The event will take place in beautiful Bad Ems, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, on the river Lahn, as part of the highly popular cultural festival "Gegen den Strom". The very name of this festival, "against the flow", as opposed to “going with the flow” carries an energy in and of itself that is hard to overestimate. Rejection of clichés and commercialism, substituted by emphasis on the highest ideals of art and music, culminate in a resurrection of the XIX century Schumann idea of Davidsbündler (League of David, referring to the Biblical King David) against the Philistines. The goal of this academy is to assist and support exceptionally talented young artists and to provide them with such skill as to offset the banality, cliché and empty virtuosity of superficially theatrical performances.

A small number of talented and aspiring young musicians from around the world will be selected by application, and given the opportunity to participate in a 3 week-long intensive course of master classes, concerts, competition, discussions and concentrated individual work. Selected participants will be granted partial or full scholarship based on their application.

During the course of the academy, participants will receive hands-on guidance and musical inspiration from the world-renowned professors Lev Natochenny, Eugene Choi and guest professors which will help them develop into mature musicians and exceptional performing artists. Each participant will receive 5 individual lessons/master classes, will enjoy young artists concerts and listen to guest artists. Each participant is entitled to take part in the Gegen den Strom piano competition and winner's concerts.

Unlike most summer music “camps”/festivals, where students usually receive instruction from only one designated professor, students of the International Piano Academy “Gegen den Strom” will take lessons from ALL professors. This encourages students to experience a broader and more diverse approach to music in a short time span. All lessons are open to the public (conducted in a master class format) and all students are encouraged to attend other participants' lessons to augment and capitalize on the learning process.

The 3 winners of the “Gegen den Strom Piano Competition” will receive cash prizes and will be presented in a winner's concert at the end of the festival. The purpose of this competition is to provide young artists with an opportunity to hear their colleagues, with stage experience in live winner's concerts, as well as to attract media attention to the performances and concerts of the winners. In the process of learning more about music and the instrument, students will also learn more about themselves, their abilities, likes and dislikes as well as personality preferences.





Prof.Vivian Li600

Prof. Vivian Li

Born into a family of artists, Chinese-Canadian pianist Dr. Vivian Li began her career at the age of five with her debut at Guangzhou’s Friendship Opera House and has gone on to steadily build a career as one of China’s most respected young musicians. She currently serves as Associate Professor of Piano at Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou, China.



Prof. Sergey Korolev600

Prof. Sergey Korolev

After finishing his study in his native Russia, in the Gnessin Conservatorium, Sergey has continued his study in ‘Meisterklasse Lev Natochenny’. He is a winner of numerous international piano competitions. His curiosity and dedication about music led him to master classes by world renowned professors such as András Schiff, Emanuel Ax, Valery Pyasetsky, Albert Mamriev, Felix Gottlieb, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Wolfgang Watzinger, Georgy Fedorenko, Verdi-Quartett among others.



prof. Joon Kim600

Prof. Joon Kim

Joon Kim ist ein Pianist, der sich mit einer kraftvollen Bühne, solider Technik und tiefer Musikalität auszeichnet, ist nicht nur in Solokonzerten tätig, sondern auch aktiv in zahlreichen Auftritten mit führenden Ochestern des Landes und in der Kammermusik. Vor allem anlässlich des hundertjährigen Todestages von Scriabin kommuniziert er nicht nur auf der internationalen, sondern auch auf der heimischen Bühne mit dem Publikum auf der Grundlage innovativer Ideen und der Spielfertigkeit, indem er zum ersten Mal in Korea eine Reihe von Solokonzerten für die gesamten Sonaten Scriabins veranstaltet. Zur Zeit ist er Professor an der Kunsan National University und trainiert engagiert die nächste Generation.



Prof.Eugen Indjic600

Prof. Eugen Indjic

As a "Leonard-Bernstein Scholar" at Harvard University, he studied musicology and composition with Laurence D. Berman and Leon Kirchner, graduating "cum laude" in 1969. Leonard Bernstein qualified him as "an extraordinary pianist and musician" and Emil Gilels called him "a unique and inspired artist”. As Prize-winner of three international contests - Warsaw (1970), Leeds(1972), and Rubinstein Tel Aviv(1974) - Indjic has performed with the leading orchestras of the United States, Europe and Asia, andunder such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Valery Gergiev, Eugen Jochum,Rafael Kubelik, Erich Leinsdorf, Kurt Sanderling, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Georg Solti, David Zinman, among others. He continues to play regularly on great world stages such as Carnegie Hall ,Isaac Stern Auditorium, Avery Fisher Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Concertgebouw Grote Zaal, the Musikverein, Salle Pleyel and Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Bolshoi Hall, La Scala.




