The JMIPC Jury
Carlo Guaitoli (Italy)
Carlo Guaitoli is a concert pianist, piano professor at the ‘G. Briccialdi’ Conservatory of Terni, artistic director of the City Theatre in Carpi and artistic director of the “A. Casagrande” International Piano Competition.
He studied at the Verona Conservatory and at the National Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome with Sergio Perticaroli.
Prize winner in several international piano competitions such as A. Rubinstein in Tel Aviv, F. Busoni in Bolzano, IMC of Japan in Tokyo, A. Casagrande in Terni, Unisa Competition in Pretoria, he has performed in Europe, Japan, United States, Canada, Israel, China, and South Africa. He has appeared as soloist with prestigious orchestras, such as Israel Philharmonic and Israel Chamber Orchestra, Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra and has also toured together with the Hungarian pianist Tamás Vásáry and the Israel Chamber Orchestra performing the Mozart Double Piano Concerto.
Regularly invited in the most important concert halls in Japan, in 2009 he gave his debut in China at the Beijing Concert Hall and recently performed the world premiere of the Second Piano Sonata by Carlo Boccadoro at the Brescia & Bergamo Piano Festival.
As a chamber musician he has played with cellist Alexander Kniazev, Quartetto d’archi della Scala, Quintetto Bibiena, and Nuovo Quartetto Italiano.
Together with Franco Battiato, the famous Italian singer, composer, and movie director, he has worked for many years as a pianist and conductor, directing many orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra.
He has recorded for Sony Music, EMI and recently for Brilliant Classic (a Piano Concerto by Cristian Carrara with the Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy, conducted by Flavio Emilio Scogna).
He’s often invited as a jury member in International Piano Competitions and frequently gives masterclasses in Italy and abroad (New York University, Showa University in Tokyo, Kyungsung University in Busan).
Piers Lane (Australia)
London-based Australian pianist Piers Lane has a worldwide reputation as an engaging, searching and highly versatile performer, at home equally in solo, chamber and concerto repertoire. Five times soloist at the BBC Proms, Piers Lane’s wide-ranging concerto repertoire exceeds one hundred works and has led to engagements with many of the world’s great orchestras, working recently with conductors like Sir Andrew Davis, Andrew Litton, Vassily Sinaisky, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Brett Dean. Festival appearances have included Aldeburgh, Seattle, Bard, Bath Mostly Mozart, Bergen, Cheltenham, Como Autumn Music, La Roque d’Anthéron, Rockport, Prague Spring, Ruhr Klavierfestival, Schloss vor Husum and the Chopin festivals in Warsaw, Duszniki-Zdrój, Mallorca and Paris.
Highlights of the 2020/21 season include engagements with the Melbourne and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, a Musica Viva national tour of Australia with the Goldner String Quartet, an Australian tour with the Maltese tenor Josef Calleja, appearances at several US festivals, including Bard Music, a January 2nd recital at Wigmore Hall, duo performances with violinist Tasmin Little and further performances with actress Dame Patricia Routledge.
In recent seasons Piers Lane performed three concerti at Carnegie Hall, and world premieres of Carl Vine’s second Piano Concerto and Double Piano Concerto Implacable Gifts, both written for him.
His extensive discography for Hyperion includes much admired recordings of rare romantic piano concertos, including his 2020 release of Bliss, Rubbra and Bax concertos with The Orchestra Now, the complete Malcolm Williamson piano concertos, the complete Preludes and Etudes by Scriabin, transcriptions of Bach and Strauss, along with complete collections of Concert Etudes by Saint-Saëns, Moscheles and Henselt, and transcriptions by Grainger.
He has also recorded eleven volumes of piano quintets with the Goldner String Quartet for Hyperion, many CDs with Tasmin Little and Michael Collins for Chandos and further solo and chamber CDs for EMI, Phillips, Dutton, Unicorn Kanchana and ABC Classics.
Piers Lane is Artistic Director of the Sydney International Piano Competition. He was Artistic Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music from 2006 to 2017, and from 2006 to 2013 he also directed the annual Myra Hess Day at the National Gallery in London. He has written and presented over 100 programmes for BBC Radio 3, including the popular 54-part series The Piano.
In the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Birthday Honours he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished services to the arts. In 1994 he was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music, where he was a professor from 1989 to 2007. Piers holds Honorary Doctorates from two Australian Universities: Griffith and James Cook.
