For the 11th consecutive time, Yamaha is sponsoring the International Piano-e-Competition, a unique global event culminating in Fairbanks, Alaska that provides a stage for the world’s most gifted young pianists.
Beginning May 19 through May 31, 20 contestants under the age of 35 and representing 11 countries will vie for more than $65,000 in prize money, as well as performances in Chicago and New York City. Each will perform solo recitals, Schubert sonatas, chamber music and concertos with the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra in the series of public performances held at the Davis Concert Hall at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
The 2018 Piano-e-Competition contestants include (in alphabetical order): Jean-Selim ABDELMOULA, Switzerland; Igor ANDREEV, Russia/ Switzerland; Feng BIAN, China; Kevin CHOW, Australia; Boyi FA, China; Misha GALANT, USA; Nicolas GIACOMELLI, Italy; Yixiang HOU, China; Marina KAN, Norway; Syuzanna KASZO, Hungary/Ukraine; Sung-Jae KIM, South Korea; Yoonji KIM, South Korea; Daria KISELEVA, Russia; Vasyl KOTYS, Ukraine; Sanghie LEE, South Korea; Martin LEUNG, USA; Victor MASLOV, Russia; Timur MUSTAKIMOV, Russia; Misuzu TANAKA, Japan and KaJeng WONG, Hong Kong.
“This year’s competition promises to be the most exciting yet, as our contestants are of the highest caliber we’ve seen since this competition began,” said Alexander Braginsky, founder and artistic director of the competition.
The International Piano-e-Competition is unique in that it enables artists from around the world to record and transmit their audition performances over the Internet through the use of a Yamaha Disklavier, the world’s most technologically advanced piano. This remarkable instrument is capable of capturing performances as high resolution Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) data, which are then recreated on other remote Disklavier pianos located anywhere in the world with each note and nuance delivered faithfully and precisely as the artist intended.
Competition applicants participated in invitation-only screened auditions held earlier this year in Hamamatsu, Japan; Shanghai, China; Paris, France; Los Angeles, California and New York City, which captured video of their performances, as well as MIDI performances on Yamaha Disklavier concert pianos.
These “virtual audition” recordings were then recreated in Davis Concert Hall, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the final contestants were announced this past March.
During the competition, contestants performing in Davis Concert Hall will play a Disklavier which will stream data to other connected Disklaviers around the world, including for the first time to China and Russia. These remote instruments will be able to reproduce the performances in real time or at a later time, for viewers in concert halls and living rooms alike to enjoy the precise keystrokes and pedal technique of each musician in real time. Finally, a live webcast of the performance with the data stream will be broadcast, so that audiences may watch the performance remotely, with or without a connected Disklavier.
This year’s International jury is comprised of distinguished international scholars and pianists, including Alexander Braginsky, Eduard Zilberkant, Peter Donohoe, Akiko Ebi, Robert McDonald, Boris Slutski, Arie Vardi and Elisso Virsaladze.
The winner of the competition will receive a prize of $30,000 and concert engagements. Winners of the second and third prizes will receive $20,000 and $10,000 respectively.
Since its inception in 2002, the International Piano-e-Competition has been held 10 times, highlighting many wonderful performers, many of whom are making important contributions to the world of classical piano performance and education.