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'I was lucky to win the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition when I was still in school, that way I could perform a lot early on. I could figure out what music was right for me and possible audiences.'

Ralph van Raat

Dutch pianist Ralph van Raat won the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition in 1999. This meant the first Dutch winner of the competition in 25 years. At only 21 years old, Ralph van Raat stormed through the preliminary rounds to the final, and won the first prize.

This genuine champion of new music doesn’t shy away from any challenge. In a short time he mastered a gigantic repertoire, with many compositions written especially for him. He is also a passioned and charismatic advocate for contemporary music. Van Raat usually wins many hearts with his accessible music explanation at his concerts.

Ralph van Raat is congratulated by jury members Irvine Arditti and Claude Helffer

Ralph van Raat, winner of the Gaudeamus concours, remains modest: “I study even harder now.”

For the 75th anniversary of Gaudeamus, we commissioned Karen Tanaka – winner of the Gaudeamus Composers Award 1987 – to write a sequel to her Techno Etudes for Ralph van Raat. This piece was then scheduled to be performed during a tour through The Netherlands and abroad. One of those performances was turned into a live stream and can be watched again below: