Tuesday, June 21, 2005

News from the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition

The winners of this year's Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition:

"Wen Yu Shen, 18, of Taiwan won the $30,000 top prize at the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition, a two-week event that concluded Saturday at Walt Disney Concert Hall." The other winners are: Andrei Korobeinikov, 2nd place, Sofya Gulyak, 3rd place prize and, disappointingly, Denis Evstuhin, recived a "finalist" prize. link.

Perhaps I'm increasingly jaded or fussy, but I find it hard to believe that anyone 18 or 19 is really an "artist" ready for the gold medal at this or any other major piano competition . Oh sure, I'll keep my ears open and have a listen. But, time and again, the winners of most competitions are often disappointments for me. Frankly, I think there are perhaps too many piano competitions--I imagine only a handful really matter. The rest seem, at best, like farm clubs and proving grounds for those who'll continue wearily or cheerfully along the competition circuit for their alloted time. The Rachmainoff seems to be one of those caught somewhere in between. The model used for the Richter seems a good one, and I wish more competitions followed suit --particularly the Van Cliburn with it's grueling schedule of back to back performances with little pause.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if some repertoire pieces can be played without some experience in life. Can anyone play them with the only aid of technique? I don't think so. It's like fireworks without soul.

The Well Tempered Blog said...

Bien Dicho!

I agree very much with your comments.

Anonymous said...

The orchestral musicians, all members of Professional Musicians, Local 47, who were hired to accompany the contestants at the June, 2005 Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition and who played at Disney Hall for three consecutive nights, in addition to rehearsals, STILL HAVE NOT BEEN PAID FOR THEIR SERVICES. SHAME on the organizers of this competition!