2019 Selection Jury

Miyoko Lotto


Murray McLachlan

Photographer: Helen Tabor

Asaf Zohar

Asaf Zohar



Murray McLachlan

Head of Keyboard of at Chetham’s School of Music and faculty member of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England

Since making his professional debut in 1986 at the age of 21 under the baton of Sir Alexander Gibson, Murray McLachlan has consistently received outstanding critical acclaim. Educated at Chetham’s School of Music and Cambridge University, his mentors included Ronald Stevenson, David Hartigan, Ryszard Bakst, Peter Katin and Norma Fisher. 

His recording career began in 1988 and immediately attracted international attention. Recordings of contemporary music have won numerous accolades, including full star ratings, as well as ‘rosette’ and ‘key recording’ status in the Penguin Guide to CDs, and ‘Disc of the month’ and ‘Record of the month ‘in ‘Music on the Web’ and ‘The Herald’. McLachlan’s discography now includes over forty commercial recordings, including the complete sonatas of Beethoven, Myaskovsky and Prokofiev, the six concertos of Alexander Tcherepnin, the 24 Preludes and Fugues of Rodion Shchedrin, Ronald Stevenson’s ‘Passacaglia on DSCH’ the major works of Kabalevsky, Khatchaturian and the complete solo piano music of Erik Chisholm.

McLachlan’s repertoire includes over 40 concertos and 25 recital programmes. He has performed the complete Beethoven piano sonata cycle four times, as well as the complete piano music of Brahms. He has given first performances of works by many composers, including Martin Butler, Ronald Stevenson, Charles Camilleri, Michael Parkin and even Beethoven! He has appeared as soloist with most of the leading UK orchestras. His recognition has been far-reaching, bringing invitations to perform on all five continents. At the same time he continues to give numerous concerts and master classes in the UK.

McLachlan teaches at the Royal Northern College of Music and at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester where he has been Head of Keyboard since 1997. He is the founder of the Manchester International Concerto competition for young pianists as well as the Founder/Artistic Director of the world famous Chetham’s International Summer school and festival for Pianists, Europe’s largest summer school devoted exclusively to the piano. 

As a teacher McLachlan continues to be very busy and in demand. Many of his students have won prizes in competitions and continued with their own successful careers as performers.

Murray McLachlan is editor of ‘Piano Professional’ Magazine, as well as Chair of the UK section of the European Piano Teachers’ Association (EPTA UK). As well as performing and teaching, he is well known internationally for his numerous articles on Piano technique and repertoire. This includes extended columns which have appeared in ‘International Piano’ ‘Pianist’ and ‘Piano’ Magazines. In 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Dundee for outstanding services to music and education. This follows on from a knighthood awarded in 1997 by the Order of St John of Jerusalem in recognition of his services to music in Malta. 

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Asaf Zohar

Chairman of the Piano Department of Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel-Aviv University, Israel.

Born in Israel, Asaf Zohar is one of the most sought after Israeli pianists and

Asaf Zohar is a graduate of the Givatayim Conservatory and Tel-Aviv University the Rubin Academy of Music (currently known as The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music). He received his doctoral degree from the Indiana University School of Music, where he has also been a visiting lecturer.

His teachers include Hana Shalgi, Arie Vardi, Menahem Pressler, Leonard
Hokanson and Michele Block. Artists for whom he has performed in masterclasses include Arthur Rubinstein, Alfred Brendel, Christoph Eschenbach, Eugene Istomin, Leon Fleisher and Claude Frank.

Asaf Zohar has been awarded prizes in Israel and in international competitions in Pretoria, Sydney and Vienna, as well as The Robert Casadesus Competition in Cleveland.

He has performed with all the leading Israeli orchestras including The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the batons of Zubin Mehta, Gary Bertini, David Robertson, Mendi Rodan, Noam Sheriff, David Shalon, Jan Pascal Tortelier, Urs Schneider and others.

Asaf Zohar appeared in numerous recitals in Israel as well as on Israeli Radio and TV Abroad, Zohar has performed concerts and recitals in the United States, Austria, Germany, France, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Russia, Georgia, India, South Africa, Australia and Japan. He is frequently invited as a guest teacher to give master classes in music schools throughout the United States.

Asaf Zohar teaches as Professor of Piano at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel-Aviv University, where he is the chairman of the piano department. He has also taught at the Jerusalem Academy of Music
and Dance, where he has served as Chairman of the Keyboard Department and Dean of the Faculty of Performing Arts for ten executive years.  In addition, Zohar teaches at the Givatayim Conservatory, as well as the Jerusalem Music Center and the Tel-Hai Summer Piano Festival in the south of Israel.

In recent years, Asaf Zohar has edited, lectured and performed in a series of lectured concerts in Israel, presenting Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, Mozart’s Concerti, and the piano works of Chopin, Brahms, Schubert and Schumann, among others.

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