The Hans von Bülow Competition in Meiningen is a prestigious piano competition that brings together talented young musicians from around the world to showcase their skills. Named after Hans von Bülow, an outstanding German conductor and pianist of the 19th century, the competition has a rich history. As a partner of the Max Reger Conservatory, a team from doozzoo was present to facilitate masterclasses using their platform and support educators in integrating digital tools.
doozzoo was not the only participant in the competition; renowned piano manufacturer C. Bechstein was among the partners, providing some of their high-quality instruments. One of the grand pianos was even equipped with the VARIO system.
We are thrilled to have been part of such an important competition, creating new synergies between tradition and modernity.
The Connection between Hans von Bülow & Carl Bechstein:
The relationship between Hans von Bülow and Carl Bechstein dates back to 1855 and is marked by a close friendship. Von Bülow was enthralled by the instruments crafted by C. Bechstein and highly valued their exceptional quality and pure sound. These pianos became an integral part of Von Bülow’s musical career.
The choice of Meiningen as the venue for this competition also has a significant reason. Hans von Bülow served as the Kapellmeister of the Meininger Hofkapelle for several years, elevating its international reputation. He took the orchestra on a European tour and successfully collaborated with renowned composers such as Richard Wagner and Johannes Brahms.
Likewise, it seems only fitting that the Hans von Bülow Competition features C. Bechstein instruments. The excellent playability and warm tone were well-received by everyone involved, highlighting the participants’ skills.
The Successful Integration of doozzoo at the Max Reger Conservatory
The collaboration between doozzoo and the Max Reger Conservatory provided an ideal framework to nurture young talents and support their musical development. As part of C. Bechstein Digital, we demonstrated the possibilities of digital music education during the Hans von Bülow Competition.
doozzoo has been successfully implemented at the Max Reger Conservatory since 2020. Each room is equipped with a network connection, comprehensive Wi-Fi coverage is available, and some group rooms are already equipped with smartboards. This seamless integration allowed classes to continue uninterrupted, especially during the pandemic. Today, both students and teachers have the option to switch to online lessons when needed. Even in face-to-face teaching, doozzoo has gained popularity among educators. The use of digital tools ultimately yields high impact: students learn faster, retain knowledge more effectively, and generally stay motivated.
Masterclasses with doozzoo
As part of the competition, doozzoo facilitated masterclasses. Participants who had already been eliminated and left Meiningen had the unique opportunity to have personal feedback sessions with one of the jurors through doozzoo. These interactive sessions allowed the artists to delve into the details of their performances. Thanks to the high audio quality of the transmission, even the finest nuances of interpretation could be discussed.
The jurors were present at the Max Reger Conservatory in Meiningen during the masterclasses, with access to a grand piano equipped with the VARIO system. This allowed them to use the virtual piano in doozzoo and visualize the keys being played. The eliminated participants were located in Hannover and Vilnius, Lithuania. Both had stable internet connections, ensuring smooth masterclass sessions.
Detailed feedback sessions are typically not possible during such competitions. Usually, once eliminated, participants promptly depart to minimize additional hotel costs. On the other hand, jurors require flexibility in their scheduling. By utilizing doozzoo, the needs of both groups could be met.
The core of the setup was a MacBook Pro, connected via USB to the following devices:
- Interface (Yamaha AG03)
- Microphone (sE V7)
- Optional USB microphone (audio-technica AT2020 USB)
- Control monitor
- iPhone (via Wi-Fi) as an additional webcam focused on the jurors’ hands.
For the masterclasses, our team set up a dedicated workshop room (PRO and EDU licenses) in doozzoo. The participants received the link in advance via email, allowing them to join the video conference without prior doozzoo registration. The jurors comfortably sat at the conservatory, leaving all technical matters to our team.
Inspiring doozzoo Live Seminars: In addition to the competition events, the Max Reger Conservatory, under the guidance of its director Heiko Denner, organized inspiring doozzoo live seminars. Teachers from the conservatory and invited guests from the local community participated, engaging in discussions on the integration of digital tools in education.
Dominic Baumann and Thomas Gier presented the latest developments of the doozzoo platform and its new applications. The focus extended beyond online lessons to include in-person teaching as well. The demonstration on the smartboard garnered particular excitement, showcasing the full potential of doozzoo.
doozzoo + VARIO = Brand New Possibilities
An impressive innovation took center stage during the masterclasses and seminars: the integration of the VARIO system with a C. Bechstein grand piano. This unique technology bridges the analog and digital worlds, allowing an unaltered playing experience on a real piano or grand piano. Key and pedal movements are captured by light sensors and converted into digital information.
Through this integration, the virtual piano in doozzoo can be played with an acoustic instrument, enabling students to follow along even more effectively. In group lessons, it eliminates the need for students to crowd around the piano to observe the instructor’s playing.
This innovative technology captivated both jury members and educators. It merges traditional craftsmanship with digital possibilities, opening up new creative horizons. By integrating digital technologies and recognizing the timeless craftsmanship of C. Bechstein, doozzoo unleashes entirely new opportunities in music education.
We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals and institutions:
- Heiko Denner, Director of the Max Reger Conservatory, for his dedicated support and collaboration in integrating doozzoo.
- Stephanie Erben, on-site organizer, for her exceptional work and commitment to making the Hans von Bülow Competition a success.
- The Carl Bechstein Foundation for their generous support and providing their high-quality grand pianos, enriching the competition and the musical experience.
- The entire jury of the competition, particularly jury leader Christian Wilm Müller, who, with their expertise and passion for music, contributed to the success of the competition.
- All seminar participants who enriched the discussions with their openness and enthusiasm, creating an inspiring exchange.
- Finally, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to all participants and winners of the Hans von Bülow Competition. Your musical talents and dedication are an inspiration to us all, and we wish you continued success on your musical journey.
Hans von Bülow Competition: International Hans von Bülow Competition
Max Reger Conservatory: Max Reger Conservatory Meiningen
Carl Bechstein Foundation: Homepage – Carl Bechstein Foundation
C. Bechstein: www.bechstein.com