The talent of tomorrow - today

DistlerTue 11th May 2010

Queen Elisabeth International Piano Competition

May 2010 ushers in the Queen Elisabeth International Piano Competition in Brussels, which keyboard mavens can follow on line, in real time, or via podcasts (visit https://www.rtbf.be/musiq3/).

I admit that I’m not listening to each and every first round candidate performance that drops into my itunes folder from start to finish. Still, several young candidates have caught my ear. From May 4th at 20th, Jenna J Sung’s set opened with Bach and Chopin warm-ups before she launched into a really powerful Ravel Scarbo from Gaspard de la nuit. 24 hours later, Samson Tsoy displayed well-oiled, muscular and frequently poetic fingerwork in Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No 1. Most of the Bach Prelude & Fugue offerings are polished yet dutiful, but I'm struck by how Yoonhee Yang (May 3rd, 20h) is able to delineate the Well-Tempered Clavier Book Two G Minor Fugue’s closely-knit textures through touch and color alone – not an easy task.

Nareh Arghamanyan also is a pianist on my radar, and I look forward to checking our her May 6th first-round offering, Christopher Falzone, who I first heard six years ago as a 2004 Gilmore Festival Young Artist, plays on May 7th, as does the gifted Claire HuangCi. I was one of the three judges for the  2006 Kosciusko Competition in New York, when the then-16-year-old Claire stood out as the clear victor from her first notes. I look forward to hearing her again.

As the competition unfolds, I'd love to hear from readers about their own favorites.

Distler

Composer, pianist, concert presenter and Gramophone contributor Jed Distler looks back, present and forward about the piano in our lives, and the lives of the piano.

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