Prof. Sontraud Speidel

Klavier · piano
Fachgruppe 5: Tasteninstrumente, Gitarre, Harfe (Keyboard, Guitar, Harp Department)
Prof. Sontraud Speidel

Sontraud Speidel studied with Irene Slavin and Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen in Karlsruhe, with Branka Musulin in Frankfurt, with Stefan Askenase in Brussels and with Géza Anda in Lucerne. She has been awarded several times at national and international competitions, including the 1st Prize of the Schools of the Federal Republic at the age of 16, the 1st Prize at the Johann Sebastian Bach Competition Washington (USA), the Jackson Prize of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for Interpretation of New Music and the Ettore Pozzoli Prize (Italy). Recitals, concerts with orchestra, appearances at festivals. Chamber concerts as well as radio recordings and master classes have taken her all over Europe, to the USA, Canada, Israel, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Brazil and Morocco. She was the soloist in the world premiere of the Concerto for Piano and 13 Instruments by David Winkler in Tanglewood (USA). In 1979, at the invitation of German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, she gave a piano recital at the Palais Schaumburg in Bonn. In Thessaloniki (Greece) she played the Greek premiere of the Piano Concerto by Alexander Scriabin. In Karlsruhe she played the world premiere of the "Variations on a Nocturne by Chopin" by Robert Schumann, newly discovered by Dr. Joachim Draheim. In Solingen, she was the soloist in the piano concerto "Crystal Games" by Violeta Dinescu, dedicated to her. In 2018, she performed the Quintet in D minor by Richard Fuchs (1887-1947), composed in 1941, as a premiere or first performance in Karlsruhe and Nancy (France) with the Stanislas Quartet.

Sontraud Speidel is professor of piano at the Karlsruhe University of Music, and was a member of the Senate and the University Council. She has been a visiting professor at numerous universities and conservatories in Europe, America and Asia and is a regular jury member at national and international competitions. Several contemporary composers have dedicated works to her and entrusted her with first performances (Papaioannou, Hessenberg, Dinescu). In 2000, in recognition of her special achievements, she was awarded the "Silver Decoration of Honor for Services to the State of Vienna" by the Viennese government. In 2002 she was music director of the International Piano Festival Taiwan in Taipei. In 2003, the International Vienna Music Seminar awarded her its highest honor, the Golden Josef-Dichler Medal. In 2005, she was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2011, she was honored by the Karlsruhe University of Music with the "Eugen Werner Velte Prize," awarded for the first time.

Today Sontraud Speidel is represented on more than 50 CDs. She was the first to record solo piano works by Fanny Hensel. Another CD with first recordings of this composer was released, as well as the first recording of the concert piece op. 33 for piano and orchestra by Carl Reinecke and all piano sonatas by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. Her recording of all Reger works for two pianos with Evelinde Trenkner was awarded 1st prize in the solo instrument category by "Audiophile Reference". In 2014, the recording of the arrangement of the 7th Symphony op. 92 by Ludwig van Beethoven for piano four hands and the Great Fugue op. 134 by Beethoven with Sontraud Speidel and Evelinde Trenkner received the Belgian "Joker Prize" of the magazine Crescendo. In 2019, she was awarded Opus Klassik.

As 1st chairwoman, Sontraud Speidel leads PIANO-PODIUM Karlsruhe e. V., an association of 800 members that promotes young pianists. This institution regularly organizes competitions for young pianists, each dedicated to a living composer. She is co-founder and artistic director of the concert series "Musikforum Hohenwettersbach" as well as artistic director of the concert series "Klassik im Schloss" of the Kulturfonds Baden e. V. The "Fonds Elisabeth Speidel", which she initiated, supports musical talents, for example with the Alfred Csammer Violin Competition, which was held for the first time in 2012. Since 2016, she has headed the regional committee of "Jugend musiziert" Karlsruhe.

Sontraud Speidel is a Steinway pianist, honorary member of the Werner Trenkner Society, the Tonkünstlerverband Baden-Württemberg and the Inner Wheel Club Nordschwarzwald.