Prof. Lev Natochenny, Resident Artist

Lev Natochenny is an artist who defies simple classification. Described as a “real genius in his creativity” by European critics and a “rare master of his instrument” by New York critics, he combines innovation and intelligence, technical brilliance and attention to details of the musical text, and above all emerges with an astonishingly independent musical personality. As a winner of F. Busoni International Piano Competition, First Prize in Young Artists International Piano Competition and Gina Bachauer Award, led to concert appearances in major halls throughout Europe and the United States with major American orchestras and most recently with Russian National Orchestra as both pianist and conductor.

Prof. Natochenny’s class is a rare, if not the only piano class where current students have contracts with 3 major recording labels: EMI Classics, SONY/BMG Classical and Deutsche Grammophon. Prof. Natochenny was appointed at the age of 19, as a teaching assistant to the legenadary Professor Lev Oborin at the Moscow Conservatory. His interest and absolute dedication to his students led him to serve as piano faculties of Manhattan School of Music, The Mannes College of Music, City University of New York and a position of Distinguished Professor of Piano at the Hochschule für Musik in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, to his current position at Kalaidos Musikhochschule in Switzerland, as well as a founder of Lev Natochenny International Piano Institute in Bad Homburg, Germany.

In addition to master classes in the U.S., Canada and in Europe, including such Eastern European countries as Yugoslavia, Lithuania, Hungary and adjudications in national and major international competitions such as “Busoni”/Bolzano, “Sydney”, “Cincinnati”, “Ennio Porrino”/Cagliari, “Yerevan” and others.



Eugene Choi600

Prof. Eugene Choi, Director of Piano Academy

Hailed by international press as having “formidable technique and sensitive touch”, “charismatic stage presence” and “musical plasticity” took the young and powerful EUGENE CHOI to many countries and continents, from her native Korea through USA, Western Europe to such Eastern European countries as Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia.

An accomplished master of complex musical architecture, Eugene Choi builds her career on outstanding schooling first in Korea by Prof. Soo-Jung Shin, then in Boston, USA by Wha-Kyung Byun and Russell Sherman and finally in Frankfurt Germany, where she resides currently and where she completed her education with “Excellence” in the world-renowned “Meisterklasse Lev Natochenny”.

In 2011 and 2012, She was nominated by Journal of Frankfurt as the 7th most important personality in '50 most important people in Frankfurt'. In addition to her career as a concert pianist, Eugene has been an extremely successful teacher. Her enthusiastic, emphatic, passionate, caring personality and pedagogic approach have helped many students at all levels, from beginners to professionals alike. She has been invited to teach in International Piano Institute for Superior Performance Studies (Bad Homburg, Germany) where she serves also as a Director of Academics, International Piano Academy 'Festival Gegen den Strom' (Bad Ems, Germany), and as a Director of Piano Academy at ‘ Piano Loop Festival ‘(Split, Croatia), Kalaidos Musikhochschule (Aarau, Switzerland), as well as master classes at Hyundai Foundation and Open Piano Forum in Seoul, Korea.



cellist Stephanie Hong600

Guest Artist, Cellist, Stephanie Hong

Miss Hong was born in Seoul South Korea. Having finished her studies in the States, she has been building her career as soloist in prominent venues such as New year gala concert in Dvorak hall( in Prague) , Carnegie hall in New york, the Grand concert hall, Seoul Art Center in Seoul to name a few. She is also a recipient of numerous international competitions as Carnegie hall competition, Hellam International young artist competition ,Aram Khachaturian International Competition among others.



Nami Ejiri600

Guest Artist, Pianist, Nami Ejiri

Nami wurde als Kind einer Pianistin in Tokyo geboren. Sie durfte, als beste Absolventin aller japanischen Hochschulen, vor der Kaiserlichen Familie von Japan spielen. Nami ist Preisträgerin zahlreicher internationaler Klavierwettbewerbe. So gewann sie u.a. beim Wettbewerb Vianna da Motta, Portugal. Ihre Konzerte in der Alten Oper Frankfurt und beim Kultursommer Nordhessen wurden vom Hessischen Rundfunk (HR) übertragen.

Nami's 2014 erschienene CD mit späten Werken von Franz Schubert, und 2016 erschienene CD mit Diabelli Variationen von verschiedenen Komponisten erregten bei den Fachmedien durch ihre feinsinnige Musikalität große Aufmerksamkeit. Nami engagiert sich, indem sie regelmäßig Benefitzkonzerte in Schulen und für die Opfer von Naturkatastrophen in Japan gibt.


In Kürze...

10.08.2024 |19:00 h
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08.09.2024 |20:00 h
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