Introducing the 2019 Jury

The 2019 Jury is led by Artistic Director and Chairman Frank Wibaut (UK). The Jury includes Andrea Bonatta (Italy), Wolfgang Manz (Germany), Ronan O‘Hora (UK), Robert Palmer (USA),  Martin Roscoe (UK) and Mamiko Suda (Japan).

Andrea Bonatta (ITALY)

Andrea Bonatta is one of the most prominent Italian pianists and a successful conductor. He recorded the complete piano work by Brahms as well as many other CD by Liszt and Schubert getting top critical reviews. His book about the piano work by Brahms is considered a milestone in this field. He has played in the most prestigious concert halls in the world and has conducted important orchestras in Europe and Asia. Bonatta has been jury member at the Cliburn, Rubinstein, Geza Anda, Busoni and many others. He is Artistic Adviser of the Liszt Competition in Utrecht, Honorary Professor of the Shanghai Conservatory and founder of the Piano Academy Eppan. Bonatta is also Guest Professor at the Summer Academy Mozarteum in Salzburg and gives masterclasses in Brescia.

Wolfgang Manz (Germany)

Wolfgang Manz is prizewinner of many prestigious international piano competitions such as Leeds (1981) and Brussels (Concours Reine Elisabeth, 1983), the Mendelssohn-Bartholdy – Prize Berlin 1980, 2nd prize at the National German Music Competition in Bonn 1982 and a jury discretionary award in the 1989 Van Cliburn International Pianoforte Competition in Texas/USA .

Since 1981 he has been much in demand as soloist with orchestras, in solo recitals and chamber music. His repertoire includes more than 50 piano concertos with orchestra and an extensive solo and chamber music programme ranging from Bach to Contemporary Music. In the 80s he performed with well-known orchestras and conductors, particularly with British orchestras as the English Chamber, Royal Philharmonic and BBC Symphony Orchestra (appearance at the London “Prom” concerts 1984 with Brahms 1st piano concerto).

Recital tours took him to cultural centres such as Cologne (Philharmonie), Berlin (Philharmonie), Hamburg (Laeiz-Hall), Munich (Herkulessaal), Salzburg (Festspielhaus), Frankfurt (Alte Oper), Brussels (Palais des Beaux-Arts), London (South Bank), Tokyo (Suntory Hall), Moscow (Conservatory), Santiago de Chile (Teatro municipal) and Amsterdam (Concertgebouw).

CD productions with Wolfgang Manz are available on the market : ARTE NOVA (Brahms piano concertos), CHANDOS Records (Dohnanyi piano quintet with the Gabrieli string quartet) and TELOS Records (Brahms late piano pieces and concertos for piano and orchestra,  solo recital with Schumann, Liszt, Debussy). In 2011 Manz recorded a Liszt recital programme for TELOS records.

Wolfgang Manz regularly gives masterclasses in Germany, Belgium, Austria, Italy and South Corea. In 2000 he was appointed ordinary professor for piano at the University of Music Nürnberg, where he was also vice president from 2015-2017. From 2011 to 2014 Manz was guest visiting professor at the Leeds College of Music.

Wolfgang Manz is recently sought after as jury member in national and international piano competitions. Many of his students have already won major prizes at international piano competitions such as Leeds, Hongkong , Cleveland, Cologne, Vienna and Porto; some of them became professors at music universities in Hanover, Vienna, Seoul/Corea and York/GB.

photograph: Christian Ruvolo

Ronan O‘Hora (UK) 

The British pianist Ronan O’Hora has performed throughout the world, playing with many leading orchestras including the London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, the BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic and  many more. He has performed in every major country in Europe as well as in the USA, Canada, Australasia and South Africa working with leading conductors as well as appearing at many notable music festivals.

Born in Manchester in 1964, O’Hora studied there at the Royal Northern College of Music with Professor Ryszard Bakst. He has won many important awards including the Dayas Gold Medal, the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians and the Stefania Niekrasz Prize, which is awarded every five years to an outstanding exponent of Chopin. Broadcasts on radio and television world-wide have included a televised recital for the Chopin Society in Warsaw, a televised performance of Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto with the Netherlands Radio Symphony, two programmes of chamber music by Mozart for BBC TV, as well as more than 80 concerts on BBC Radio 3.

O’Hora is the Head of Keyboard Studies and Head of Advanced Performance Studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

Robert Palmer (USA)

Robert Palmer’s career spans three continents, with solo, orchestral and chamber music appearances throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Following his critically-acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut in 1979, Palmer embarked upon a performing career that brought his artistry to many of the major concert halls of the United States and abroad, including several performances in both Carnegie Hall and Steinway Hall in New York, the Grand Theatre in Shanghai, Chiang-Kai Chek Concert Hall in Taipei, and the Seoul Arts Center in Korea.

Robert Palmer enjoys a highly successful teaching career. His students, prize-winners in national and international competitions, hail from throughout the world. Palmer has appeared at many summer music festivals and he has served on the jury of numerous international/national piano competitions.

Palmer’s many awards include prizes in the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition and the United States Information Agency National Piano Competition. He is the Mauzy-Porter Distinguished Professor of Piano at Ball State University, United States.

Martin Roscoe (UK)

During his illustrious career, Martin Roscoe has become one of the UK’s most respected pianists. With his extensive repertoire, he is in great demand as a concerto soloist, chamber musician with many leading musicians and as a recitalist. Martin appears regularly at Wigmore Hall and has long-standing associations with many of the UK’s leading orchestras such as the BBC Philharmonic and BBC Scottish Symphony. A prolific recording artist, Martin has a distinguished discography including Hyperion, Chandos and Naxos. He is one of the most broadcast pianists on BBC radio. With his vast concerti repertoire, he performs with major orchestras in the UK and worldwide, with conductors including Sir Simon Rattle and Mark Elder etc. He is Director of the Ribble Valley International Piano Week, Beverley Chamber Music Festival and Manchester Chamber Concerts Society. Martin teaches at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Mamiko Suda (Japan)

Mamiko Suda was born in Tokyo, where she began her musical studies from an early age.  At the age of 12, she won a major piano competition in Japan and gave performances throughout the country, which were broadcast both on national radio and television.

She continued her studies at the Toho High School of Music in Tokyo.  After graduating with highest honours, she received a French Government Scholarship with a recommendation from Vlado Perlemuter to enter the Paris Conservatoire.  In 1972, she graduated as Premier Prix Première Nommée and also received the “Prix spécial Roger Ducasse” for piano and chamber music.

She was awarded a prize at the “Premio Jean International Competition” in Spain and also at the “A. Casagrande International Competition” in Italy.  She was a finalist at the “F. Busoni International Competition” in Italy and at the “Clara Haskil International Competition” in Switzerland.  In 1980, she won first prize at the “Mozart Memorial International Competition” in London.  She then performed with the London Mozart Players, as well as in solo at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.  Around the same time, she had the privilege of studying with Annie Fischer in Budapest.

In 1985, renowned for her outstanding interpretation of Chopin’s works, she was awarded the “Chopin Prize” by the Chopin Society in Japan.  Since then, she has toured countries in Asia and Europe as well as Australia and Russia extensively and has performed with leading orchestras.  She has also played in concerts and festivals with artists such as Lorand Fenyves (former concert master of the Suisse Romande Orchestra), Philippe Graffin, Zvi Harel (solo cellist of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra), Fritz Dolezal (solo cellist of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra), Toby Hoffman, Nobuko Imai (viola), Daniel Schott-Muller, Quatuor Via Nova, the Vienna String Quartet, the NHK String Quartet, the Czech Philharmonic Sextet and others.

Currently, she is professor at the Toho University of Music in Tokyo and is often invited to give master classes and to sit on juries for international piano competitions around the world.