Twenty-five of the world’s finest young pianists, including an award-winning local teenager who was featured on National Public Radio, will vie for prizes in the Eastman Young Artists International Piano Competition next month. The week-long event of adjudicated performances and master classes, all of which are open to the public, begins Saturday, Aug, 2, at the Eastman School of Music and culminates with two concerts presented by the prize winners on Saturday, Aug. 9.
“These young artists are among the best in the new, young generation of pianists,” said Douglas Humpherys, professor of piano at Eastman and founding director of the competition. “The competition provides them with performance and career development opportunities while showcasing their artistic achievements. The audience has the chance to listen to performers who represent a wide array of cultural backgrounds, but whose musical language and sensitivities bridge the differences of geography and culture.”
Among the competitors, who are between the ages of 15 and 18 and come from Taiwan, China, Korea, Thailand, Canada, the Czech Republic, and the United States, is Harvest Zhang of Brighton. Zhang started piano lessons at the age of five in the Eastman Community Music School, where he currently studies with Harriet Zimmerman. He has won numerous competitions, including the MTNA Baldwin Piano Competition of New York State, the Ithaca National Piano Competition, and the Equinox Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. As winner of the 2007 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, Zhang was among those who were selected to play in Carnegie Hall. Earlier this year he appeared on NPR’s From the Top, a weekly series showcasing top young classical musicians around the country. The 15-year-old will be a junior at Brighton High School this fall, where he plays viola in the school orchestra; participates in Math Team, Science Olympiad, and Masterminds competitions; and works for the school newspaper.
All competition participants will perform an hour’s worth of solo music over two preliminary rounds. Six finalists are chosen to present a movement of a piano concerto in the final round. The winners are announced following this final round and give concerts the next day. Winners receive cash prizes and scholarships to attend the Eastman School of Music.
The competition will include a guest recital by Andrei Pisarev, a member of the international panel of judges. Pisarev is a professor at the Moscow Conservatory of Music, has won top prizes at the Mozart, Pretoria, and Busoni International Competitions, and gives concert appearances in Russia and abroad.
Besides Pisarev, the jury is composed of chair Paul Pollei, founder and artistic director of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition; Korean pianist Min Kim; Miriam Conti, a member of the evening division faculty of the Juilliard School and founder of the I Certamen Musical Rioplatense piano competition in her native Argentina; and Yafen Zhu, one of the most sought-after teachers of piano in China, who performs both as a soloist and chamber musician.
All performances are held in the Eastman School’s Kilbourn Hall. For more information, contact the Eastman Concert Office at 585-274-1100. The schedule of events is:
Saturday, Aug. 2, First Preliminary Rounds: 1 to 3 p.m.; 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.; 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Free.
Sunday, Aug. 3, First Preliminary Rounds: 1 to 3 p.m.; 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.; 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Free.
Monday, Aug. 4, Master Class Rounds: 10 a.m. to noon, with jury member Miriam Conti; 1 to 3 p.m., with jury chair Paul Pollei; 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., with Eastman Professor Douglas Humpherys. Free.
Tuesday, Aug. 5, Master Class Rounds: from 10 a.m. to noon, with jury member Min Kim; 1 to 3 p.m., with jury member Yafen Zhu; 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., with Eastman Professor Nelita True. Free.
Tuesday, Aug. 5, Evening Concert: 7:30 p.m. Andrei Pisarev. Tickets required (students free with UR ID); $6 faculty/staff; $12 general public; available at the RPO Box Office, 108 East Ave.; by phone: 585-454-2100; by fax: 585-454-7885; or online: www.esm.rochester.edu/concerts/tickets.php
Wednesday, Aug. 6, Second Preliminary Rounds: 1 to 3 p.m.; 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.; 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Free.
Thursday, Aug. 7, Second Preliminary Rounds: 1 to 3 p.m.; 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.; 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Free. Announcement of Six Finalists: 10:30 p.m.
Friday, August 8, Concerto Finals: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.; Awards Ceremony: 10:30 p.m. Tickets required (students free with UR ID); $6 faculty/staff; $12 general public; available at the RPO Box Office, 108 East Ave.; by phone: 585-454-2100; by fax: 585-454-7885; or online: www.esm.rochester.edu/concerts/tickets.php
Saturday, August 9, Winners’ Concerts: 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets required (students free with UR ID); $6 faculty/staff; $12 general public; available at the RPO Box Office, 108 East Ave.; by phone: 585-454-2100; by fax: 585-454-7885; or online: www.esm.rochester.edu/concerts/tickets.php
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