Monday, August 08, 2005

The News from Cleveland

A few thoughts and links this morning on the recently concluded Cleveland International Piano Competition.

Chu-Fang Huan took first prize, which consists of a whopping $50,000 cash award (the largest cash prize of any piano competition). She will appear in New York at Tully Hall in November, record a CD, and make about numerous concert appearances in both known and obscure venues. And that lead me to wonder this: As competitions seek to super-size themselves by awarding large cash prizes and a long string of concert engagements, there may be some real drawbacks. One of them being too many engagements in a short period might stretch some winners to the point of burn-out. I don't know that we've reach that point yet, but it seems a good time to start thinking the consequences of too much of a good thing.

Confounding expectations. Well, really just Don Rosenberg's expectations. He has penned a meandering bit here on the unpredictability of competition results, juries, and yadda yadda, yadda.

And from an article on 4th prize winner and Ohio native Spencer Myer: "While excited to have done so well, Myer was a little disappointed to place only fourth. ''It was a bit of a letdown because the audience was so supportive,'' he said, adding that the audience gave him a standing ovation when he completed his performance Friday night." I'm also surprised that the audience factor didn't propel him further. Though, on a number of levels, I think it's a positive sign. "Myer first appeared in the competition in 2001 but was cut after the first round. When he auditioned again in 2003, he wasn't accepted. It's the subjectivity of competitions that bothers Myer, but he acknowledged that competing is ''kind of a way of life for pianist.'' As he is nearing age 30, Myer will soon be geting off the competition merry-go-round. But not too soon. Myer will be going on to the Busoni International Piano Competition in Italy. Perhaps this one will be the charmer. You can read the rest here.

2 comments:

Sergey Kuznetsov said...

Well, I was actually also disappointed to see Spencer placed fourth. From what I could hear, I deemed him to be more persuasive and strong as a musician than Chu-Fang...
You never know for sure with the juries beforehand. :-)

Bart Collins said...

Congratulations, Sergey, on your 2nd place finish!