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Michel Camilo receives the Ruhr Piano Festival Prize 2019

Each year, the Ruhr Piano Festival Prize honors an artist whose life achievement is closely connected with the Festival. This honorary award is symbolized by Düsseldorf artist Friederich Werthmann’s steel sculpture Diapason. Compensation consists in a scholarship granted by the prize-winner to a young pianist of his/her choice, who is invited to play a début recital at the Festival the following year.

The 2019 Ruhr Piano Festival Prize goes to virtuoso jazz pianist Michel Camilo, a legend in his own time. Born in the Dominican Republic, he has appeared a total of 17 times at the Ruhr Piano Festival, in all possible instrumental combinations: as a soloist, in duo with the fabulous guitarist Tomatito, in a trio setting, and with the WDR Big Band. He never ceases to fascinate audiences with his incredibly wide stylistic range: from jazz to Latin, flamenco, and even classical music: Camilo feels equally at home in all genres. On several occasions he has thrilled young and old at our family concert “Jazz for Children”: Michel Camilo is indeed wholeheartedly committed to making music more widely known and spreading musical knowledge to audiences everywhere. His overwhelming virtuosity, his mesmerizing energy, his inexhaustible creativity and his exuberant joy of music making have brought many hours of happiness to Ruhr Piano Festival audiences. The time had clearly come for us to honor his life’s work and his faithful commitment to the Ruhr Piano Festival – by awarding him the annual Ruhr Piano Festival Prize! 

The hitherto 24 prizewinners:

Bella Davidovich (1998)

Daniel Barenboim (1999)

Dimitri Bashkirov (2000)

Graham Johnson (2001)

Leon Fleischer (2002)

Pierre-Laurent Aimard (2003)

Alfred Brendel (2004)

Pierre Boulez (2005)

Chick Corea (2006)

Martha Argerich (2007)

Maurizio Pollini (2008)

András Schiff (2009)

Grigory Sokolov (2010)

Elisabeth Leonskaja (2011)

Radu Lupu (2012)

Marc-André Hamelin (2013)

Krystian Zimerman (2014)

Hélène Grimaud (2015)

Arcardi Volodos (2016)

Philipp Glass (2017)
gemeinsam mit Dennis Russell Davies & Maki Namekawa

Elena Bashkirova (2018)

Michel Camilo (2019)

The prizewinners selected the following Pianists for a Ruhr Piano Festival schoolarship:

Peter Józsa (1998)

Saleem Abboud Ashkar (1999)

Denis Lossev (2000)

Joseph Breinl (2001)

Nicholas Angelich (2002)

Tamara Tefanovich (2003)

Tim Horton (2004)

David Fray (2005)

Gwilym Simcock (2006)

Mauricio Vallina (2007)

N.N. (2008)

Juho Pohjonen (2009)

Alexander Mogilevsky (2010)

Juan Pérez Floristán (2011)

Martín García (2012)

Charlie Albright (2013)

N.N. (2014)

Aidan Mikdad (2015)

Sergei Redkin (2017)

Giuseppe Guarrera (2018)

N.N. (2019)

The hitherto 24 prizewinners:


The prizewinners selected the following pianists for a Ruhr Piano Festival schoolarship:

Bella Davidovich


Peter Józsa

Daniel Barenboim


Saleem Abboud Ashkar

Dmitri Bashkirov


Denis Lossev

Graham Johnson


Joseph Breinl

Leon Fleisher


Nicholas Angelich

Pierre-Laurent Aimard


Tamara Stefanovich

Alfred Brendel


Tim Horton

Pierre Boulez


David Fray

Chick Corea


Gwilym Simcock

Martha Argerich


Mauricio Vallina

Maurizio Pollini



András Schiff


Juho Pohjonen

Grigory Sokolov


Alexander Mogilevsky

Elisabeth Leonskaja


Juan Pérez Floristán

Radu Lupu


Martín García

Marc-André Hamelin


Charlie Albright

Krystian Zimerman



Hélène Grimaud


Aidan Mikdad

Arcardi Volodos


Lucas Jussen

Philip Glass gemeinsam mit Dennis Russell Davies & Maki Namekawa


Sergei Redkin

Elena Bashkirova


Giuseppe Guarrera

Michel Camilo



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© 2019 Stiftung Klavier-Festival Ruhr  |  Alfred Herrhausen Haus  |  Brunnenstraße 8  |  45128 Essen

© 2019 Stiftung Klavier-Festival Ruhr
Alfred Herrhausen Haus
Brunnenstraße 8
45128 Essen