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.

Saki Tozawa wins 59th Possehl Competition

The 59th competition for the Possehl Music Prize was decided on 16 November 2022: the winner is the violinist Saki Tozawa. Second prize went to Mariia Shmeleva, a percussionist in Prof. Johannes Fischer’s class and the third prize was won by the piano duo Susanna De Secondi and Elias Opferkuch.

Saki Tozawa, a 21-year-old from Japan, studies in Prof. Daniel Sepec’s class and beat five other finalists in the second round to take first place and collect prize money of €5,000. She convinced the jury with her interpretation of works by Bach and Boulez, as well as passages of the violin concerto in E minor Op. 64 by Mendelssohn Bartholdy. Zozawa started playing the violin when she was six and as a teenager won several national and international prizes, including becoming the youngest ever winner of the Music Competition of Japan in 2015 and taking second place at the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition in 2017 in Sion, Switzerland. She studied at the University of Arts in Tokyo and has been a student at Lübeck College of Music since October 2021.

Mariia Shmeleva, a 21-year-old percussionist from Russia, was awarded the second prize and €3,000 for her performance of works by Bach, Wahlund, Kitazume and Cangelosi. She has studied in the class of Prof. Johannes Fischer since last year. The piano duo Susanna De Secondi and Elias Opferkuch from Prof. Konrad Elser’s class played one-piano and two-piano duets featuring works by Mozart, Bach, Schubert and Brahms to take the third prize and an award of €2,000. Both pianists are 26 years old and have learnt music together for a long time, but have only been playing together as a duo for three months.

Thirteen students of the flute, horn, violin, percussion and piano competed against one another over two rounds with performances of around twenty minutes each. Dr Ole Krönert, who chaired the jury, praised the participants’ great artistic skills and Prof. Inge-Susann Römhild commented on the jury’s decision: “Saki Tozawa touched us with her power of expression, her empathy, stylistic confidence and her perfect technique.”

At the Possehl Music Prize Concert on Saturday, 14 January 2023, the prizewinners displayed their skills to a large audience alongside the winners of the Possehl Competition for Contemporary Music and Musical Performance Concepts, which was held on 12 and 13 January in the Lübeck College of Music. More information is available from www.mh-lubeck.de.

Possehl Prize in the category New Musical Performance Concepts

LCM student Ariadne Dalatsi and her team won the first prize, worth €4,000, for their performance of “Adistroy – Do you know the country where cannons blossom?” at the Possehl Competition for New Musical Performance Concepts. The 25-year-old is studying for a degree in Music Education at the LCM. Last Thursday and Friday the students used their creativity, some inspiring ideas and new media to demonstrate in interdisciplinary concert formats what can be achieved by going beyond the boundaries of a traditional concert hall experience.

In their 30-minute performance they explored in text, music, images and movement how an alienated individual might feel in the present day, with Ariadne Dalatsi in a speaking role, Sophie Kockler on clarinet, Jorma Marggraf on piano and Adrian Thieß on trumpet and electronics. The young artists combined works by Debussy, Stockhausen, Reich, Widmann and others with free improvisation, text collages, video and shadow play. The jury was chaired by Christian Schwandt (Theater Lübeck) and made up of twelve highly qualified members, including LCM project manager Prof. Sascha Lino Lemke, the composer Katharina Rosenberger (MHL), Annette Schlünz (LCM Board), Manos Tsangaris (Munich Biennale) and festival director Christian Kuhnt (Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival). They praised the successful multimedia treatment of the chosen themes and the high musical and artistic quality of the performance.

Two third prizes worth €1,500 each were awarded by the jury for an installation and performance about extinction “A Sound Vault for a Silent Future” by Philipp Wallis Nicolai, and the performance “The Jar” about an absurd post-apocalyptic underwater dictatorship by the Katrof Ensemble with Diego De La Fuente Duran, Clara Wigger, Jan Köhler and Olga Wegener.

The Possehl Competition for New Musical Performance Concepts was held for the third time. Created in 2018, it is intended to promote competences in the artistic, pedagogical and technical treatment of new music. The emphasis is not on the classical recital of a piece of music, but rather on creative interpretations, new media and electro-acoustic performance.


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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