Possehl Music Prize

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.

The 57th Possehl Music Prize

The 57th competition for the Possehl Music Prize was held at the Lübeck College of Music on 17 and 18 November. The jury did not award a first prize, but commended all the finalists for their performance. Unfortunately, the pandemic meant that there was no audience present this year, but the music competition was streamed live by the Lübeck College of Music. 

Two second prizes went to the bassoonist Ariane Bresch and the violist Gueli Kim. Ariane Bresch is in the class of Prof. Pierre Martens. The 23-year-old from France is a member of the Philharmonic Orchestra Academy in Lübeck and is particularly interested in Baroque music, choral and Brazilian percussion music. Gueli Kim is 28 years old and from South Korea. She is the class of Prof. Pauline Sachse, has won various prizes in national and international competitions and was a member of the Karajan Academy at the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. 


Gueli Kim (viola) & Ariane Bresch (bassoon)

Two third prizes were awarded to the violist Bennet Morrice-Ortmann and the cellist Raphael Zinner. The pianist Lucas Huber-Sierra received a commendation. Eleven students of singing, piano, viola, cello, bassoon, flute and clarinet competed against each other in the first round and five of them went on to the final. They each presented a programme lasting around half an hour, which included demanding and virtuoso sonatas, suites and concertos by Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, Schumann, Bartok and Hindemith. This year they only performed before the jury members in the Great Hall of the Lübeck College of Music. The jury was composed of nine members, chaired by Dr. Ole Krönert (Posssehl Foundation), and awarded total prize money of €10,000. 


Left to right:  Raphael Zinner (cello), Bennet Morrice-Ortmann (viola), Lucas Huber-Sierra (piano)

Jury member Prof. Inge-Susann Römhild said: “It is most fortunate that the competition was able to take place despite the difficult circumstances. This is also due to the good preparatory work. We would like to take this opportunity to underline the systemic importance of music and culture generally and their significance for society.” Among the other jury members this year were Prof. Gerd Uecker (Chair of the College Board), Dr Christian Strehk (Kieler Nachrichten) and Stefan Vladar (General Music Director of Lübeck Theatre). The professors at Lübeck College of Music were represented by Lena Eckels, Rico Gubler, Diethelm Jonas and Otto Tolonen.

A concert by the prizewinners is scheduled for 10 July 2021 and will provide another opportunity to hear them perform live.

Since 2019: a Possehl Prize for new musical ideas

In January 2019 the first Possehl Prize in the category New Musical Performance Concepts went to Eirini Aravidou, a student at the Lübeck College of Music. She was awarded the prize for the particular creativity of her concept and performance. The 22-year-old from Greece, who studies in the percussion class of Professor Johannes Fischer, convinced the jury with her audiovisual performance, “Hands”, which focuses on human hands and the wide variety of their musical and gestural abilities. 

The next competition in this category will take place in July 2021 before the prizewinners’ concert, which otherwise is always held in February.


Possehl Foundation Lübeck

Beckergrube 38 – 52
D-23552 Lübeck
E-Mail: possehl-stiftung(at)possehl.de
Tel.: +49 (0)451 148-200

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More about the Foundation

Here you can find our annual reports, Emil Possehl’s will, and the brand eins Wissen magazine to mark our 100th anniversary.


Emil Possehl's bequest

Our articles of association

The Foundation only supports non-profit and charitable causes and “promotes all that is good and beautiful in Lübeck”.