Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg recently won the 2013 Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels.

World-renowned Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg has won the 2013 Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels due to his originality, flawless technique, and emotional performance. According to the judges, he gave an “impeccable and unusually moving rendition of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3.” Giltburg won a cash prize of $32,450 from the competition’s fund and another $3,245 from the VRT broadcaster.

Giltburg was born in Russia, made Aliyah to Israel when he was a young child and has spent most of his life living in Tel Aviv. He started to play the piano at age five and studied under Arie Vardi. He was very excited about his recent success. “It’s incredible. This feels fantastic,” Giltburg said upon receiving the award. “My performance must have been appreciated by the jury. I am very grateful to the jury for giving me first place. I will try to cherish this victory and get the most out of it.”

The Queen Elisabeth Competition, which was established in 1951 and is marking its 75th anniversary this year, is considered very prestigious and many people who have won this competition have moved on to have thriving careers as musicians. The competition includes a piano, voice, composition, and violin component. This is not the first time that an Israeli has won this particular competition. In 1971, Miriam Fried won the violin category of the Queen Elizabeth Competition.

Giltburg has won other major music competition as well. In 2002, he won the top prize and audio prize at Santander Music Festival and in 2011, Giltburg won second place in the International Arthur Rubinstein Piano Master Competition, which is the highest rank that any Israeli has ever gotten in that particular competition. In 2008, he was also short-listed for the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award.

Giltburg regularly plays in all of the leading recital series and orchestras in Israel. He has also performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, DSO Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Danish Radio Symphony, and the Prague Symphony. He has even performed in the United States, New Zealand, Japan, China, and South America. The Daily Telegraph gives Giltburg’s performing abilities five stars, claiming that he gives “powerful, intuitive performances, executed with stylistic understanding and arresting presence.”

To watch Giltburg’s winning performance at the Queen Elizabeth Competition see below!

By Rachel Avraham, staff writer for United with Israel