Age is just a number. Frank Dupree, a 22-year-old pianist from Rastatt proved that despite his young age, he was still able to win the 40th annual German Music Competition. Founded way back in 1975, the German Music Competition (DMW), organised by the non-profit umbrella German Music Council, has been a platform towards launching a big career for artists such as Alban Gerhardt and Nils Mönkemeyer.

For those individuals who succeed at the DMW, many doors can open for them. This ranges from financial and other kinds of sponsorship to concert engagements around the country. Just this year alone, a total of 220 soloists as well as ensembles competed for awards in the categories such as piano, flute, oboe, horn, trombone, harp, harpsichord and chamber music.

Back in 1975, German orchestras were clamoring for young talent. During international competitions, the number of German musicians were few and far between. Furthermore, they were generally not very successful. This prompted the German Music Council to set up the German Music Competition, saying “To be internationally competitive, new generations of German musicians need support in their artistic development”.

Now, four decades after it first began, it is pretty hard to imagine music education in Germany without the DMW. Nowadays, the participating musicians strive for honors ranging from a debut CD production to long-term support measures such as arranged tours in concert halls nationwide. “No other competition in the world supports young musicians as intensely as this one,” stated Thomas Rabbow, the MW project head since 1993.

Those individuals who were successful in finishing the third round will receive scholarships under the heading “National Young Artists’ Select Concerts,” abbreviated in German as BAKJK. “It’s a big opportunity because they can get concert experience, network with organizers and meet other musicians with whom they may want to form chamber music ensembles,” added Thomas.

Frank Dupree was this year’s top prize winner. Aside from being a student of piano performance, Frank has also been conducting at the State University of Music and the Performing Arts in Stuttgart since 2011. In fact, in 2012, he took home the top honors at the International Hans von Bülow Competition in the category “Conducting from the Piano”. For the rest of the story, you can refer over here.

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