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We are very glad to announce DIGITAL IMAL 2020. Updates following in next weeks.

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Corona crisis

Due to Corona-Virus the IMAL 2020 cannot take place.

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Start 2020

Applications for 2020 now open

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Field trip to Weimar

An exclusive field trip, organized by Oriol Plans-Casal, for IMAL 2018 participants takes place on September 09.

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Special concert

Join us for a special concert on September 05 at 18:00 in the Bundesverwaltungsgericht.

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26 nations

We welcome students from no less than 26 countries to IMAL this year!



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Christian A. Pohl

Dear students, dear citizens of Leipzig!

Welcome to the International Mendelssohn-Academy Leipzig! Inspiring master courses, exciting concerts and friendly encounters: Thanks to our outstanding professors, the fifth Academy, too, promises to become a special event not only for its participants, some of whom come from afar, but also for the audience from Leipzig. The young pianists have found their way to Leipzig from more than twenty different countries, united over all borders by their passionate dedication
to piano play and music.

Master courses are held all around the world. And yet, the International Mendelssohn-Academy Leipzig exerts a power of attraction of its own: The number of applicants by far outnumbers the students we can admit as active participants.
Admission to the daily masterclasses and the nightly concerts in the Academy’s Large Hall is free. When else do you have the opportunity to experience artistic work on such a high level at first hand? Not only professional musicians, but laymen, too, are cordially invited to attend the courses and immerse themselves into the fascinating world of musical masterpieces by Mendelssohn, Bach, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt and many other composers together with professors and students.
Come visit the International Mendelssohn-Academy Leipzig, meet young pianists from all over the world, listen to piano evenings rendered by the outstanding young talents and experience four legendary piano professors! We are looking forward to you!

Yours sincerely
Christian A. Pohl
Professor for Piano and Piano Methods
Head of Piano Department
Director of the International Mendelssohn-Academy Leipzig

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Gerald Fauth

Dear pianists from all over the world,

I would like to take the opportunity to inform you about the exceptional course concept of the International Mendelssohn-Academy Leipzig 2020 and cordially encourage you to apply for one of the sought-after master course places with four of the most prestigious piano teachers of our time. With its long-standing and oldest German conservatory of music, Leipzig now counts among Germany’s most sought-after places of study and abode.

Convince yourselves of the special flair of a town which is characterized by great history, but has yet remained young, reinventing itself every day without forgetting its traditions! You will find excellent course conditions: A concept which is well-wrought right down to the last detail, a perfect organization, highly experienced and inspiring professors, an attractive side program and a course atmosphere which is exceptionally cordial despite all professionality.

I would love to welcome you at HMT Leipzig end of August 2020 and predict that you will definitely have unforgettable and inspirational hours and days in Leipzig and its environs!

Yours sincerely,
Gerald Fauth
Professor for Piano and Chamber Music
Deputy Director for Teaching and Studying at the HMT Leipzig
Director of the International Mendelssohn-Academy

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Martin Kürschner

Dear pianists,
Ladies and Gentlemen!

When in 1843 Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy founded Germany’s first conservatory of music in Leipzig, he called the Bohemian pianist Ignaz Moscheles to Leipzig from London as one of the most outstanding piano instructors. Since that time, piano education has been one of the most important columns of this unique, internationally oriented institution, where Robert Schumann, Carl Reinecke, Max Reger and many other famous artists have worked.

With IMAL, the University of Music and Theatre takes up this tradition, inviting highly gifted pianists from all over the world to gain experience at this historical place and to further develop their own artistic expressive powers and bring them to perfection in the discourse with outstanding piano teachers.

Leipzig is looking forward to you – let yourselves be inspired by this wonderful city and experience an exciting time which will remain unforgettable to you.

I will be happy to welcome you here and look forward to meeting you!

Martin Kürschner

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Burkhard Jung

Dear Ladies and Gentleman, esteemed pianists, and honoured guests – welcome to Leipzig, a city of music.

