Browsing: Music Competition

The Jury jointly awarded First Prize of the Composition Competition to Ms. Hinako Takagi (30 years old, Japan) for her work “L’Instant” and Mr. Daniel Arango-Prada (32 years old, Colombia) for his piece “Dune”. Third Prize went to 33-year-old Korean Hyeon Joon Sohn for his composition “The Living Reed”. Several Special Prizes were also awarded: Audience Prize and Young Audience Prize were attributed to Daniel Arango-Prada. Students’ Prize went to Hinako Takagi. Nicati-de Luze Special Prize was attributed to Hyeon Joon Sohn and consists in a commissioned piece to be performed during two concerts. The Final Round of the 74th Geneva…

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Like many young seekers of competition glory, Nicole Linaksita is fond of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. The Vancouverite won the $10,000 first prize in the Stepping Stone division of the Canimex Canadian Music Competition last June in Calgary with a less famous score: Moritz Moszkowski’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in E Major Op. 59. The gala performance was with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra under its resident conductor, Karl Hirzer. “I wanted to enjoy the experience and to show people why I love the piece so much,” she says. “Being more relaxed helped things naturally happen rather than having every…

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The timing was not perfect. Lara Deutsch had strep throat. But the flutist was instructed in no uncertain terms to appear as requested for a meeting at such-and-such an hour and in such-and-such place in Montreal. “I was told that it couldn’t be at any other time,” Deutsch said from her home in Ottawa. “And I was told that I really had to be there.” The appointment was worth keeping. On her arrival Deutsch learned that she was the 2019–20 winner of the Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer, a prize valued at $125,000 that includes $50,000 in cash, a series of…

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The Eighth Cliburn International Amateur Competition is only 8 months away! The best non-professional pianists from around the globe arrive in Fort Worth for three riveting rounds of Competition, May 24–30, 2020, including a stunning conclusion with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and conductor Damon Gupton at Bass Performance Hall! JURY ANNOUNCED! Last week the Cliburn announced the remainder of the Jury for the Eighth Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition. Ralph Votapek, gold medalist of the First Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1962, will serve as jury chairman. Mr. Votapek will be joined by an international jury that shares his passion for…

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“He started at a very early age.” So it is written of many competition laureates. Bryn Blackwood, 28, the winner last April of the 42nd Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition in Brandon, Manitoba, took up the piano just before he turned 16. “Mine was a bit of a strange case,” he commented from his hometown of Simcoe, Ontario. Tiring of the trombone he was playing at school, Blackwood came across a performance of Liszt’s Liebestraum No. 3 on the then-fledgling platform of YouTube. “I decided that I wanted to play it,” he recalls, “even though it was drastically too hard for…

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Cellist Matthew Christakos has won the 2019 Michael Measures First Prize, a prestigious award which recognizes promising young Canadian classical music performers enrolled in the summer training program of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Moreover, the 19-year-old has won several first prizes at the Kiwanis Festival of Greater Toronto, placing second overall in the Ontario strings category. Christakos owes this recognition to the many teachers who guided him, combined with his parents’ ongoing support. He studied with former Toronto Symphony Orchestra associate principal cellist David Hetherington at the Royal Conservatory’s Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists.…

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In May 29, Hannah Tam’s performance at the CMIM (Concours musical international de Montréal) earned her top honours in a newly created event showcasing rising stars called Mini Violini. This 13-year older was selected by the audience as the winner of its Coup de cœur du public prize. Above and beyond such recognition, this bright new talent collected a handsome 10 grand for her efforts. Those in attendance were deeply impressed by her playing as well as her charismatic stage presence, imbued by a very probing mindset. “The violin is such an expressive instrument,” Tam says. “From one piece to…

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Samuel Blanchette-Gagnon’s career is taking shape – in fact, it’s taking off. In May the young pianist won the prestigious 2019 Prix d’Europe, the Claire-Charbonneau-Clerk Award and the Canadian Music Centre Award for Quebec. He has performed Book 2 of Debussy’s Images and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2. This isn’t the first time Blanchette-Gagnon has won awards. A former student of Gérald Lévesque, he has been enrolled in a master’s program at the Conservatoire de musique de Québec since 2018. In 2014, Blanchette-Gagnon won the Canadian Music Competition grand prize, playing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1. This competition gave him…

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American violinist Hao Zhou took First Prize last May at the Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM). His performance of the Violin Concerto No. 1 of Dimitri Shostakovich accompanied by the OSM and guest conductor Alexander Shelley was such a hit that he was selected by the audience as the winner of the Radio-Canada Prize. Hao Zhou is currently studying with Canadian violinist Martin Beaver at the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles. Beaver, it must be noted, encouraged his student to take part in this year’s competition on the basis of his own experience with the event. Playing the work…

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Carter Johnson, technically a resident of Vancouver, was in Montana, on his way to New York. The cellphone connection was spotty.“It’s a lot cheaper to drive,” the 22-year-old said, with his wife Hannah at the wheel. “If we were to ship this stuff, it would be way too expensive.”Their two-year-old son Preston would be flying in with his grandmother. “Too much driving for him,” Johnson explains.The road trip marked a new chapter in the career of this pianist, who last year won both the grand prize in the OSM Manulife Competition and first prize in the Stepping Stone division of…

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