Russian Pianist Pavel Kolesnikov Wins 2012 Honens International Piano Competition

Russian Pianist Pavel Kolesnikov Wins 2012 Honens International Piano Competition

Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov has been named the Prize Laureate of the 2012 Honens International Piano Competition. Mr. Kolesnikov (age 23) receives the $100,000 Enbridge Prize (cash, CAD) and an artistic and career development program valued at a half million dollars – the largest award of its kind. Finalists Lorenzo Cossi (Italy), Maria Mazo (Russia), Jong-Hai Park (South Korea) and Eric Zuber (United States) each received $10,000 (CAD) prizes and semi-finalist Zenan Yu of China was awarded the $2,500 Raeburn Prize for Artist of Special Promise.

"These last ten days have been an inspiration for music-lovers inside the concert hall and around the world via live and archived webcasts," said Stephen McHolm, Honens' President & Artistic Director. "I'm more convinced than ever that Honens is a festival of music and not a traditional knock-em down competition. The Jury's choice of Pavel Kolesnikov-a thoughtful and inquisitive young musician-is a testament to Honens' commitment to discover musicians with an original voice."

The Second Jury comprised of pianists Aleksandar Madžar, HaeSun Paik and Jon Kimura Parker, cellist Adrian Brendel, Lucerne Festival Executive Director Michael Haefliger, conductor Julian Kuerti, and Hyperion Records Executive Michael Spring selected the Prize Laureate following the finalists' performances with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and its Music Director, Roberto Minczuk on October 25 and 26, 2012.

Honens International Piano Competition is a leader in discovering and launching the careers of young concert pianists. It searches for Complete Artists -- 21st century pianists for 21st century audiences.

For more information on Honens and to view videos of 2012 Semifinals and Finals, visit

Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov equates music with fine perfumes, believing both arts simultaneously speak to the heart and subconscious. He began music studies with violin and piano at age six, and played both instruments before concentrating solely on piano after ten years. Kolesnikov studies at Moscow State Conservatory with Sergey Dorensky and at London's Royal College of Music with Norma Fisher. In 2008, he made his recital debut in the Small Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and has since played both as soloist and chamber musician throughout Russia and in Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. He took part in the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival in Italy in 2005 and 2006 and the Verbier Festival and Academy in Switzerland in 2007 and 2009. Kolesnikov is also passionate about literature; he considers Tolstoy the literary incarnation of Beethoven.

The Honens Prize Laureate will be awarded a comprehensive three-year artistic and career development program valued at a half million dollars.

The program includes worldwide general management by Honens for three years; recital debuts in career-building markets that may include Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Munich, New York, Paris and Toronto; residencies at The Banff Centre in preparation for collaborative touring projects, development of repertory and live recordings; a recording on the Hyperion label; and mentorship opportunities with Emanuel Ax, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Leon Fleisher, Angela Hewitt, Stephen Hough and Sir Neville Marriner.

The Artistic & Career Development Program is underwritten in part by donations from Honens Laureate Circle Program members from across Canada.


Adrian Brendel (United Kingdom / Germany)
Cellist Adrian Brendel studied at Winchester College, Cambridge University, and with Frans Helmerson at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Germany. His close musical relationship with his father, Alfred Brendel, led to many chamber music appearances throughout the world and culminated in a critically acclaimed Philips recording of Beethoven's complete music for cello and piano. Adrian Brendel's piano trio with Till Fellner and Lisa Batiashvili is much in demand throughout Europe. Other recent collaborators include pianist Imogen Cooper, the Jerusalem String Quartet and fellow Honens juror, Aleksandar Madžar. Brendel founded Music at Plush in 1995 and has been festival Music Director throughout its development. He is also Classical Music Director of music label Plushmusic. He regularly offers masterclasses to chamber musicians and even solo pianists because of his vast knowledge of the chamber and solo piano literature. Brendel divides his time between Plush, London and Berlin.

Michael Haefliger (Germany / Switzerland)
The son of tenor Ernst Haefliger, Michael Haefliger earned a degree in violin at The Juilliard School, where he studied with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy Delay (1978-83). He went on to study management at the School of Business, Law, and Social Sciences of St. Gallen University, where he received an Executive MBA, and at Harvard in the General Manager Program. At first, Haefliger pursued a career as a concert violinist. In 1986 he became a co-founder of the Young Artists in Concert Festival in Davos (Switzerland), for which he served as Executive Director until 1998. He was also Artistic Director of the Collegium Novum in Zurich. In 1999, he became Executive Director of Lucerne Festival where he has expanded the annual programs of the organization's three festivals: Easter, Summer and Piano, including the co-founding of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra with Claudio Abbado and the Lucerne Festival Academy with Pierre Boulez. In 2000, the World Economic Forum in Davos named Haefliger a "Global Leader of Tomorrow." He has also received the European Cultural and Innovation Prize (2003) and the Tourism Award from the Lucerne Tourism Forum (2007).