To my great joy, the International Mendelssohn-Academy with its fifth edition in the year 2020, has not only become a small tradition, but also a true gem in our musical calendar. Over 250 young piano virtuosos from roughly 30 nations and of the worldwide most acclaimed music schools are in our city. Instructed by renowned, internationally teaching and concerting professors, they will encounter a highly committed audience in Leipzig, which will visit the publicly available masterclasses and concerts of the Mendelssohn-Academy with much curiosity and anticipation. This event is also a unique experience for the participating scholars: They will live with a host family, immerse themselves in the most important eras of the music metropolis Leipzig, witness the biggest composers of the past at authentic places and collect inspiration at historically important locations like the Mendelssohnhaus, the Gewandhaus, the opera house or the Hochschule für Musik und Theater – founded in 1843 as the first German academy of music by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. The success of the International Mendelssohn-Academy is established by the familial character and high aspiration that the two directors Gerald Fauth and Christian A. Pohl pursue since the beginning: The worldwide elite of the coming pianist generation shall be brought to perfection in Leipzig. A devoted and art enthusiastic audience shall be enthralled, while an artistic atmosphere is created, in which the competition is not the focal point, but a constructive cooperation.
Once again I wish the International Mendelssohn-Academy a high resonance and I am excited to see, how spectacular the event is promoting the city of Leipzig as a city of music.

Burkhard Jung,
Mayor of the city of Leipzig


Course information


Application deadline

June 1, 2020



Everyone can apply for an active participation. If there are more applications than places there will be a preselection. For this reason we ask all applicants to write a link to a youtube-video of them in the registration site for the participants (the login will be sent with the application confirmation). All participants will be informed 1-2 weeks after application deadline about the result.



Thursday, August 27, 2020, or Friday, August 28, 2020



There are lots of hotels in Leipzig with different prices. Please visit for more information.



Friday, August 28, 2020 at 4:00 pm in room 3.04 (University of Music and Theatre Leipzig, Grassistr. 8, 04107 Leipzig)


Friday, August 28, 2020, at 6:30 pm in the Large Hall of the University of Music and Theatre Leipzig (Grassistr. 8, 04107 Leipzig)



The masterclasses will take place daily from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Please see the local information concerning the exact dates.



The application fee costs 75€. The costs for active participation are 225€/masterclass (2 lessons each). All classes are public and free of entrance.



Participants concerts in the Large Hall of the University on
August 29, 2020 at 7:00 pm
August 30, 2020 at 7:00 pm
August 31, 2020 at 7:00 pm
September 1, 2020 at 7:00 pm
September 3, 2020 at 7:00 pm
September 4, 2020 at 7:00 pm
Admission is free.


Gala concert

The gala concert of the IMAL 2020 will take place on September 05, 2020 at 7:00 pm. Admission is free.



September 06, 2020



On September 06, 2020 there wil be an excursion for the participants of IMAL to musically important places in Weimar.






Pavel Gililov, who received his training as a student in the legendary Russian school of piano playing, is highly respected today as one of its exponents and champions.
He was born in 1950 in Donezk in the Soviet Union. Pavel Gililov graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory with distinction, and won the national Russian All-unions Competition while still a student in 1972. He was a prizewinner at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 1975 and three years later won a prize at the Viotti Competition in Vercelli.

Pavel Gililov is in demand both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. He has worked with great success with cellists Mischa Maisky and Boris Pergamenschikow as well as with violinists Viktor Tretjakov and Pierre Amoyal, among others. Today, he is a member of the Berlin Philharmonic Piano Quartet. As a professor, he teaches piano studies at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, while offering many masterclasses all over the world.

Pavel Gililov regularly serves as a jury member at international piano competitions. He is the chairman of the jury of the Telekom Beethoven Competition in Bonn.




