I welcome you to the upcoming "Franz Schubert and Modern Music" International Chamber Music Competition. Despite nearly impossible planning conditions, we have decided to continue to fulfill our commitment to finding and promoting young Piano Trios worldwide. The 2022 edition will now take place with some necessary changes. We need to hold the first round in February via video but are planning the semi-final and final rounds in July as a compact summer festival event. All the side benefits of our competition, including the feedback and career coaching sessions, will remain in place.
I urge you to continue your dedication to music and specifically the Piano Trio genre and look forward to hearing and possibly meeting you here in Graz sometime soon.
Dear participants, dear jurors, ladies and gentlemen,
As chairperson of the “Lied Duo” category, I would like to warmly welcome you to the 11th staging of the International Competition “Franz Schubert and Modern Music” at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once allegedly said: “One person waits for the times to change - the other seizes the day and acts”.
With this in mind, the executive committee of the competition has “seized the day” and adapted the format of the competition this year to circumstances imposed by corona. Thus, the entire 2nd round will be migrated to a digital format. We are looking forward to the numerous video submissions that will be sent to us by the participating voice and piano duos over the coming weeks. In addition to demanding musical excellence, this also brings to the fore a challenge that is becoming increasingly important, especially for young ensembles, namely to present themselves via digital formats in the best possible way.
The summer of 2022 will bring us the semi-finals and the final, involving, as usual, contact in person, exciting new encounters and a strong culture of feedback.
Thus, this special staging of the competition combines the digital with the analogue and thus reflects the core of our competition in its formats too, namely the combination of the new with the established, bridging between the traditional and the modern.
I wish all voice and piano duos good luck and every success, the jurors a collegial and inspiring collaboration, and all of us many delightful musical moments.
A warm welcome to the 11th International Competition Franz Schubert and Modern Music. This competition is a perfect fit for the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, as we want to combine a reflective view of tradition with intensive engagement with contemporary music.
This competition offers candidates a great deal: detailed feedback, for which my heartfelt thanks to the jury. Also many opportunities for our prizewinners to perform, made possible by our numerous cooperation partners. My sincere thanks to these many cooperation partners, who invite our prizewinners to concerts; this step into the public eye is something particularly important, especially in the current circumstances.
These opportunities are complemented by a competition for the best ideas and a presentation of such ideas for communicating music.
An international competition of this magnitude would not be possible without the generous support of our patrons, the Province of Styria and the City of Graz, and our sponsors, GRAWE, BIG and ZONTA Club Graz.
Many thanks for this. You, dear listeners and viewers, have the chance to participate digitally and, in particular, to experience the Summer Festival of Chamber Music in July, where you can attend the semi-finals and the final live.
The year 2022 marks the 11th staging of a competition rich in tradition, namely Franz Schubert and Modern Music. Musicians from 33 nations presenting 36 song duos and 24 piano trios in the two categories of “Duo for voice and piano (Lied)” and “Trio for piano, violin and cello” have been invited to present their outstanding skills here at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz at one of the greatest classical competitions in Austria.
Unfortunately, the Corona pandemic also poses challenges to running the competition and now requires a plan B. Consequently, the musicians first demonstrated their talents in video performances in February. However, a special highlight awaits us in July, when we will have the pleasure of experiencing the semi-final and final live in Graz as part of the summer festival of chamber music.
Notwithstanding the fact that the current situation poses great challenges for the artists, I am delighted that the 11th edition of the competition can take place this year and that the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz is once again presenting itself as a centre of attraction for young talents. Because I am convinced that it is especially important now for young musicians to be able to pursue their talent and passion and to have the space to exchange experiences with like-minded people.
I would like to thank the executive committee of the competition headed by Rector Georg Schulz as well as the entire team of the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz for their commitment and flexibility in the organisation. I would also like to thank all the distinguished jurors and the musicians for their commitment and wish the audience many memorable moments, both during the video rounds in February and at the festival of chamber music in July.
Christopher Drexler, Governor of the Province of Styria
The “Franz Schubert and Modern Music” competition was first staged in 1989, initiated by Otto Kolleritsch. The theme of the competition is well suited to the city of Graz, which can draw on many examples of how the old and the new can be brought together in a creative manner.
Franz Schubert visited Graz close to the end of his short life. Although he had been granted honorary membership of the Styrian Music Society in 1823, it was only on September 3rd, 1827, that he first set foot in Graz and, two days later, attended a performance of Giacomo Meyerbeer’s opera “The Crusader in Egypt”. During the performance of the Sultan Saladin bass solo, Schubert is said to have commented to his friend, Anselm Hüttenbrenner, “I can’t stand it any longer. Let’s go outside.”
Such words will certainly not be uttered at the eleventh FS&MM, delayed till 2022 by the Corona pandemic. Past participants have become internationally important performers today. The distinguished jury and range of events surrounding the competition ensure that musicians can gain valuable experience and find their professional path.
I thank the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz for organising the chamber music competition, underlining as it does the standing of our city in the world of music. My wish for the participants is that they should delight their audiences and the jury – certainly to an extent greater than that achieved by the bass singer in 1827 – a performance incidentally by one Johann Nestroy.
Lied and chamber music are, with good reason, counted among the most advanced forms of so-called “serious music”, and this is no less true of modern music than of the classical-romantic era. This naturally means that this music places the greatest demands on the audience, and especially on the performers.
I am therefore pleased that the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz is again organising the competition “Franz Schubert and Modern Music” in 2022 for what is now the eleventh time. Events like this are always more than the anyway difficult testing and comparison of artistic abilities alone; they are also opportunities for musicians and audiences to experience and meet each other and, above all, a commitment to the future of our concert scene.
The large number of applications from 40 nations not only proves the international reputation of this competition, but also stands as a visible, indeed far more audible accolade to our University of Music and Performing Arts here in Graz
As Councillor for Culture and Science, I would like to thank everyone who makes “Franz Schubert and Modern Music” possible, to wish the audience exciting and enriching interpretations, and especially to wish the artists all the best for the competition and their continuing musical careers.
Franz Schubert spoke of the aspiration that a “sparkle of delight” in what is beautiful might “brighten all else”.