2018 Selection Jury

This is an image of pianist Elena Margolina

Elena Margolina

This is an image of pianist Dmitry Rachmanov

Dmitry Rachmanov

This is an image of pianist Aviram Reichert

Aviram Reichert


Elena Margolina

“The listener feels Elena Margolina`s power and individuality of the Russian piano school: she has a wonderfully round sound and plays precisely, highly romantically, sensuously and still entirely controlled”, the most distinguished German critic of music Prof. Dr. Joachim Kaiser wrote about the artist.

The Pianist Elena Margolina enjoyed an eminently musical education, studying at St. Petersburg Rimski-Korsakov-Conservatoire with Prof. Tatyana Kravchenko and continuing therefore the best traditions of the well-known Russian piano school of Konstantin Igumnov and Lev Oborin. In 1996 she concluded her further career in Germany at the Detmold University of Music (class of Prof. Arnulf von Arnim) and graduated with “summa cum laude”.

Elena Margolina is the prize winner of many famous piano and chamber music competitions, including the First Prize of the 5th International Schubert Piano Competition Dortmund in 1995.

The beginning of her international career was the pianist`s overwhelming success at the 1991 International Jubilee Festival of Prokofiev`s music in Glasgow and Edinbourgh, UK. Her interpretation of Prokofiev`s etudes op. 2 won the highest respect of the press, the audience and Prokofiev`s two sons, who enthusiastically declared there deference for the pianist.

The artist successfully taught at Hanover University of Music and Theater and Stuttgart University of Music and Performing Arts. Since 2014 she is a full time professor at the University of Music in Detmold.

Elena Margolina is continuously giving international master classes (e.g. in Germany, Italy, South Korea, China, Canada, Israel, Albania, Russia, Ukraine). She is also an artistic director of the international master classes “Klaviertage Unna” where she teaches together with outstanding teachers of the piano such as Bernd Goetzke (Hanover) and Jerome Rose (New York).
Today numerous students of Elena Margolina have outstanding reputations in the international piano world. They successfully show their skilful abilities and win prizes at international piano competitions. The pianist is regularly invited to various musical competitions as a juror.

A Steinway artist Elena Margolina is often engaged throughout Europe and overseas. She has performed with leading orchestras, such as the WDR Sinfonieorchester Cologne, Scottish National Orchestra, the Berlin Radio Orchestra, The Berliner Symphoniker, the State Academician Orchestra of St.-Petersburg, the Philharmonic Orchestra Dortmund, the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, the Hamburger Symphoniker. She also played under prominent conductors like B. Thompson, H. Holliger, S. Köhler, L. Shambadal, D.Salomon. The artist is welcomed as a guest in the large European concert halls such as Berliner Philharmonie, L’Auditori Barcelona, St.-Petersburg Philharmony, City Hall Glasgow, Henry Crown Symphony Hall Jerusalem, Concert Hall Dortmund.

The pianist has a great number of TV and radio recordings, e.g. for the BBC, the WDR, the Hessen Radio, the Denmark Radio,
St.-Petersburg Radio, the Voice of Israel and the German Radio.

Elena Margolina is also convincing her audience with diverse important CD recordings, e.g. piano concertos of Clara and Robert Schumann, piano concertos No. 1 and 2 of F. Chopin, R. Schumann`s complete works for piano duo with Arnulf v. Arnim, S. Rachmaninov`s Music for cello and piano with Troels Svane, F. Schubert`s Sonatas for flute and piano with Noam Buchman. The artists`s lasting passion is the music world of F. Schubert which she faces among other with interpretation of Schubert`s transcriptions, Sonata D major D 850, Sonata G major D 894 and 3 Piano Pieces D 946. Her recording of Sonata A major D 959 and Six Moments musicaux D 780 won the SUPERSONIC Prize awarded by the Magazine PIZZICATO Luxemburg emphasizing the particular international attention.

"Her interpretations are in the true sense of the word seizing. They captivate the audience and keep it intrigued. It is due to immensely fein and sensitive touch which allows the interpret all conceivable shades of the tune." (The Pizzicato magazine).


Dmitry Rachmanov

Pianist Dmitry Rachmanov has garnered much acclaim for his passionate performances, refined musicianship and brilliant pianism. Hailed as an "indisputable musician" by the Brussels' Le Soir and "suave and gifted pianist' by the New York Times, Rachmanov has been heard at venues such as New York's Carnegie Hall, Washington DC's Kennedy Center, London's Barbican and South Bank Centres, and Beijing Concert Hall, and his tours brought him to Canada, Mexico, Europe, Russia, Turkey and the Far East. He has recorded for Naxos, Navona, Omniclassic, Master Musicians and Vista Vera labels, and collaborated as a soloist with Manhattan Philharmonia, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Orlando Symphony, London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, Ukraine National Symphony, National Orchestra of Porto, Portugal, among others. A strong proponent of the Russian repertoire, he gave the US premiere of Boris Pasternak's Piano Sonata, broadcast nationwide by the NPR, and his recital "The Art of the 19th Century Russian Character Piece" was noted by the New York Times for "considerable color and focus" he brought to each work. A founding member of the Scriabin Society of America, Rachmanov has been giving recital tours featuring the music of Scriabin in commemoration of the composer’s memorial centennial (1915-2015), including appearances in Moscow, Paris, Budapest, Beijing & Shanghai and numerous venues in the US. His recital at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall was called “indeed a ‘poem of ecstasy’ in every sense: giant in conception, quantity, quality, execution, thoughtfulness, and sensitivity” by the New York Concert Review.  He has recently embarked on a project of creating a video anthology of Scriabin’s major piano works.

