Educated in Hanover, Berlin and London, pianist Paul Cibis has performed on five continents, establishing an international career. He has played solo and duo recitals at festivals in his native Germany, France, the UK, the US, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Paul also appeared on electronic medias around the world, including the BBC, WDR, 3Sat, ORB, HR, RTHK and CCTV.Following his interest in presenting classical music in unique and innovative ways, he created the PIANO BATTLE concert brand which he co-developed with fellow pianist Andreas Kern. Their acclaimed shows have been performed in major venues and festivals in Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Canada, the US and Australia, including the Beethovenfest Bonn, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Klavierfestival Ruhr, Rheingau Musik Festival, the Prinzregententheater Munich, Berlin Philharmonie, Melbourne Recital Hall, Seoul Arts Center and the National Concert Hall Taipei.Paul has also been involved in various film projects. He penned the music scores for several short films, and was the initiator as well as music supervisor of the international award-winning documentary PIANOMANIA.His CD recordings include an album of French mélodies and piano works by Berlioz, Fauré and Debussy, with German mezzo-soprano Barbara Senator, and a solo album featuring the Taiwanese composer Kai-nan Huang.Paul Cibis conducted solo piano and Lied workshops at music academies in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and South Korea. He is the co-director of the annual Philomel Music Academy summer course, and a founding member and current chairman of the international Peter Feuchtwanger Society.Paul Cibis studied piano with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling (HMTM Hanover), Peter Feuchtwanger (London), Eugene Asti and Graham Johnson (GSMD). Furthermore he read musicology and philosophy in Berlin and at the Royal Holloway, University of London. From 2005 to 2009, Paul was a vocal coach at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance. He was also an adjudicator for pianists at the Hong Kong Music & Speech Festival competition in 2014 and 2019.
"As the competition got white-hot, the performers and the audience found themselves unable to sit back down… as the crowd looked on, nervous and excited, immersed in the beauty and tension of the music … And when the smoke clears, the only thing that’s been defeated is the barrier between classical music and the audience."
(map Magazine, China)
"The Piano Battle between the two men facing each other at the grand pianos is a publicly staged and artfully performed contemplation of the classical concert business as well as classical music itself. Andreas Kern and Paul Cibis purposefully present their expertly executed craft in the wrong – an athletic - context and let the unique qualities of their performance shine even brighter this way. Between the comedic remarks and over the course of a lovely Schubert Impromptu and a biting Ligeti piece, they compel the audience to engage in the focused mindfulness that is necessary to truly appreciate music."
(Berliner Morgenpost, Germany)
Paul Cibis and Andreas Kern originally created the concept for the Hong Kong City Festival in 2010. Since then PIANO BATTLE has been performed for sold-out audiences in Europe, the United States and Asia – including the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, Seoul Arts Center and an open air spectacle before 6,000 fans in Taiwan.Since its Germany premiere in Berlin in 2012, the show has also been well-received in Europe and North America with invitations to venues and festivals such as the Beethovenfest Bonn, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Klavierfestival Ruhr, Rheingau Musik Festival, the Prinzregententheater München, Berliner Philharmonie, Melbourne Recital Centre, Seoul Arts Center, Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, Beijing Concert Hall und National Concert Hall Taipei; and at Piano City Festivals in Milano & Naples, Italy.Andreas Kern and Paul Cibis have expanded their concept - in 2016 with the premiere of their show sequel “PIANO BATTLE Ready for Fame”, and in 2017 with “PIANO BATTLE meets ORCHESTRA”. They are currently developing 2 new shows, one of them featuring the music of Beethoven, the other consisting of their own musical material and arrangements.
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Education is one the most rewarding activities one can engage in as a musician. I was fortunate to start my path as an assistant of Prof Peter Feuchtwanger, who mentored many of the world's leading concert pianists.One of my long-term passion has always been the research on healthy piano techniques that prevent and successfully treat any playing-related injuries such as tendonitis, exostosis and focal dystonia etc. In London, I assisted Prof Feuchtwanger at several master classes and workshops for the International Society for Study of Tension in Performance (ISSTIP) and the European Piano Teachers Association (EPTA) in London.
Today, I am one of the founding members and current chairman of the international PETER FEUCHTWANGER SOCIETY. The society supports musicological and pedagogical research projects through the annual Feuchtwanger Piano Symposium and the establishment of a Peter Feuchtwanger Archive.
Whenever my performing schedule allows, I am keen to meet the next generation of musicians. Over the years, I have been invited to conduct master classes and workshops for pianists in Germany, UK, US, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea (Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Shanghai Normal University, Xinghai Conservatory of Music Guangzhou, China, Yamaha Centre Taichung, Taiwan, and Keongnam Arts High School Jinju, South Korea).
