Christian Thielemann takes on piano competition

Christian Thielemann takes on piano competition


norman lebrecht

February 20, 2018

The Bayreuth music director has decided to conduct the final round of the international Franz Liszt piano competition Weimar-Bayreuth.

Those kids had better start practising fast.






  • Player says:

    Ouch cannot imagine he has much time for the snowflake generation.

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    Surely this is unusual in the concerto round ?

    ====The jury will decide which of the prepared works shall be performed in the final.

    • Olassus says:

      Oh, there are several weird things. Why force everyone to play that mad sonata, for example, when many artists just don’t respond to it?

      • Bill says:

        Maybe artists who don’t respond to the Liszt sonata simply shouldn’t enter the Liszt Competition…not like it’s a piece you have to learn for every competition! And this certainly isn’t the only piano competition around…

  • Jonathan M. Dunsby says:

    The r epertoire for finals, (just Totentanz and concertos 1 and 2 ) is strange because there are several other pieces for piano and orchestra:

    Malédiction / Ruin of Athens Fantasy / Fantasy on Hungarian Melodies

  • Hilary says:

    Liberace took extraordinary liberties with Liszt’s 2nd Piano Concerto music and yet he’s generally quite restrained in his manner compared to some contemporary pianists. Competitors take note! :

  • Cyril Blair says:


    Franz Liszt: Sonata in B minor”

    How many semifinalists? I can’t imagine listening to that many B minor sonatas in a row. Kind of torture, really. And I like the piece.

    • Michael Endres says:

      One of the greatest sonatas ever written, but such overexposure is completely unnecessary.

      • Anon says:

        Overexposure? Nonsense, it‘s a competition, not a concert program. Jury members are professionals who want to judge competitors by a standard work. Standard procedure, nothing really to see or to comment on here by the peanut gallery.

        • Michael Endres says:

          I hear your argument, but I find it regrettable — competition or not — that a composer who has left such a vast legacy as Liszt all too often gets reduced to very few pieces ( Mephisto Valse being another one ).
          Instead this member of the peanut gallery would prefer seeing participants to be encouraged to venture out and find equally interesting works e.g. such as the Grosses Konzertsolo ( the predecessor of the b- minor sonata).

  • James says:

    Well Practice makes perfect.