Alexey Lebedev (Russia)
The piano virtuoso Alexey Lebedev has fascinated audiences and the music press with his expressive playing at numerous recitals, orchestral concerts, and as a chamber musician in Europe, Asia, North America, and Russia.
Lebedev is one of the most interesting musical interpreters of his generation, having won numerous awards and top prizes at World Federation international piano competitions, including the G. B. Viotti Competition in Vercelli, the legendary Feruccio Busoni Competition in Bolzano, the Maria Canals International Competition in Barcelona, and the Jose Iturbi Competition in Valencia.
Lebedev’s important artistic conceptualizations have been hailed by such world-famous pianists and teachers as Alfred Brendel, Dmitri Bashkirov, Leon Fleisher, Xu Zhong, William Grand Nabore, Joaquin Soriano, John O’Conor, and Tamas Ungar.
Lebedev was born in 1980 in St. Petersburg, Russia, to a musical family – his father was a conductor. At the age of 14, Lebedev made his orchestral debut playing Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto Op. 18 in St. Petersburg. Since 1998, he has won 15 first prizes in competitions in Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, and Bulgaria.
Lebedev graduated summa cum laude from the St. Petersburg State Conservatory, studying with Tatiana Kravchenko and Tatiana Zagorovskaya. He also studied at the University of Music and Drama in Hanover with Mi-Kyung Kim, Matti Raekallio, and Einar Steen-Nökleberg.
From 2009 to 2012, Alexey Lebedev was a lecturer in the Piano Department of the University of Music and Drama in Hanover, Germany. Since 2012, Alexey Lebedev has been Professor of Piano at the Kyungsung University in Busan, South Korea and since 2014, he is Artistic Director of the Kyungsung International Piano Academy and Competition. Lebedev has been a Jury member in major international piano competition, namely the Maria Canals (Barcelona), James Mottram (Manchester), Rina Sala Gallo (Monza), Thailand international piano competition (Bangkok), Ferruccio Busoni (Bolzano).
Piotr Paleczny (Poland)
Piotr Paleczny – winner of Third Prize, the special prize for the best performance of a Polonaise and the Witold Małcużyński Prize in the 8th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition. He graduated from the class of Jan Ekier at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and was also influenced by Arthur Rubinstein and Witold Lutosławski. He has performed as a soloist around the world, with such orchestras as the Chicago Symphony, Concertgebouw, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon, Gewandhaus, Warsaw Philharmonic and Polish National Radio Symphony.
He has sat on the juries of major international piano competitions, including in Warsaw (Chopin Competition), Leeds, Paris, London, Cleveland (2007, the first Pole to chair the jury of an international piano competition in the US), Toronto, Seoul, Moscow (Tchaikovsky Competition), Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Montreal, Tel Aviv, Santander, Tokyo, Kitzingen, Casablanca, Prague, Hamamatsu, Sendai, Geneva, Taipei, Shenzhen, Weimar, Manchester, Los Angeles, Hilton Head and Takamatsu.
His recent recordings have included The Best of Fryderyk Chopin, recorded with the Prima Vista Quartet for DUX, which won a Fryderyk 1999 award from the Polish Phonographic Academy and also a platinum disc.
Since 1993 he has been artistic director of the International Chopin Festival in Duszniki-Zdrój, and since 2004 of the International Ignacy Jan Paderewski Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz.
He teaches piano at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. In 1998, the President of Poland awarded him the title of professor.
He has received many prestigious awards in Poland and abroad, including the Commander’s Cross of the Order of the Rebirth of Poland, the ‘Gloria Artis’ Gold Medal for services to Polish culture and the Mexican Aguila Azteca Order. In 2014, he was appointed to the Programme Committee of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute.
Niklas Pokki (Finland)
Dr. Niklas Pokki is a well-known Finnish concert pianist, educator and artistic director. He works as the head of the Piano Department at the University of the Arts Helsinki, Sibelius Academy. He also founded has been the artistic director of the Mänttä Music Festival, the most important annual piano event in Finland, since 1999, and co-founded and has directed a prestigious talent education program, the Youth Piano Academy Finland, since 2013.
Several of Pokki’s students have won prizes in national and international competitions. He is an active master class teacher and lecturer, and he works constantly as a juror in national and international piano competitions. His research activities include themes such as learning environments, sight-reading and talent education.
Pokki has performed and taught widely internationally. He has played as a soloist with the Baden-Baden Philharmonic Orchestra and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra among others. He has premiered works by Jean Sibelius, Erkki Melartin, Kalevi Aho, Osmo-Tapio Räihälä and Tõnu Kõrvits. He has also played broadcasted concerts (Finnish Broadcasting Company, Classic FM, Eesti Klassikaraadio and SWR1) and made studio recordings.
