The first jury I served on, I was determined that only the best would win. I suggested to my fellow jurors that we select somebody who could shine in Carnegie Hall rather than play like a well-schooled student. Everybody agreed. We all ranked each pianist and tabulated the results not once, but twice. The pianist who got the most points won. Nevertheless the outcome was disheartening. I thought the silver medalist was outstanding. After the award winners’ gala, I remarked that the second prizewinner would probably become world famous while the recipient of the jury prize might be forgotten. I glanced at my fellow judges — all seasoned musicians — hoping to provoke strong reactions that would betray the culprits who’d propelled the winner to the top. Instead, everybody laughed, and some said, “We’ll see.” And, “Don’t be so sure.”

Israela Margalit – playwright, television and screen writer, author, concert pianist and recording artist – gives some forthright and less than complimentary insights into the world of international piano competitions.

Read the full article here

The winner of the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, one of the UK’s most prestigious international music prizes has been announced in Hastings, UK.

Fumiya Koido 003
Fumiya Koido Winner of the 2019 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition

First prize winner was Fumiya Koida from Japan who gave a stunning performance of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and won a cash prize of £15,000 plus future concerto performance engagements with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and additional performance opportunities in both the UK and the USA.

Second Prize Winner was awarded to Maxim Kinasov from Russia, who gave an impressive performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 in B flat minor Op.23 and received a cash prize of £7,000. Kinasov also received the special ‘Orchestra Prize’ voted for by players of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and in addition will receive future performance engagements.

Now revered as one of the UK’s premier classical competitions, the competition took place in the creative hub of Hastings, culminating in a live 2 day sell-out final at The White Rock Theatre with 6 finalists all playing a full concerto with the RPO, one of The world’s most revered orches-tras.

The competition becomes a biennial event from 2019 and continues its relationship with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the world’s leading orchestras,
The 2019 competition enjoyed national and international reach with over 176 entries from 26 countries, with live auditions having taken place in Japan, China, USA, Italy and in the UK. 49 contestants were invited to compete during the competition stages in Hastings, with winning performers being selected to compete in the semi-final and the live finals.

Addtional Prize Winners are as follows:

Third Prize – Eric Guo – Canada
Fourth Prize – Yunanfan Yang – UK
Fifth Prize – Sylvia Yang – New Zealand
Sixth Prize – Alexander Yau – Australia

Special Prize of £1,000 Awarded to a British Contestant reaching the Final –
Yuanfan Yang

Congratulations to all the prize winners

 


(source: A-Star PR)

logoTo the House of Commons this week for the launch of this year’s Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition (HIPCC), at a gala event hosted by Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd. Not only was this an opportunity to see inside the House of Commons (which was fascinating and intriguing), it was also a chance to find out more about the revamped competition, catch up with musical friends and colleagues, and make new connections.

The HIPCC has its origins in the Hastings Music Festival which dates back over 100 years, and early winners of the piano classes include Ronald Smith and Philip Ledger. By the 1960s, the concerto class had begun to attract talented students from the UK conservatoires, and in 1968, Frank Wibaut took first prize with a performance of Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ Concerto at the start of his long and distinguished career.

Sadly, the concerto class dwindled in popularity and by the 1990s had disappeared altogether. But in 2005 Philip Ledger (Director of Music at King’s College Cambridge from 1964 – 1982) conducted the Sussex Concert Orchestra for the first ever Final of the revived HIPCC, and was Chairman of the Jury until 2011 when Frank Wibaut took over the role and also that of Artistic Director.

Today the HIPCC is one of the UK’s leading piano competitions, and this year’s competition has attracted 176 entries from 26 countries, with live auditions in Japan, China, USA, Italy and in the UK. 49 contestants have now been invited to play in Hastings betwee 21 February and 2 March, culminating in the concerto final with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on 1 and 2 March.

The association with the RPO has been secured for the next five years, a collaboration which includes note only the compeition final in Hastings but also concerts as part of the new Festival of Piano which will take place during non-competition years. The orchestra will also provide performance opportunities for the competition laureate as part of the RPO’s residency at Cadogan Hall, and the orchestra’s UK touring programme. And there will be community and education outreach projects to keep music and music making at the centre of activities in Hastings, a town which has enjoyed a cultural resurgence in recent years.

We are proud to have such a vibrant and creative town in Hastings. Celebrating classical music has made this town a strong hub for musicians, ensuring the support of local, national and international bodies. – Amber Rudd, MP

Whatever your view of music competitions, there is no question that they are a signficant part of the international music scene and are very much here to stay. For many young musicians, competitions are seen as part of their professional training and can be the gateway to a successful career on the concert platform and in the recording studio. (One pianist, who is a regular on the competition circuit and a former HIPCC participant, told me that competitions encourage him to learn repertoire very carefully, and that without his success in a recent international competition, he would not have been able to release his debut recording.)