In 2016, together with my colleague Pavel Timofeyevsky, I founded the Oxford Piano School, an annual piano course held in conjunction with the Oxford Cello School’s summer festival in Oxford, UK. Since 2021, this summer course has extended and continued as PHILOMEL MUSIC ACADEMY, now taking place at Menhuin School, London.
The international award-winning documentary PIANOMANIA (2009), is the culmination of another musical project that I am proud to have initiated. Based on the eclectic character of Steinway technician Stefan Knüpfer who was an old acquaintance of mine, my brother film-maker Robert Cibis produced a film about Knüpfer's life and work with various pianist personalities. I was also the music supervisor during its filming and post production period.
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- 2002 - 2012: Assistant of Prof. Peter Feuchtwanger in London and at master classes and workshops of the International Society for Study of Tension in Performance (ISSTIP) and the European Piano Teachers Association (EPTA) in London - Intensive experience in dealing with physiological aspects of piano playing and successful treatment of playing-related problems and injuries such as tendonitis, exostosis, focal dystonia etc
- 2003 - 2005: Professional accompanist at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London
- Since 2004: Master classes and workshops for pianists in Germany, UK, USA, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea
- 2005 - 2009: Vocal coach at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, London
- 2007 - 2009: Lieder master classes and concerts at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou, China
- 2009: Lieder workshop in Durban, South Africa (Amazwi Omzansi Africa Foundation)
- 2009, 2010 & 2014: Adjudicator for pianists at the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival Competition, and at Great Melody School, Hong Kong
- 2009 - 2019: Annual master class at Keongnam Arts High School Jinju, South Korea
- Since 2016: Co-Founder or the annual Oxford Piano School / Philomel Music Academy summer course
- Since 2018: Founding member and current chairman of the international Peter Feuchtwanger Society
- 2021: Lieder workshop at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), Singapore
Performances & Piano Battle
- Since 1998: Solo and duo recitals at festivals in his native Germany, France, the UK, the US, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand
- Since 2000: Radio & TV performances for various media stations around the world, including the BBC, WDR, 3Sat, ORB, HR, RTHK and CCTV
- 1999 - 2003: Pianist of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie orchestra (e.g. soloist in "Petroushka" by Stravinsky), also member of the programme committee; concerts with the orchestra in Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Spain
- 2001 - 2015: Pianist of the German vocalist Eva Meier in over 100 recitals performing an extensive range of the German Literary Chanson repertoire (Weill, Eisler, Hollaender, Spoliansky, Peer Raben etc)
- 2007: World premiere performance of the song cycle 7 Art Songs by Tony Hymas (together with mezzo-soprano Monica Brett-Crowther in London, with BBC recording)
- Since 2012: Co-Creator of the PIANO BATTLE concert brand. Performances at venues & festivals in Europe, Asia and the US including the Beethovenfest Bonn, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Klavierfestival Ruhr, Rheingau Musik Festival, the Prinzregententheater Munich, Berlin Philharmonie, Seoul Arts Center or National Concert Hall Taipei.
- 1991: Film score for the short movie "Der deutsche Mittagstisch", published by CIRO Film, Germany
- 2008 - 2009: Initiator and music supervisor of the international award-winning documentary "Pianomania", produced by OVALmedia Berlin, Germany
- 1992: Ibach-Prize for Outstanding Pianists
- 1994: Bayreuth scholarship of the Richard Wagner Foundation
- 2000 - 2001: Scholarship of the Erasmus/Socrates programme of the European Union
- 2013 - 2014: Scholarship for the Concerto21 Summer Academy & Mentorship Programme of the Alfred Toepfer Foundation F.V.S. in Hamburg, Germany
- 2004: Solo and duo recordings on two albums of the Waiteata Collection Of New Zealand Music (Volumes VIII & IX)
- 2009: "La Bonne Chanson", an album of French songs and piano solo music, recorded together with mezzo-soprano Barbara Senator, published by Music Chamber, London
- 2011: "The Story In Mind", a solo album of piano pieces by composer Kai-nan Huang, released by ArchiMusic, Taipei
- 1994 - 1998: Studies piano with Prof. Karl-Heinz Kämmerling at Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien (HMTM) in Hanover, Germany (Diploma in 1998)
- 1998 - 2001: Reads musicology and philosophy at Humboldt University, University of Art in Berlin, and Royal Holloway, University of London
- 2001 - 2003: Postgraduate student at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, studying with Graham Johnson, Eugene Asti and Robin Bowman (MMus in 2002)
- 1998 - 2004: Private student of Prof Peter Feuchtwanger, London
- 1996 - 2004: Master classes and private lessons with Sergio Fiorentino, Hartmut Höll, Irwin Gage, Christa Ludwig, Sarah Walker, Thomas Hampson and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
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