On the evening of 24 March, the Mozart Room of the Old Opera House (Alte Oper) in Frankfurt am Main resounded to the sound of eight of the most talented piano students studying in music colleges across Germany or their international partner universities. These were the finalists in the prestigious Deutscher Pianistenpreis (German Piano Award), now in its second year, worth €20,000 (£16,700). Organised by the International Piano Forum Frankfurt, the sponsors included The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) and the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR).
Following an introduction by Dr Petra Roth, Mayor of Frankfurt, amongst others, the contestants from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, South Korea, and Ukraine performed a range of challenging works to demonstrate their talents before an international judging panel. Azerbaijani contestant Toghrul Huseynli, aged 17, attracted a warm ovation for his sensitive interpretation of Chopin’s demanding Polonaise in F Sharp Minor. A graduate of the Bulbul Music School and the Hajibeyov Academy of Music, Toghrul is now studying at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne under Professor Nina Tichman, a graduate of the revered Juilliard School in New York.
His participation in the Deutscher Pianistenpreis comes after acclaimed performances in competitions and concerts in Tblisi, Georgia; Minsk, Belarus; and Gabala, Azerbaijan, amongst others.