International Anton Rubinstein Competition 2023 - WOODWIND - SAXOPHONE

21. & 22. October 2023, Dusseldorf

For years, the International Anton Rubinstein Competitions have enjoyed a great response. Especially in times marked by global crises, it is more important than ever to offer young musicians in their training and at the beginning of their careers platforms where they can test their skills and show themselves to the public. That is why our competitions have been held online since September 2021 – enabling candidates from all over the world to participate.
Conducting the competitions online gives the young participants a particularly large audience, as the videos of all finalists are documented on our website and the award winners are announced on our social media platforms.
The juries include lecturers from the International Music Academy Anton Rubinstein and renowned guests.


Wardy Hamburg

Wardy Hamburg, born and raised in the Netherlands, studied at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Arno Bornkamp and at the Robert Schumann-Hochschule in Düsseldorf with John-Edward Kelly. Hamburg was a prize-winner in important competitions, winning the Wolfgang Jacobi Competition for Modern Chamber Music in Munich. The Yehudi Menuhin Society of London supported her as a scholarship holder. The internationally sought-after saxophonist regularly performs as a soloist and chamber musician at renowned festivals. Concert tours have taken her to South America, Finland, Russia and Portugal. Hamburg has played in the Raschèr Saxophone Orchestra, with the Ensemble Modern, the Bochumer Symphoniker and the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen. With pianist Nageeb Gardizi, she released the critically acclaimed album “Undulations”. Since 2015, Wardy Hamburg has been a lecturer at the renowned Anton Rubinstein International Music Academy in Düsseldorf.

Martin Kevenhörster

Martin Kevenhörster is deputy principal bassoonist of the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra. He completed his training at the Folkwang Hochschule Essen with Dag Jensen and Gustavo Nuñez, completed by master classes with Klaus Thunemann, among others. In addition to orchestral playing, he devotes himself to chamber music as a member of several ensembles. He was a scholarship holder of the “Villa Musica” Foundation and received the Folkwang Prize in 1993. Martin Kevenhörster has played in various orchestras (including the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble Modern). Since 1996 he has been principal bassoonist of the Cologne Chamber Orchestra. With this and other orchestras, tours have also taken him as a soloist through Europe, Asia and the USA.

Lilja Steininger

Lilja Steininger was born in 1994 in Berlin as the child of two musicians. In her youth she achieved 1st prize at national level in the ‘Jugend musiziert’ competition for six consecutive years. At the age of 14 she made her debut as a soloist with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in the series ‘Solo für junge Preisträger’. In the same year, Lilja Steininger successfully passed the entrance examination for the Julius Stern Institute at the University of the Arts in Berlin, where she studied as a young student in the flute class of Christiane Hellmann and Prof. Roswitha Staege until 2012. She then began her studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna in the flute class of Prof. Hansgeorg Schmeiser. At the age of 20, Lilja Steininger became an academist at the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. There she participated in numerous rehearsals and concerts, took part in festivals and tours and performed as a soloist and chamber musician in concerts of the orchestra academy.
With her sister, the pianist Aniele Steininger, she founded the Steininger Duo in 2010. Since then they have performed regularly in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. In 2018 they won the special prize ‘Best Duo’ in the international ‘Anton Rubinstein Chamber Music Competition’. Lilja Steininger has won numerous international competitions, including 1st prize at the ‘Osaka International Music Competition’ in Japan or 3rd prize at the ‘UNISA Flute and Clarinet Competition’ in Pretoria (South Africa). She was also a scholarship holder of the ‘Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben’, the ‘Peters-Beer- Stiftung’ and the ‘Richard-Wagner-Stipendienstiftung’. From 2015 to 2019 she participated as solo flutist in projects of the Russian-German Music Academy under the direction of Valery Gergiev. Lilja Steininger has played solo concerts with renowned orchestras, including the Tonkünstler Orchestra of Lower Austria, the German Symphony Orchestra of Berlin and the Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra of Gdansk. In 2015 she made her debut with the Berliner Musikfreunde Orchestra in the great hall of the Berlin Philharmonie. Since 2019 Lilja Steininger has been principal flute of the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra.

Since the winter semester 21/22, Lilja Steininger has been teaching flute at the Anton Rubinstein International Music Academy in Düsseldorf.

Ma Li

Ma Li, an associate professor at Nanjing University of the Arts, a master tutor, director of the Asian Flute Union, and executive director of the Jiangsu Wind Music Association, boasts an impressive academic and professional background. She is an alumna of the Affiliated High School of Nanjing University of the Arts and Shanghai Music College. In 2006, she was admitted to the inaugural Master of Fine Arts program at NUA, achieving the highest score in her major. During her studies, she had the privilege of learning from esteemed professors such as Zhang Zhihua, Liu Pin, He Shengqi, and Chen Jianhua.

