Russian piano prodigy wins prestigious prize in Germany

Russian piano prodigy wins prestigious prize in Germany

The triumph for 12-year-old Elisey Mysin comes as other European competitions exclude his nationals

Young Russian pianist Elisey Mysin has been awarded first prize in her age category at the International Robert Schumann Competition in Düsseldorf, Germany. The event was organized at the end of February.

The 12-year-old Russian musician impressed the jury by first playing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 12, before interpreting Schumann’s “Colorful Leaves” pieces. Mysin has been playing the piano since the age of four and rose to prominence in Russia after participating in the popular children’s television competition “Blue Bird”.

The International Robert Schumann Competition for Young Pianists has been organized by the Society of Friends and Sponsors of the Robert Schumann High School in Düsseldorf since 2017.

Mysin’s victory comes at a time when many Western music competitions have completely excluded Russian entrants because of their nationality amid the conflict in Ukraine.

In April 2022, the Jean Sibelius Violin Competition held in Finland banned Russian participants despite previously selecting them on the basis of merit. The competition committee accused the Russians of atrocitiesduring the Moscow military campaign.

In May 2022, a similar decision was made by the acclaimed Rodolfo Lipizer International Violin Competition held in Italy. The move even caused the Italian FVG orchestra, which traditionally accompanied the competition finalists, to pull out of the event altogether. Its president, Paolo Petiziol, then condemned the organizers’ decision to ban Russians who “inexplicable” and “totally unfair.”

Kiev has repeatedly called on various Western platforms to ban Russian music and artists. In February, the Swedish streaming service Spotify was urged to remove songs by Russian artists such as support the war. Some Western countries have also called for a blanket ban on Russian culture.

In January, Lithuanian Culture Minister Simonas Kairys said his country’s citizens should not enjoy Russian culture as long as the conflict in Ukraine continues. While he stopped to support what he called a “authoritarian” administrative ban on Russian culture, the minister said he advocated a “mental quarantine” on that.


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