. The second prize, donated by the Alban Berg Foundation, went to Sahun Hong (USA), and the third prize (known as the Rita Medjimorec Memorial Prize) went to Chinese pianist Bolai Cao.

Austria’s Maximilian Kromer was awarded two special prizes: the Klemens Kramert Spezialpreis (donated by the Vienna Beethoven Society and worth EUR 1,500) for the best-scoring Austrian and the Erika Chary Sonderpreis (donated by the estate of Erika Chary and worth EUR 2,000) for the bestscoring competitor from the mdw. The 16th International Beethoven Piano Competition Vienna will take place in 2020, a year that will mark the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

All of the competition’s concerts can be streamed via the mdwMediathek:

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