Education outreach programmes, masterclasses and music making activities within the local community beyond the rarefied confines of the concert hall, such as the HIPCC is planning (and the revamped Leeds competition has successfully delivered) serve as healthy reminders that classical music is for everyone and give people who may not normally experience classical music the chance to engage with and explore it, right on their doorstep.

The HIPCC aims to make Hastings the go-to place for classical music on the south coast.

The final of the HIPCC takes place on 1 and 2 March in the White Rock Theatre, Hastings. Full details here

 

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20-year old American pianist, Eric Lu, has been awarded first place and the Dame Fanny Waterman Gold Medal at the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition 2018, a triennial event which is widely regarded as among the most coveted prizes in the musical world. He also won the Terence Judd Hallé Orchestra Prize.

International star pianist Lang Lang, Global Ambassador of the Competition, presented the prizes following the last Concerto Final with the Hallé, conducted by Edward Gardner in Leeds Town Hall.

In addition to the £25,000 cash prize, Lu receives a ground-breaking portfolio prize designed with long-term career development in mind. It includes worldwide management with Askonas Holt – one of the world’s leading arts management agencies; an international album release on Warner Classics – one of the foremost global classical music recording companies, and a range of performance and recording opportunities with BBC Radio 3. The prize also includes a host of performance engagements with high profile promoters, including with some of the world’s premier venues and orchestras, such as London’s Wigmore Hall and Southbank Centre, the Hallé and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestras.

Leeds International Piano Competition
Eric Lu playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in the Final of Leeds Piano Competition

On Thursday [20 September], Lu opens Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s new season under the baton of Vasily Petrenko, performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58. On Friday [21 September], Warner Classics releases a digital single of a highlight from his Competition performances, and, on 2 November, a full album, including Lu’s live Concerto performance from the Final with the Hallé conducted by Edward Gardner, as well as a selection of recital repertoire from the earlier Rounds.

Second place, £15,000 and the Yaltah Menuhin Award for the greatest collaborative chamber performance, was awarded to 28-year old German pianist, Mario Häring.

Xinyuan Wang, 23 from China, was third and received £10,000. The Audience Award, which was, for the first time this year, opened up to a global audience through online streaming by medici.tv, also went to Wang, who will have a concert broadcast on medici.tv.

Both Häring and Wang will give major recitals in St George’s Hall, Liverpool, on 17 and 18 September 2018 as part of their prize, and will each – like Lu – have an opportunity to give a solo recital at London’s Wigmore Hall in 2019. A full list of concert engagements for the prize winners is available here.

All the prize winners will have long-term mentoring from Patron Murray Perahia, Co-Artistic Director Paul Lewis – who also chaired the jury, and other members of the performer-led jury which included Sa Chen, Imogen Cooper, Adam Gatehouse, Henning Kraggerud, Thomas Larcher, Gillian Moore, Lars Vogt and Shai Wosner.

The prize presentations followed the conferment of an honorary degree on Lang Lang from the University of Leeds, the Competition’s Principal Partner.

Lang Lang said:

“The Finals of The Leeds will stay in my memory for a long time. It has been a privilege to witness so much extraordinary talent on stage and an honour to receive a Doctorate from the University of Leeds. I’m extremely proud of my association with the city of Leeds, with the piano competition – which is doing so much to unite excellence and accessibility – and with the University. It is truly is the city of the piano and I look forward to returning.” 

Paul Lewis, Chair of the Jury and Co-Artistic Director of The Leeds, said:

“All the pianists  have shown extraordinary  talent, passion and  dedication throughout the Competition, and it goes without saying that the standard of playing has been remarkable. Many of the world’s greatest pianists have started out at The Leeds and I’m certain all the 2018 Finalists  have bright futures, and we look forward to supporting what we believe will be successful and fulfilling careers.“

The Leeds hugely expanded its programme for 2018, going beyond a single competition to become a city-wide celebration of the piano. With a new programme of talks, masterclasses, exhibitions, free family events, schools projects, and concerts – as well as The Leeds Piano Trail, which invited the public to play on 12 beautifully decorated public pianos in the city centre – The Leeds had the opportunity to share its passion for the piano with more people than ever before. The majority of the public pianos will remain in place for the foreseeable future, continuing the Competition’s legacy for new and wider audiences.

medici.tv’s extensive coverage, supported by the University of Leeds, which began in August and ran throughout the Competition, reached audiences in more than 3,700 cities in 140 countries. It was particularly popular in the UK, USA, China, Japan and Germany. Millions more enjoyed the Finals on BBC Radio 3, which broadcast live from Leeds Town Hall and also covered all the Semi-Finals.

All rounds of The Leeds remain available to watch at leedspiano2018.medici.tv for three years, and BBC Radio 3’s extensive coverage of the Semi-Finals and Finals is available via BBC i Player Radio. The Finals are broadcast on BBC FOUR television on Sunday 23 September.

