In 2008, when Minnaar made the decision to compete internationally, he took part in the Geneva Competition, where he was awarded a second prize. This was followed in 2010 by the Elisabeth Everts Prize and the award, as mentioned above, from the famous Brussels competition. It was particularly because of this latter award that the national and international spotlights began to focus on Minnaar.
Reviewers praised the natural quality of his playing, his musical intelligence, feeling for structure, modesty, and his solid work ethic: “a winning combination”. “A young pianist of international standing has appeared,“ wrote Peter de Bruin, reviewer for the NRC, in 2010.
In March of 2013, Hannes Minnaar made his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto under Herbert Blomstedt. This performance marked a new milestone in the career of the 28-year-old pianist. The invitation to perform in this concert was the result of the Third Prize won by Minnaar in 2010 at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels.
Minnaar’s talent had already attracted attention at the Amsterdam Conservatory, where he completed his studies summa cum laude under Jan Wijn. Soon afterwards he was invited to appear as a soloist with various orchestras. He worked with conductors including Marin Alsop, Frans Brüggen, and Edo de Waart. He appeared in recitals and was a guest at various festivals, many of them in France. For example, in 2013 Minnaar performed at the well-known piano festival in La Roque D’Anthéron, where all the most prominent members of the piano world make their appearance. Minnaar also performed at festivals in countries such as China and Bahrein. At the end of 2013 he will make his recital debut in Tokyo.
Hannes Minnaar received international acclaim after winning prizes at the Queen Elisabeth Competition (2010, 3rd prize) and the Geneva International Music Competition (2008, 2nd prize) and being awarded a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship (2011). He studied with Jan Wijn at the Amsterdam Conservatory, graduating with the highest distinction and took master classes with Menahem Pressler and Ferenc Rados. In addition, he studied organ with Jacques van Oortmerssen.
Minnaar was soloist with various orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, during which time he worked with conductors such as Marin Alsop, Ji 345; B 283;lohlvek, Herbert Blomstedt, Frans Brggen, Eliahu Inbal, Edo de Waart and Xian Zhang. He gives recitals in many European countries and around the world. He performed at the Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Konzerthaus (Berlin), Musashino Hall (Tokyo) and the Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory (Moscow) and was invited to the festivals of La Roque d’Anthron, Bordeaux (Jacobins) and Guangzhou.
His two solo albums are highly acclaimed. His debut album was awarded an Edison and Gramophone published a full-page article about this album. The same magazine wrote about his second album “Bach inspirations”: “After Minnaar’s debut album, this makes two hits in a row”. BBC Music Magazine selected it as “Instrumental choice of the month” with 5 stars.
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