Newswire | Canadians Jaeden Izik-Dzurko and Carter Johnson to Participate in 50th Paloma O’Shea Santander International Piano Competition

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Madrid, 22 April 2022.- At a press conference held this morning at the headquarters of Fundación Albéniz in Madrid, the Paloma O’Shea Santander International Piano Competition has announced the names of the 20 pianists selected to participate in the First Stage of the Competition in Santander, which will take place between 25 July and 5 August at the Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria. The event was attended by Paloma O’Shea, Founding President of the Competition and of Fundación Albéniz, as well as by the members of the Pre-selection Jury, pianists Márta Gulyás as president, Alexander Kandelaki and Luis Fernando Pérez.

The Pre-selection Jury has held auditions in the cities of Paris (from 21 to 26 March), New York (from 29 March to 1 April) and Madrid (from 18 to 21 April) with a total of 92 pianists from 30 countries. All the halls used for these auditions were equipped with Yamaha pianos, sponsor of this pre-selection stage of the Competition.

Of all pianists attending, the 20 selected to participate in Santander have been the following:

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  • Carlos de la Blanca Elorza (Spain, 26 years old)
  • Evelyne Berezovsky (United Kingdom, 31 years old)
  • Eka Bokuchava (Georgia, 29 years old)
  • Vsevolod Brigida (Russian Federation, 24 years old)
  • Albert Cano Smit (Spain / Netherlands, 25 years old)
  • Jiarui Cheng (China, 23 years old)
  • Domonkos Csabay (Hungary, 31 years old)
  • Jaeden Izik-Dzurko (Canada, 22 years old)
  • Carter Johnson (Canada / United States, 25 years old)
  • Simon Karakulidi (Russian Federation, 24 years old)
  • David Khrikuli (Georgia, 20 years old)
  • Hyelim Kim (Republic of Korea, 25 years old)
  • Rafael Kyrychenko (Portugal, 25 years old)
  • Hao Wei Lin (Taiwan, 17 years old)
  • Callum McLachlan (United Kingdom, 23 years old)
  • Yu Nitahara (Japan, 31 years old)
  • Matyás Novák (Czech Republic, 23 years old)
  • Mariamna Sherling (Norway / Russian Federation, 21 years old)
  • Marcel Tadokoro (France / Japan, 28 years old)
  • Xiaolu Zang (China, 22 years old)


Reserve candidates

  • Alexandra Stychkina (Russian Federation / Greece, 18 years old)
  • Daniel Rodriguez Hart (Cuba / Spain, 27 years old)
  • Valentin Malinin (Russian Federation, 20 years old)
  • Giuseppe Guarrera (Italy, 30 years old)
  • Yeon-Min Park (Republic of Korea, 31 years old)


The 20th Santander International Piano Competition, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, will begin on 24 July with a commemorative concert by Josep Colom, winner in 1972 (first edition of the Competition, at national level) and 1978 (at international level).

The First Stage of the Competition, to be held between 25 and 27 July 2022, will host recitals by the 20 pianists whose names have been announced today. In the Semi-final, from 29 July to 1 August, the 12 selected pianists will face a second recital and a chamber music performance with Cuarteto Casals.

In the final round, which consists of a concert with symphony orchestra to be held on 3 and 4 August, the performances of the six finalists will be part of the 71st Santander International Festival. The Spanish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra (RTVE) will accompany the pianists under the baton of its Principal Conductor, Maestro Pablo González.

Finally, on 5 August, the Closing Gala and awards ceremony will take place in the Sala Argenta of the Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria.

During the course of the stages in Santander, participants will be able to choose between one of the two official pianos of the Competition, Yamaha and Steinway & Sons.

The task of selecting the participants in each stage and awarding the prizes will be entrusted to an exceptional Jury of great international figures, with Joaquín Achúcarro, Spanish pianist recognised by UNESCO for his artistic work, as President; Claudio Martínez-Mehner, renowned German-Spanish soloist and piano pedagogue, and Rena Shereshevskaya, current professor at the École Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot and outstanding pianist, as Vice-Presidents. The rest of the jury will be made up of conductor Péter Csaba (France), and pianists Barry Douglas (United Kingdom), Akiko Ebi (Japan), Ana Guijarro (Spain), Hüseyin Sermet (Turkey) and Márta Gulyás (Hungary).

The Santander International Competition awards important cash prizes and offers the winner and finalists a tour of concerts in venues that make up the international circuits. Given their number and importance, these performances go far beyond the notion of a springboard and constitute an entire first part of a professional career. In addition to these prizes, the winner has the opportunity to record a CD under Naxos label and there is also the Audience Award, which is voted for by the audience of the final. Additionally, the Jury will also award the Special Prize for the Best Chamber Music Performer, which includes a concert with Cuarteto Casals.

In this edition, the Santander International Piano Competition has the support of the main public institutions: Ministry of Culture and Sports (INAEM), Santander City Council and Regional Government of Cantabria.

Furthermore, the Competition also has the support of several private entities: Fundación Banco Santander, Fundación EDP, Bergé, Fundación Botín, Cámara de Comercio de Cantabria, El Diario Montañés, Grupo Empresarial Sadisa, Grupo Planeta, Grupo Tirso, Hinves, Steinway & Sons, Yamaha, RTVE, Bannatyne Joyeros, Café Dromedario, Hotel Real, Hoteles Santos, Agua de Solares, Textil Santanderina, Selective Motor and Volvo.

All the stages and concerts can be followed live on TVE 2 will broadcast the two concerts of the Final, as well as the Awards Ceremony.

The YouTube channel of the Competition will broadcast live each and every one of the events taking place according to the calendar. Those interested will also be able to enjoy the performances of the past two editions of the Competition.


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