Julian Kuerti (Canada / Canada)
One of the most significant conducting talents to emerge in recent years, Canadian conductor Julian Kuerti has quickly made a name for himself with his confident style, artistic integrity and passion for musical collaboration. Kuerti has led numerous orchestras across North America including the Boston, Houston, Montreal, Toronto, Colorado and Utah symphonies, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony. In 2010, he completed his post as assistant conductor to James Levine at the Boston Symphony. Kuerti was born in Toronto into one of Canada's most distinguished musical families; his father is famed pianist Anton Kuerti. He began his instrumental training on the violin, studying with some of Canada's finest teachers. While completing an honors degree in engineering and physics at the University of Toronto, he kept up the violin, performing as concertmaster and soloist with various Canadian orchestras. After taking a year off and touring Brazil with "Kahana," a Toronto-based world-music band, Kuerti began his conducting studies in 2000 at the University of Toronto. That summer he was accepted as a student at the renowned Pierre Monteux School for Conductors in Maine, where he studied for two years with Michael Jinbo and Claude Monteux.

Aleksandar Madžar (Serbia / Belgium)
Pianist Aleksandar Madžar has performed throughout the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia and has worked with some of the world's leading conductors, including Paavo Berglund, Iván Fischer, Paavo Järvi, Carlos Kalmar, John Nelson, Libor Pešek, André Previn and the late Marcello Viotti. He is a regular guest artist at festivals including the Bad Kissingen and Schleswig-Holstein, the Ivo Pogorelich Festival at Bad Wörishofen, Klavier Festival Ruhr, Davos, Roque d'Anthéron, Salzburg, Sintra and Aldeburgh. His recordings include the Chopin piano concertos with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Dmitri Kitaenko (BMG / Classic FM), a disc of Chabrier's music for two pianos (Arion) and a disc of Elliott Carter, Rachmaninov and Schnittke (Intim Musik) with cellist Louise Hopkins. He is professor at the Royal Flemish Conservatoire, Brussels, and the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Bern. Madžar was third prizewinner at the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1996. He previously served on the 2009 Honens Competition Jury.

HaeSun Paik (South Korea)
Pianist HaeSun Paik has performed throughout the world following triumphs at major international piano competitions including a Gold medal at the 1989 William Kapell International Competition (United States), a Silver at the 1991 Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition of Belgium, a Bronze at the 1994 Tchaikovsky Piano Competition (Russia), as well as a prize in the 1990 Leeds International Piano Competition (United Kingdom). Paik has appeared with the world's leading orchestras including the Boston, London, National (Washington D.C.) and NHK (Japan) Symphonies, and the Japan, Moscow, Munich, Radio France, Tokyo and Warsaw Philharmonics. She has given recitals at New York's Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Bank of Boston Celebrity Series at Jordan Hall, and in concert halls in major cities of Europe, North and South America and Asia. Paik is a graduate of the New England Conservatory where she studied with Russell Sherman and Wha Kyung Byun. She was the youngest pianist to be appointed music professor at Seoul National University in Korea (1994). After teaching at the university for ten years, she decided to give up her professorship in order to broaden her musical experiences and views in life. She now divides her time between the United States and Korea where she is the Artistic Director of Busan Music Festival.

Jon Kimura Parker (Canada / United States)
Pianist Jon Kimura "Jackie" Parker was born, raised and educated in Vancouver. He studied with Edward Parker, Keiko Parker, Robin Wood, Marek Jablonski and Lee Kum-Sing, as well as with Adele Marcus, under whom he received his doctorate at The Juilliard School in 1988. Parker has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra and with the major orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis, and throughout Canada. He has given recitals in London, New York, Chicago, Munich, Budapest, Sydney, Hong Kong and Tokyo, and has performed with musicians including Joshua Bell, James Ehnes, Lynn Harrell and the Tokyo String Quartet. He has also jammed with Doc Severinsen and Bobby McFerrin and collaborated with Audra McDonald and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Parker is Professor of Piano at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and serves as Artistic Advisor for the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival. He has recorded for Telarc with André Previn, Yoel Levi and Peter Schickele. Gold Medal winner at the 1984 Leeds International Piano Competition, Parker was also awarded the Order of Canada in 1999. He previously served on the Jury of the inaugural Honens Competition in 1992.

Michael Spring (United Kingdom)
Scottish recording executive Michael Spring developed a love of classical music in his early teens, first as a listener and only later as an enthusiastic, but – in his words – rather untalented pianist. After initial university studies in philosophy and biochemistry he realized he could make his hobby his career and continued with postgraduate work in music, receiving a Masters in Music from the University of East Anglia where he researched performance practice in early piano recordings and trained as a classical recording engineer and producer. Spring has now worked in the record industry for 25 years, 23 of them spent at Hyperion Records. In addition to running the commercial side of Hyperion's business, he has been responsible for most of the recent piano output. He has brought such pianists as Stephen Hough, Marc-André Hamelin and Steven Osborne to the label and has created the hugely successful Romantic Piano Concerto series that has released more than 50 volumes. Projects for which he has been responsible have won seven Gramophone awards, two of which have also become "Record of the Year." In 2005 he took over the APR label, which specializes in re-issuing historic piano recordings.