Ma Li’s artistic journey includes numerous noteworthy accomplishments. Commencing in 1998, she has captivated audiences with a series of solo and duet performances, showcasing her exceptional musical talents. Notably, in 2004, her dedication to teaching was recognized when her students secured the third prize in the youth category of the First National Flute Competition of Art Colleges and Universities, an event organized by the Ministry of Culture of China. Her commitment to excellence was further affirmed in 2009 when she received the Woodwind Quintet award at the prestigious Golden Bell Awards hosted by the China Musicians Association.

Since then, Ma Li’s influence has extended far and wide. Many of her students have triumphed in the “Little Golden Bell” competition, attaining gold and silver awards. Furthermore, her guidance has propelled students to secure top positions, including the coveted role of chief flutist, within renowned orchestras such as Sichuan, Shanghai, and Jiangsu symphony orchestras. Ma Li’s dedication to music education and her students’ accomplishments stand as a testament to her unwavering commitment and profound impact in the world of music.

Gisela Hellrung

Gisela Hellrung, born in Düsseldorf, studied oboe at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart with Prof. Ingo Goritzki and was a scholarship holder of the German National Academic Foundation until her concert exam in 1996. After winning several first prizes at the “Jugend musiziert” competition in the oboe solo and chamber music categories, she won the International Chamber Music Competition Osaka with the Delos Wind Quintet in 1993 and the German Music Competition in 1994.

From 1994-1995 she played for a year in the solo position with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and has been principal oboe of the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra since 1996.

Since April 2010, Gisela Hellrung has been a lecturer for oboe at the Anton Rubinstein International Music Academy.

 Competition awards

  • 1st prize
  • 2nd prize
  • 3rd prize

 Participants - I. Round

  • Igor Chyrc, Polen
  • Tomer George Cohen, Israel
  • Mara Teodora Dedea, Deutschland
  • Luis Maria Gonzalez Jimenez, Spanien
  • Doron Hazan, Frankreich
  • Qi Li, China
  • Ze bin Wang, China
  • Youngseok Yun, Südkorea
  • Ostap Zelyk, Ukraine

 Conditions and FAQ

• The International Anton Rubinstein Competitions are organised online by the International Music Academy Anton Rubinstein Düsseldorf.
• Students and professional musicians of all nations can take part in these competitions with their videos, without any age limit (with the exception of the Junior Competitions, which are open to children aged 8 to 12 and young people aged 12 to 15).

How do the competitions work? 
• There are two rounds: the first round and the final round.
• After the registration deadline, the names of the candidates who participated in the first round will be published on our website on the date specified in the tender.
• The jury will decide on the admission of a maximum of 16 candidates to the final after the first round on the date specified in the tender.

What happens if I am in the final? 
• All names and videos of the finalists will be published on our website on the dates specified in the tender.
• The candidates do not have to do anything else. They will be informed by email that they are in the final.
• No new video is required for the final round – the jury’s decision will be based on the material submitted with the entry deadline.

What happens if I am not in the final? 
• All candidates in the first round will receive a certificate of participation by email.

What are the prizes?  
• The results of the final round will be announced by email to the winners on the date specified in the tender and published on our website and social media channels.
• All winners will receive a certificate documenting the competition prize by e-mail.
• All other finalists will receive a certificate by email stating that they have participated in the final round.

How can I register for the competition?
• To register, candidates need the following documents:
– Biography (in Word only)
–  Photo
– Video links (YouTube only)
– Proof of payment of the participation fee (PayPal or bank transfer only).
The participation fee is 100 € (Early Booking 75 € until the date published in the announcement). The participation fee is to be paid exclusively via PayPal (here) or the following bank account:
Friends and Sponsors of the Anton Rubinstein Academy
IBAN: DE56 3022 0190 0364 0117 17 
• When making payment, it is essential to state the full name of the participant(s) and the desired competition.
• The participation fee will not be refunded under any circumstances.

How should I make the recording? 
• The programme can be chosen freely, with a duration of approximately 30 minutes.
• Candidates may submit one or more YouTube video links.
• The YouTube video links should be submitted directly at the time of registration, but may still be submitted by e-mail up to the registration deadline for the respective competition.
• No new videos will be accepted after the registration deadline.
• The videos will be used for judging in both rounds. Finalists do not have to submit new videos.

What are the legal conditions?
• With their registration, participants allow the organiser to freely dispose of the photo, sound and video recordings submitted to the competition for the purpose of documentation and public relations on its website and social media channels.
• The jury’s decision is final.
• All registration deadlines and dates can be found in the announcement of the respective competition on our website.
• With their registration, the candidates confirm their agreement with the competition conditions.

  • Schedules are being worked on and will be published soon.