Pokki studied at the Sibelius Academy and the Music University of Karlsruhe, Germany. His teachers include Matti Raekallio, Teppo Koivisto, Erik T. Tawaststjerna, Carmen Piazzini and Emanuel Krasovsky.
Rebecca Penneys (USA)
American pianist Rebecca Penneys is a recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral soloist, educator and adjudicator. For over six decades her passionate and insightful performances have held audiences spellbound. Hailed as a pianist of prodigious talent, she possesses a daredevil technique, the sort of charismatic stage presence that demands attention, and an interpretive gift that make her performances into musical revelations.
Rebecca has given concerts throughout all the continents north of Antarctica and she has represented the United States on United States Information Service State Department Cultural tours. Rebecca’s playing leaves an indelible impression. Her current CD’s and DVD’s on Naxos, Fleur De Son Classics and Centaur Records have received worldwide acclaim and are eloquent testimonies of a major artist of intelligence, originality, massive technique and bravura temperament. American Record Guide says: “Penneys offers an extraordinary collection of performances displaying an astonishing control over piano sound. It is absolutely gorgeous and full of unimaginable colors. She sings through the instrument, seemingly without effort. Her playing is simply revelatory.”
Born in Los Angeles, Rebecca made her recital debut at the age of nine and performed as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra when she was eleven. At seventeen, after winning several young artist competitions in the United States, she was awarded the unprecedented Special Critics’ Prize, created in her honor, at the Seventh International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland. Critics there said: “A sensational effect was created by the playing of Rebecca Penneys. She is a genius of the piano.” Subsequently, she won the Most Outstanding Musician Prize at the Fifth Vianna Da Motta International Piano Competition (Portugal) and was Top Prizewinner in the Second Paloma O’Shea International Piano Competition (Spain). She made her New York Debut in Alice Tully Hall in 1972, and in 1974 she founded the acclaimed New Arts Trio, which won the prestigious Naumburg Award for Chamber Music in New York City on two separate occasions. The Trio was Trio-in-Residence at the Chautauqua Institution from 1978-2012.
A renowned Steinway Artist, Rebecca is a popular guest artist, keynote speaker and celebrated teacher. She has received extensive recognition for her ability to teach keyboard technique (Motion and Emotion) that allows pianists to achieve individual performance goals without physical strain or injury. In 2013, Rebecca launched the non-profit Rebecca Penneys Friends of Piano to support the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival and RPPF-Mini. Both events, held at the University of South Florida, are tuition-free for collegiate pianists worldwide. Rebecca is currently Professor Emerita of Piano at Eastman School of Music, Artist-in-Residence at St. Petersburg College where she directs the St Petersburg College Piano Series, and Courtesy-Steinway-Artist-in-Residence at the University of South Florida. The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle notes, “In an age of pianistic sameness, Penneys shines as a true original.” Rebecca’s teachers included Aube Tzerko, Leonard Stein, Rosina Lhevinne, Artur Rubinstein, Menahem Pressler, Gyorgy Sebok, Janos Starker, Josef Gingold, and Iannis Xenakis.
Graham Scott (UK)
Graham Scott has firmly established himself as one of the UK’s leading pianists. Hailed by the Gramophone magazine as ‘an exceptional talent’ he has performed extensively throughout the world most notably in New York (92nd St. Y), Washington DC (Kennedy Center), Los Angeles (Ambassador Auditorium), Tokyo (Suntory Hall), Beijing (Beijing Concert Hall and Forbidden City Concert Hall), Paris (Bagatelle) as well as all the major London venues (Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Barbican Centre.)
Graham’s extensive concerto repertoire has led to many engagements with leading orchestras, notably the London Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National, Monte Carlo Philharmonic, Belgium National Symphony, Staatsphilharmonie Rheinlandpfalz (standing in for Martha Argerich), Cape Town Symphony, Singapore Symphony, St Louis Symphony and the New York Chamber Symphony. He has worked with such conductors as Sir Charles Groves, Alexander Lazarev, Bernhard Klee, Barry Wordsworth, Paul Daniel and Marin Alsop.
Graham’s discography includes CDs of works by Scriabin, Gershwin, Macmillan, Chisholm and a live recital CD from Los Angeles. He has broadcast on BBC Radio and National Public Radio in the USA.
