The professor

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The piano class of Prof. Robert Leonardy presents itself twice a year to the public and the press:

An example from the field of work: 15 February 2005, Great Concert Hall of the University of Music Saar.

  • Chopin, Waltz: Hyum-Kyung Bae, South Korea
  • Mozart, Fantasy in C minor: Marceau Allibe, France
  • Mozart, Sonata in F major: Elena Reichert, Russia
  • Liszt, Concert Étude: Yo Seong Ma, South Korea
  • Chopin, Piano concerto in F minor: Aya Ito, Japan
  • Beethoven, Variations on a theme by Salieri: Plamena Mangova, Bulgaria (runner-up at the International Competition Reine Elisabeth 2007)
  • Saint-Saens, Piano concerto no.2: Kim Hae Jung, South Korea
  • Prokofieff, Piano concerto no.2: Kajuyo Ueno, Japan
  • Ravel, Le Tombeau de Couperin: Maho Nagano, Japan
  • Prokofieff, Sonata no.7: Marlo Thinnes, Germany
  • Rachmaninoff, Piano concerto no.2: Anna Meder, Russia

Together with his assistant Prof. Jean Micault Prof. Robert Leonardy prepares the prospective pianists of the international piano class for their future occupation. That does not mean, by the way, that all students are trainded for a pianist´s career, but depending on their ability they are also educated to take up music teaching as a solid basis for a job.

Robert Leonardy was a member of the jury of many international piano competitions, e.g. of the ARD Music Competition in Munich.

Saarbrücker Zeitung, 17 February 2006

Four hours and a „wunderkind“ Performance of piano students

Saarbrücken. On Wednesday Professor Robert Leonardy’s piano class at the University of Music Saar presented itself to the public in the concert hall of the university. There are many of them – and among them even a 12-year-old promising young talent, the little French Jonathan Fournel. The majority of the students are women and come from the Far East. Twelve students are from Korea and Japan, two from France, one is from each the Ukraine, Russia and Germany. The piano marathon on Wednesday took more than four hours, all should have the chance to show their level of proficiency. The varied and captivating programme guaranteed good entertainment, so that much of the audience was stimulated to stay until the very end. All young artists (we can only mention a few) have a powerful keystroke and a profound pedal technique. This makes for sound and stability. For example Mie Schaku, who in the first movement of Hummel’s Concerto for piano A minor showed a virtuous fluency or Tae-Yeon Shim who with a strong left hand gave an individual touch to an excerpt of Beethoven’s Opus 110. The Korean Yo Seong Ma was brilliant at Ravel’s Concerto in G major. A special sense of German romantic music was displayed by Maho Nagano in Schumann’s Sonata in G minor. Worth mentioning is also Thomas Betz who at the second piano provided for a reliable realisation of the parts.

A virtuoso performance: Marlo Thinnes

Quite unrivalled seemed the performance of Marlo Thinnes from the Saarland – a real virtuoso who played Busoni’s “Carmen Fantasia” with extraordinary effortlessness and performed magic in his daring presentation of Liszt’s popular second “Hungarian Rhapsody”. Equally unrivalled – considering his age – was the performance of Jonathan Fournel. The boy from the little village of Insviller in Lorraine is only 12 years old. Being a highly-gifted pupil he need not attend school. But shortly before he was due to appear on stage he had disappeared, the programme was changed. Found again Jonathan amazed the audience with a “thunderstorm” (Orage) of octaves from Liszt’s “Pélerinage”. He showed a surprising technique and strength and also a keen sense of effects which he was able to use with admirable concentration. It remains to be seen whether it is already justified to call him “the new French piano miracle”. His family and his teachers will have the responsibility to further the talented young boy in such a way that he can develop naturally.

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