Finnish pianist Matti Raekallio was born in Helsinki in 1954. He first studied in his home country, and subsequently with Maria Curcio in London, with Dieter Weber at the Vienna Academy of Music, and finally at the St. Petersburg Conservatory.
In 1981 Mr. Raekallio made his American debut at the Carnegie Hall in New York. In his concerts, he has performed cycles of the complete piano Sonatas of Beethoven, Scriabin, and Prokofiev, as well as altogether 62 piano concertos. He has made about 20 CDs, including an acclaimed set of the complete Prokofiev Sonatas.
For 30 years, he has taught at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, while also temporarily working as professor in Kungliga Musikhögskolan in Stockholm, Sweden, and at Western Michigan University, USA. In 2005, Mr. Raekallio became professor of the University of Music, Drama and Media Hanover, Germany. Two years later, he received the invitation to join the faculty of The Juilliard School in New York. From 2012 to 2014, he also worked as professor at Bard College Conservatory in New York State. His students include several first prizewinners in major international competitions. He regularly serves as a juror in them, and gives master classes in the USA, Europe and Asia.

In 2009, he became Honorary Doctor of the Estonian Academy of Music.




Jacques Rouvier was born in Marseille in 1947. In 1965 and 1967, he received the highest graduating grade of First Prize in Piano and in Chamber Music at the National Conservatory in Paris. He studied with Vlado Perlemuter, Jean Fassina and Jean Hubeau and was awarded prizes at renowned competitions such as Viotti in Vercelli, Maria Canals in Barcelona and Long-Thibaud in Paris.

In 1970, he founded the Trio Rouvier-Kantorow-Muller, which continues to perform today. In 1979, he received an appointment as a professor at the National Conservatory in Paris and since then has been invited to teach masterclasses all over the world. Jacques Rouvier has concertized and taught, particularly in Japan and South Korea, for many years with great success. In addition to his teaching position in Paris, he has assumed a position as a professor at the University of the Arts in Berlin.
Many of his students, including such internationally famous artists as Arcadi Volodos and Hélène Grimaud, have won prizes at international competitions and today are themselves recognized representatives of the musical life of our times. Jacques Rouvier‘s recordings on record and CD have been highly acclaimed by the public and have received many awards such as Grand Prix du Disque and Grand Prix du Disque Français. Jacques Rouvier is considered one of the world's profoundest and stylistically most confident connoisseurs of the entire piano repertoire.




The Israeli-born pianist Arie Vardi began his career as a performer at the age of 15. After winning the Israeli Chopin Competition, he performed with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta. After emerging as the winner of the Enescu Competition in Bucharest, he received many concert engagements in Europe. Despite these considerable obligations, Arie Vardi continued his piano studies in Basel with Paul Baumgartner and enrolled in composition classes with Pierre Boulez and Karl-Heinz Stockhausen. He has given guest performances worldwide with major orchestras directed by prominent conductors such as Bychkov, Masur, Paray and Zinman. His concert tours as a soloist brought him to Western and Eastern Europe, the United States, Asia and Australia. He has played the complete piano concertos of Bach and Mozart and has the complete repertoire of Debussy and Ravel at his command. His CDs with RCA have received international awards.
Arie Vardi, regarded as one of the world’s leading piano pedagogues, is Professor of Piano at the University of Music, Drama and Media in Hanover and at the Rubin Academy of Music of the Tel Aviv University. Over thirty of his students have won first prizes at international competitions. His many successes have led him to become one of the most sought-after professors and jurors of our time.

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Get an impression of the International Mendelssohn-Academy Leipzig:




Internationale Mendelssohn-Akademie Leipzig
Hochschule für Musik und Theater
Grassistraße 8
04107 Leipzig





Prof. Christian A. Pohl
Prof. Gerald Fauth

Oriol Plans-Casal

Social Media
Cäcilia Stapper
Nina Hunfeld

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Besonderer Dank

Rebekka Alpermann
Stefan du Toit
Frauke Thöne
Carmen und Isolde Dreßler
Anne Fritzen
Christoph Jäger
Nora Bartosik
Susanne Claus
Jinhee Kim
Kerstin Scholz

Mit großzügiger Unterstützung durch
Prof. Dr. Florian Stapper (IMAL 2014 & IMAL 2016 & IMAL 2018)
Anette Stapper (IMAL 2014 & IMAL 2016)
Gilbert Hönig (IMAL 2014)
Georg Herbert (IMAL 2012)
... und die Leipziger Gastfamilien


Mit freundlicher Unterstützung durch

Ostdeutsche Sparkassenstiftung
Edition Peters