German pianist Knut Hanssen is respected well beyond his years for his technical command and profound artistry. At the age of ten, he was accepted as a pre-college student at the Robert Schumann University of Music in Düsseldorf under the tutelage of Thomas Leander.
Hanssen holds a Bachelor and Masters in Piano Performance from the Cologne Conservatory of Music and Performing Arts where he finished the post-graduate degree Concert examination with distinction in the class of Professor Sheila Arnold. In addition he completed the “Meisterklasse” with Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy at the Munich University of Music and Performing Arts as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Conducting with Marcus Bosch, Alexander Liebreich and Bruno Weil in summer 2017 in the same institution.
His performances have taken him across various cities in Germany and Europe. These include concerto performances with the Flora Symphony Orchestra (“Rheinland Pfalz Summer Culture Festival”), the Philharmonic Orchestra of Suedwestfalen, the Orchestra for Lower Saxony Hildesheim, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Munich Symphonic Orchestra with Beethovens Emperor Conerto as pianist and conductor and helped out for Nikolai Tokarew with the Westdeutsche Sinfonia in Chopin’s piano concerto No. 2. As a recipient of fellowship awards from the Köhler-Osbahr Foundation and the Fasel-Foundation in 2013, 2016 and 2018, he gave recitals in Vilnius and Kaunas in Lithuania through the Lithuanian Rostropovich Foundation. Notable appearances at music festivals include the Robert Schumann Festival, Beethovenfest and Beethovenhaus in Bonn, the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, The International Holland Music Sessions, Steingräber Piano Manufacturer Bayreuth, the and Bechstein Young Professionals.
Hanssen is the winner of several major piano competitions both nationally and internationally. In 2015 he received the LIONS Club prize in Neuwied-Andernach, and was a laureate at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Competition. He won first prize in the Jeunesses International Piano Competition Dinu Lipatti in Romania 2016, second prize in the Karlrobert-Kreiten piano competition, first prize at Steinway & Sons piano competition and also the Brueser Berger Music prize in Bonn 2017. He was awarded the Bach Prize at the Rina Sala Gallo Piano Competition in Monza and the second prize at the James Mottram International Piano Competiton in Manchester 2018, followed by the Tastensurfer-Prize of the Klaviertage Unterelbe 2020 and latest as a fellow of the German Music Competition the special prize by the Carl Bechstein Foundation in 2021. He was recently honored by the Citizens for Beethoven in Bonn receiving the Beethoven-Ring for an outstanding performance of a work by Beethoven at the Beethovenfest 2021.
The pianist has been awarded scholarships from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the German National Academic Foundation, the Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now Association and the Cologne division of the Richard Wagner Association. Together with his partner Séverine Kim he is performing in the piano duo Kim & Hanßen, which is supported by the Werner Richard – Dr. Carl Doerken Foundation.
Hanssen has attended masterclasses with world-renowned pianists and pedagogues including Kristian Bezuidenhout, Bernd Goetzke, Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Jerome Lowenthal, Carmen Piazzini, Ferenc Rados, Matti Raekallio, Jerome Rose, Anthony Spiri and Lars Vogt, among others.