Hailed as “the most important piano festival in the world” (FonoForum), the Ruhr Piano Festival presents artists of top international standing in unrivalled quantity and frequency every year in around 70 concerts and public events. The great masters of their craft (including Daniel Barenboim, Alfred Brendel, Chick Corea, Hélène Grimaud, Evgeny Kissin, Igor Levit, Sir András Schiff, Daniil Trifonov and Mitsuko Uchida) regularly honor our invitation to perform a multifaceted series of unique recitals and concerts in the Ruhr region. Effective, long-term support of young artists is one of the Festival’s pronounced goals; thus, year after year, a considerable number of young pianists, competition laureates and outstandingly talented newcomers are also invited to perform in major Festival recitals.
Classical and jazz music, solo performances, chamber and orchestra concerts, masterclasses and Lieder recitals all reflect the exceptional variety of events you will encounter at the Ruhr Piano Festival. Each year, the Festival commissions contemporary composers to write new works: thus, it has hosted the premières of ca. 100 compositions. Furthermore, its annual choice of overarching themes and cycles guarantees novelty, high standards and unexpected insights. Such unique quality is reflected in impressive attendance figures, with recent averages more than 50,000 per concert season. 119 CD’s in the “Edition Klavier-Festival Ruhr” series present the Festival’s wide range of styles and performances.
Since 2006 the Ruhr Piano Festival is engaged in the region with its highly innovative and sustainable Education Program. Children ages two to six are introduced to the fascinating world of music in the KlavierGarten project and the Little Piano School (distinguished with the German “Land of Ideas” Innovation Prize in 2010). Thanks to an interdisciplinary approach, children and teenagers from diverse social backgrounds are encouraged to develop long-term interest in the arts by helping them awaken their creative abilities in the Discovery Projects. The piano music of our time is brought closer to students and audiences in the project KlavierModern – Contemporary Piano Music. Two of the award-winning highlights in this series have been: 1) the educational series centered on Douze Notations by Pierre Boulez (2012), and 2) the multi-school project dedicated to the piano oeuvre of György Ligeti (2014). The Ruhr Piano Festival has designed extensive Internet resources based on those projects. German national and international awards for these Education Projects have included: the German Cultural Foundation Prize “Kinder zum Olymp” (2010), “365 Locations in the Land of Ideas” (2010 and 2012), the YEAH! Young EARopean Award for the Boulez project (2013), the coveted Junge Ohren prize for the multi-school project A Year with György Ligeti and finally the ECHO Klassik in 2016.
Ever since January 1st, 2011, the Ruhr Piano Festival has been managed by a Foundation while retaining its role as the cultural flagship of Initiativkreis Ruhr. Initial capital was provided by the founding donor NATIONAL-BANK AG. Concerts and educational projects in 2020 will be made possible by our general sponsor Initiativkreis Ruhr, our main sponsor Duisport and a total of 69 sponsors and donors, along with 5 partner foundations. In 2011 an international circle of co-founders laid a further financial basis for the Ruhr Piano Festival Foundation, expanding it with a highly successful fundraising campaign. In the jubilee year 2018, in which the Ruhr Piano Festival celebrates 30th anniversary, we started a third fundraising initiative, the Jubilee Circle Campaign.
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