In 2007, Steinway & Sons established their own concert series for young award winners – Steinway Prize Winner Concerts. It started as a collaboration with the concert hall in Leipzig – Gewandhaus – but is today a network of partners all over Germany. The concert serie has also spread out to other countries, and is of course an important part of the company’s brand building.
Read more about the story behind Steinway & Sons here.
It is Steinway & Sons themselves who choose which pianists that are allowed to be included in the series. The requirement is previous participation in various piano competitions. But that does not always mean that it is the winner who is chosen. The level of these competitions is often so high that the jury’s position is not always unanimous. There may also be factors other than musicality, such as age. For Steinway & Sons, the intention is still to help young award winners further in their careers.
In 2016, the Lofoten Piano started a collaboration with the Grieg Competition in Bergen. The winner of the piano competition participates in Lofoten as part of the first prize. Korean winner Ah Ruem Ahn was first out in 2018. It was in Bergen that the Lofoten Piano Festival was offered to be part of the Steinway Prize Winner Concerts. The festival is free to choose from among their prize winners for both the Lofoten Piano Festival and the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival. The prerequisite is that their prize winner participates in a separate concert where the concept is marketed.
Read more about the festivals here.
Already in 2019, a separate Steinway Prize Winner Concert was arranged with Georgy Tchaidze during the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival. In 2020, the Japanese Ryoma Takagi, winner of the Grieg competition in 2018, was to have a concert under this concept. Unfortunately, the festival was canceled this year.
The collaboration with Steinway Prize Winner Concerts and the Grieg Competition is of great value to the festival in terms of visibility, networking and status. This is also because of the Lofoten’s high number of concert grand pianos from Steinway & Sons.