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Stop Press: Music News

Winners of 2016 BPSE Beethoven Chamber Music Competition Announced

LoukoTrio

The winning ensemble of the 2016 BPSE Beethoven Chamber Music Competition is the Louko Piano Trio, Erkki Louko, violin, Wayne Kwon, cello and Victor Lim, piano, all students at the RNCM. Second prize was awarded to Amarins Wierdsma, violin with Edward Liddall, piano, students at the Guildhall School of Music, with special mention to fellow Guildhall student, violinist Jonel Manciu.

The annual competition, held at Steinway Hall on May 18, followed two days of masterclasses with the distinguished pianist Peter Frankl, who joined BPSE Vice-Chairman Alberto Portugheis on the Jury.

Nine ensembles participated, each performing a Beethoven duo sonata or trio of their choice to regale a select Steinway Hall audience. Prizes include cash awards and recitals as part of the BPSE series in London and around the UK, details to be announced on the website www.bpse.org.


In Exile No More

 Vienna’s University for Music and Performing Arts

In 2006, Prof. Gerold Gruber of Vienna’s University for Music and Performing Arts (MDW) founded Exil.arte, which is a society that is dedicated to the restitution of Europe’s lost musical legacy from the Hitler years.

After some ten years of successful projects, awards and commendations, the in-coming MDW chancellor, Ms Ulrike Sych has allowed Prof Gruber to proceed with plans to establish Europe’s most comprehensive Exile Music, and Performing Arts Centre to be based in the premises of the former Music Academy (the predecessor of the present MDW, most of which is located on a campus some three blocks behind the Music Academy Building).

The Centre will also be called ‘exil-arte’ and will offer, among other things, archives and housing for composer estates. It will be digitising and uploading material, both print and audio, and making it available within the restrictions and wishes of the executors. It is also intended that the centre be a partner for scholarship and not merely a repository of documentation.

The MDW was recently ranked second in the list of performing arts colleges and universities, and with some 4,000 students, has every motivation of making works available to Europe’s future generation of musicians. It is also intended for the Centre to be international and not focussed solely on Austria-Hungary.

The musical legacies of these composers is very much a European artistic legacy and exil-arte will be engaged in the act of cultural restitution. It is hoped that exil-arte will facilitate the return of these musical estates that were scattered around the world in 1938-9 and also bridge the gap that was left by Hitler’s 12 years of power. The MDW will pay for transport, insurance and incumbent costs in restoration, digitisation and archiving.

The Centre has been given generous space – some 700 sq. metres including climate and humidity controlled storage facilities: reading room; lecture facilities; performance venues etc. It will be located on the ‘beletage’, or principal floor of the historic Music Academy, located in the ‘Academy Wing’ of Vienna’s Konzerthaus. It is the school, and indeed the very building where many of those affected by Hitler’s purge studied and some actually taught, including Korngold.

This major cultural centre should finally take Austria’s head out of the musical sand and will hopefully place Vienna in the forefront of restoring Europe’s lost musical legacy.


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