Xiaolu Zang wins the ZF Music Award 2022
The Chinese pianist Xiaolu Zang wins the tenth ZF Music Award.
Xiaolu Zang won the ZF Music Award of 10,000 euros last Sunday. The second place with prize money of 5,000 euros went to the South Korean Yeon-Min Park, with Till Hoffmann in third receiving 3,000 euros.
The piano contest for the ZF Music Award 2022 kept the audience excited right up to the last minute. The competitive level this year was extraordinarily high. Six young multiple international award-winning pianists from four nations were competing. The three finalists had already demonstrated a high level of musicality and unbelievable virtuosity in the two selection rounds. With masterly skill and formidable interpretations of works from Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven, New Music and German Romanticism, the three young artists came through the first two rounds of the contest held in the Münzhof in Langenargen and in the Forum am See in Lindau.
Correspondingly high was the standard at the third and deciding concert held last Sunday in Graf-Zeppelin-Haus in Friedrichshafen: Concert etudes and works of the 19th and 20th centuries made for a challenging programme, which once again demanded from the three finalists all their skill. Around 400 visitors were in the Graf-Zeppelin-Haus to experience the final concert with these young masters at close quarters. All three finalists knew how to enchant the audience, offering musical pleasure at the highest level. The great expectations were more than fulfilled. The visitors excitedly awaited the result of the jury, which had to include their assessment of all three concerts in the final judgement. Sitting on the international jury chaired by Peter Vogel this year were Prof. Yuka Imamine and Ritva Sjöstedt.
The jury found the decision at this the tenth ZF Music Award especially difficult. All three finalists had been thoroughly impressive in all the concerts. After lengthy deliberations the jury finally came to a decision, voting for the young Chinese Xiaolu Zang as the winner of the ZF Music Award 2022. “Over the three rounds of the contest Xiaolu Zang displayed the deepest musical understanding of all the repertoire requirements. He fascinated with the great precision and virtuosity of his playing borne by the great inner creative power and almost unbelievable tone quality. But the performances of the other two finalists Yeon-Min Park and Till Hoffmann also demonstrated great prowess and made for an altogether excellent standard at this contest,” said the jury in explaining their choice.
Grandiose was the young Chinese Xiaolu Zang in the final concert in his interpretation of the Piano Sonata 1.X.1905 by Leoš Janáček, the Études Op. 10 No. 10 by Frédéric Chopin and the Études-Tableaux Op. 39 No. 9 by Sergei Wassiljewitsch Rachmaninow, and was equally convincing with La Valse by Maurice Ravel.
Yeon-Min Park was the runner-up in the final assessment. The pianist from South Korea was brilliant with her interpretation of the Etude Op. 25 No. 10 in B Minor by Frédéric Chopin, with the Etude No. 11 Pour les arpèges composés by Claude Debussy and the Piano Sonata No. 2 in B Minor Op. 36 by Sergei Wassiljewitsch Rachmaninow.
In third place Till Hoffmann from Germany once again showed great prowess on the final evening with the Etude Op. 33 No. 2 in C Major by Sergei Wassiljewitsch Rachmaninow, the Etude Op. 25 No. 12 in C Minor by Frédéric Chopin, the Variations on a Theme by Schumann in F Sharp Minor Op. 9 by Johannes Brahms and the Etude No. 10 from Sorcerer’s Apprentice by György Ligeti.
The audience is also allowed to actively participate in the ZF Music Award: at every concert listeners can choose their personal favourite and award an audience prize of 500 euros. In addition to the repertoire highlights, which give every concert a very specific appeal, the audience prize makes the contest a particularly exciting musical experience. At the first concert Aurelius Braun was the audience’s favourite, while on the second evening the audience prize went to Yeon-Min Park, while at the final concert it was Till Hoffman who excited them.
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ZF Music Award 2022