Forty become twenty

Emma BakerThu 14th October 2010

Jury picks candidates for the third stage in record time!

Well, I’ve been proved wrong on one count – the Jury didn’t dally in coming to their conclusions and the 20 pianists chosen to advance to the third stage of the Competition were announced last night at the relatively early hour of a whisker before midnight. 

Four of yesterday’s pianists made it through – the  highly praised Ingolf Wunder, the only-slightly-less-praised Russian-Lithuanian Lukas Geniušas (whose performance I missed because of an interview), French François Dumont (playing a Fazioli) and American Andrew Tyson. I’d put them in that order of preference. I raved about Wunder’s performance yesterday, as did many others, but I found Tyson’s oddly jerky rhythms and face-pulling hard to take – his style of playing didn’t feel right at all.

Controversial Bulgarian Evgeni Bozhanov will live to see another round, too, as well as five further Russians, two Poles – Paweł Wakarecy and Marcin Koziak – two more Americans and, in total, two each of French, Chinese and Italian nationals. Australian Jayson Gillham is also through. Of the 20 third-stagers there are 13 men and seven women.

The third stage brings a performance of one of Chopin’s sonatas (the pianists were given a choice of all three this year, although none of the qualifying pianists have chosen the C minor), plus the Polonaise-Fantaisie and other works of the competitors’ choosing.

Emma Baker

Emma Baker is a freelance writer for Gramophone

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