The next Competition will take place in 2021.

For more information about the Competition visit www.leedspiano.com.

@leedspiano


[source: Victoria Bevan PR]

Top of the list of competitors is twenty-year-old British pianist Martin James Bartlett. Winner of BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2014, Martin now studies at the Royal College of Music.  

Martin James Bartlett

FORT WORTH, Texas, March 7, 2017—The Cliburn announces today the 30 competitors selected to participate in the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, taking place May 25–June 10, 2017, at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, USA.

Two hundred and ninety pianists submitted applications to participate in the 2017 Cliburn Competition, and 141 auditioned live in front of a five-member screening jury in London, Hannover, Budapest, Moscow, Seoul, New York, and Fort Worth in January and February 2017. 

After an exhilarating and quite thorough process, I am extremely happy with the 30 pianists who will come to the Cliburn Competition in Fort Worth this May. They are engaging and skilled, and—most important—will inspire and move you,” said Jacques Marquis, Cliburn president and CEO.

The 2017 Cliburn competitors hail from all over the world, representing 16 nations: Russia (6), South Korea (5), the United States (4), Canada* (3), Italy (2), Algeria*, Austria, China, Croatia, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Poland, Romania, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom (*one competitor has dual Algerian/Canadian citizenship, and both nations are counted here). There are 21 men and 9 women, and the competitors range in age from 18 to 30.

2017 CLIBURN COMPETITORS

Ages are as of June 10, 2017, the final day of the Competition.

Martin James Bartlett, United Kingdom, age 20

Sergey Belyavskiy, Russia, 23
Alina Bercu, Romania, 27

Kenneth Broberg, United States, 23

Luigi Carroccia, Italy, 25

Han Chen, Taiwan, 25

Rachel Cheung, Hong Kong, 25

Yury Favorin, Russia, 30

Madoka Fukami, Japan, 28

Mehdi Ghazi, Algeria/Canada, 28

Caterina Grewe, Germany, 29

Daniel Hsu, United States, 19

Alyosha Jurinic, Croatia, 28

Nikolay Khozyainov, Russia, 24

Dasol Kim, South Korea, 28

Honggi Kim, South Korea, 25

Su Yeon Kim, South Korea, 23

Julia Kociuban, Poland, 25

Rachel Kudo, United States, 30

EunAe Lee, South Korea, 29

Ilya Maximov, Russia, 30

Sun-A Park, United States, 29

Leonardo Pierdomenico, Italy, 24

Philipp Scheucher, Austria, 24

Ilya Shmukler, Russia, 22

Yutong Sun, China, 21 

Yekwon Sunwoo, South Korea, 28

Georgy Tchaidze, Russia, 29

Tristan Teo, Canada, 20

Tony Yike Yang, Canada, 18

ABOUT THE FIFTEENTH VAN CLIBURN INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION

Established in 1962, the quadrennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is widely recognized as “one of the world’s highest-visibility classical-music contests” (The Dallas Morning News) and remains committed to its original ideals of supporting and launching the careers of young pianists, ages 18–30. 

[source: press release]

(Picture: BBC)

Applications are now open for the Dudley International Piano Competition 2017

2017 marks 50 years since the Dudley International Piano Competition (DIPC) was first suggested. It then evolved in 1968 from piano classes at the Dudley Festival of Music and Drama, with a concerto final, and was held annually until 1989 when it became a biennial event and from 1991 to 1995 it was opened to competitors from overseas. The Dudley International Piano Competition then took a break and re-emerged in 2000 as a competition with a recital final open to pianists of all nationalities studying or resident in the British Isles.

Many past winners, including Benjamin Frith, Andrew Wilde, Graham Scott, Paul Lewis and Mishka Rushdie Momen have gone on to establish successful careers and past competitors have included internationally acclaimed pianists Ian Hobson, Peter Donohoe, Joanna MacGregor and Timothy Horton.

The 2017 competition once again features a concerto final at the world famous Symphony Hall, Birmingham, accompanied by the internationally renowned City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Seal.

The jury, chaired by Gordon Fergus-Thompson, consists of distinguished pianists and teachers, including John Humphreys, Andrew Wilde, Siva Oke and Lucy Parham.

The deadline for entries for the 2017 competition is 9th June 2017. Please visit the DIPC enter page for more information.

PRIZES 2017

Concerto performance opportunity for the three finalists at Symphony Hall, Birmingham with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

£4,000 1st Prize
£3,000 2nd Prize
£2,000 3rd Prize

£750 4th Prize

£250 Audience Prize

£250 each semi final prizes

Somm Debut CD Recording
(to be offered at the discretion of Siva Oke)

Full details of the competition can be found on the DIPC website