Dr. Rachmanov's interest in historical performance practice has brought him to the Massachusetts' Frederick Historic Piano Collection, where he has made regular appearances performing recital series on period instruments. His album “Beethoven and His Teachers,” recorded in collaboration with the pianist Cullan Bryant on the collection’s period instruments and released by Naxos in 2011, has received critical accolades.

An active member of the American Liszt Society, Dmitry Rachmanov has served as the Artistic Director of the American Liszt Society Festival “Liszt and Russia” hosted by California State University Northridge in June of 2016 ( He is a founding member of the ALS’s Southern California Chapter.

Dr. Dmitry Rachmanov is Professor of Piano at CSU Northridge, where he serves as Chair of Keyboard Studies.  A sought-after master class clinician and lecturer, Dr. Rachmanov has served on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music and Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and has appeared as a guest artist/teacher at The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Indiana University at Bloomington, University of Michigan, Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, Beijing Central, Shanghai and Harbin Conservatories as well as East China Normal and Shanghai Normal Universities, among others. Dr. Rachmanov has been a frequent competition adjudicator in the US and abroad.

Rachmanov is a graduate of The Juilliard School (BM & MM) and he holds DMA from Manhattan School of Music. His teachers include Nadia Reisenberg, Arkady Aronov, and he coached with Yvonne Lefebure, Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Menahem Pressler, Vitaly Margulis and John Browning. A prizewinner of international competitions, he was awarded a fellowship from the American Pianists Association and received the George Schick Award for Outstanding Musicianship at Manhattan School of Music. In 2008 Dr. Rachmanov was named the Jerome Richfield Memorial Scholar of the Year at California State University, Northridge.  In 2015 he became an honoree of the Outstanding Faculty Award presented by the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars for his dedicated service to the International Community at CSUN, and he was a recipient of the Outstanding CAPMT (California Music Teachers National Association) Member, State Recognition Award.

Dmitry Rachmanov is a Steinway Artist.


Aviram Reichert

Acclaimed for his deeply intelligent interpretations, phenomenal technique and ravishing tone – won the Bronze Medal at the 10th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1997, after having won several major competitions in the Far East, France and Germany.

Today, Reichert is a frequent soloist with the leading orchestras in his native country, Israel, including the Israel Philharmonic, Haifa Symphony, Israel Chamber Orchestra and the Jerusalem Symphony. His prize-winning participation in competitions in Japan and Korea brought him numerous concert engagements in the Far East where he has been earning immense applause for over 20 years, performing with the Tokyo Symphony, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the NHK Symphony, the Korean Symphony orchestra, the KBS, and Daegu Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the National Symphony of the Dominican Republic, the major orchestras in South Africa, and numerous orchestras in the United States. Conductors he has worked with include the late Sergiu Commissiona, James Conlon, Peter Bay, James De Priest, Leslie Dunner, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, David Lockington, Ken-ichiro Kobayashi, Emmanuel Krivine, Meir Minsky, Leon Botstein, Kevin Rhodes, Barry Wordsworth, Guillermo Figueroa, Michele Carulli, and Kim Daejin.

In recital, Reichert has performed throughout the United States, Israel, South Africa, the Far East andin Europe, where an appearance at the Herkules-Saalin Munich elicited an enthusiastic ovation and high critical praise. Festival performances include the Ruhr and Epinal Music Festivals, Tokyo Summer Festival, Bear Valley, CA, Durango and Steamboat Springs, CO, Ravinia Festival, the Fontana and the Gilmore Keyboard Festivals. A fine chamber musician, he has collaborated with artists such as Anne Akiko Meyers, Maya Beiser, Guy Braunstein,Yuri Gandelsman, Vadim Gluzman, Dylana Jenson, Bill Purcell and Philippe Quint.

Reichert can be heard on a Harmonia Mundi CD featuring highlights of his prize-winning solo performance at the Van Cliburn Competition, a Jerusalem Music Center label (JMC) featuring two Schubert Sonatas, and Mozart concerti with the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra under the baton of Mischa Semanitzky. He has recorded Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue for Piano and Brass quintet with the Spectrum Brass Quintet, released on CD in 2009.

In addition to his busy performing career, Reichert is a sought-after teacher who is frequently invited to conduct master-classes in Japan, Korea, South Africa, Israel and the United States. From 2001-2008 he held the positions of Associate Professor of Piano and Artist-in-Residence at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI. He is currently Associate Professor of Piano at Seoul National University, College of Music. 

Aviram Reichert, a Steinway artist, studied at the Rubin Academy of Music, Tel Aviv with Professor Arie Vardi.

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