Graham studied with Professor Ryszard Bakst (a student of Heinrich Neuheus and laureate of the Chopin competition in Warsaw) at both Chetham’sSchool of Music and the RNCM. He became the first artist to win both the Young Concert Artists (YCA) Inc. auditions in New York and the Young Concert Artists Trust (YCAT) auditions in London. He has also won first prizes in the Dudley National Piano Competition and the Jaen International Piano Competition in Spain.
Since 2007 he has held the position of Head of Keyboard Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England and the Artistic Director of the RNCM James Mottram International Piano Competition. He has previously been a member of the jury of the Horowitz Competition (Kiev, Ukraine), GilelsCompetition (Odessa, Ukraine), Rina Sala Gallo Competition (Monza, Italy), Jaen International Piano Competition (Spain), Ricard Vines Competition (Lleida,Spain), Nordic Piano Competition, the YCAT auditions, the Casagrande Competition (Terni, Italy) and the Estonian National Piano Competition
Graham has taught at many summer schools most notably Musicfest Perugia in Italy, the Colburn Festival Academy in Los Angeles, the Chetham’s International Piano Summer School in Manchester, Duszniki International Chopin Festival in Poland and the Beijing International Music Festival and Academy. Lastsummer he taught on the Kyungsung International Piano Academy in Pusan, Korea and the Alion Baltic International Music Festival in Riga, Latvia. His students have won first prizes in many top international piano competitions including the Top of the World Competition in Norway, Rina Sala Gallo Competition in Monza, Italy, the James Mottram International Piano Competition in the UK and the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition.
Uta Weyand (Germany)
German born pianist Uta Weyand comes from a musical family. The daughter of a choir conductor and an organist, she grew up with choir music and the organ repertoire. During her childhood she expressed her extraordinary musical talent not only at the piano, she also played the violin, received voice classes and composed with great success.
The Post and Courier (South Carolina, USA) forecasted her musical career, stating: “Weyand demonstrates genius at the piano…she is a pianist of genius, who should have a long career.“ And the Nuremberg News confirms “…especially admirable is her amazing art to have the great Steinway sing and wrest many captivating colors from it.“
After her studies in Freiburg/Germany, Baltimore/USA and Madrid/Spain with Elza Kolodin, Vitaly Margulis, Leon Fleisher and Joaquín Soriano Uta Weyand has had great international success giving numerous piano recitals and appearing with orchestras in most European countries, in Russia, Brazil, Cuba and the United States.
She performed with such orchestras as the Orchestra of Madrid, those of Barcelona and Valencia, the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Stuttgart Philharmonic and the National Orchestra of Brazil, with such conductors as Jesús López Cobos, José Ramón Encinar, Enrique García Asensio, Manuel Galduf, Jac van Steen, Marc Tardue and Gabriel Chmura.
After several scholarships granted by the German Government Uta Weyand won First Prize in the Steinway Piano Competition in Berlin and in 1996 First Prize in the José Iturbi International Piano Competition in Valencia with two special prizes: one for the best interpretation of Spanish music and the other for Spanish contemporary music.
Since then Uta Weyand has greatly widened her repertoire: it covers all musical epochs from baroque to contemporary music. Having been living in Spain for more than ten years, Uta Weyand is a passionate interpreter of the Spanish piano repertoire. She dedicates herself to unknown or neglected piano works, performing music by Montsalvatge, Guridi, Ohana and Dupont among many others. She worked closely together with such composers as Michael Braunfels and Xavier Montsalvatge.
Uta Weyand received worldwide press reviews with her recordings for Hänssler Classics with music by Schumann, Mozart, Debussy, Montsalvatge, Granados and the Complete Works for Piano Solo by Manuel de Falla.
She combines her dynamic concert life with pedagogical activities giving master classes and conferences in Germany, Spain, Brazil and Cuba. In 2000 she became a professor at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica in Castellon/Spain. Since 2002 she has been teaching at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Madrid. Uta Weyand is regulary member of international piano competition juries such as at Gina Bachauer in Salt Lake City, Franz Liszt in Weimar and José Iturbi in Valencia.
Uta Weyand is the founder and managing director both of the PIANALE Piano Academy for pianists between 18 and 30 and the PIANALE JUNIOR for young pianists between 9 and 17 (www.pianale.com). In addition to that, she is the initiator of an annually organized series of concerts “Schlosskonzerte Osthessen” in Germany, which provides young musicians with a high-standard performance platform.