The foundation and the College of Music have been awarding the Possehl Music Prize to particularly outstanding students in Lübeck since 1963. A real marathon jury session takes place before the award is conferred: the prize is not given within particular categories of instrument; students in all the different degree courses can compete against one another. That means the jury is faced with the challenge of comparing the performance of an organist with that of a violinist and a vocalist. The prize-winners’ concert in January every year is an evening of the most varied music and an established feature of Lübeck’s cultural life. Chamber music plays a large role, so the Possehl Foundation recently introduced a Prize for Piano Accompaniment. It is intended to underline the importance of piano accompanists for a successful artistic performance.
The College of Music and the foundation have also launched a new competition, the Possehl Prize in the category New Musical Performance Concepts. Students who develop contemporary concert formats in collaboration with other disciplines or using new media were able to present examples of their work in this competition for the first time in January 2019.
It was the 25-year-old Lithuanian, Augustinas Eidukonis, studying piano, who emerged victorious from the finale that was held on 19 November 2021. 13 students playing various instruments competed for the prize over two rounds.
Augustinas Eidukonis took first place with his performance of works by Beethoven, Barkauskas and Mussorgsky. The 25-year-old is a master’s student in the piano class of Prof. Konrad Elser. He has studied in Lübeck, Amsterdam and Paris and has already won other prizes and scholarships.
“Augustinas Eidukonis was chosen unanimously as a compelling, earnest and modest prize-winner, whose heartfelt and mature playing delighted the jury”, said its eight members in their laudation, emphasising the high level of the competition. The prize-winner was very pleased: “I am very grateful and happy to have won this award. The competition is particularly challenging – especially because of the many different instruments we play.”
Pianist Yusuke Morita, also studying in the piano class of Prof. Konrad Elser, received the second prize, and third prize went to oboist Kana Kobayashi from the class of Prof. Diethelm Jonas. Distinctions were also awarded to the clarinettist Strahinja Pavlovic from the class of Prof. Jens Thoben and for the best piano accompaniment by a student to Rodolfo Focarelli from Christian German Ruvolo’s class.
Composer Reika Hattori wins Possehl competition
The composer Reika Hattori has won the category “New musical performance concepts” in the second Possehl Music Competition that was held on 8-9 July at the Lübeck College of Music. The jury praised the variety of the performance concepts and awarded the first prize to the Japanese student for her multimedia project, “Water”.
In her multimedia installation Hattori describes her search for water, which she encounters in its various natural states before finally finding in its liquid form the source of life. Hattori worked with her own compositions, enormous projections of videos and images on the concert organ in the Great Hall, and a light show. Hattori convinced the jury by her aesthetic approach to the topic, the immersive character of her performance and the audiovisual balance of sound and space.
The jury also awarded two prizes: one to Lena Seitz and Gregor Früh for their project, “Climate crisis in the here and now. Twilight of the Gods – music for a self-inflicted apocalypse”. Orestis Papaioannou received a second prize for developing, rehearsing and conducting his chamber opera for an ensemble of eleven musicians, “Sketches of the House of Commons”.
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