The 2019 International Tchaikovsky Competition reveals its piano finalists

Gramophone Sat 22nd June 2019

When six become seven!

The stage of the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the home of the piano rounds

The stage of the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the home of the piano rounds

The finalists of the 16th International Tchaikovsky Competition have been revealed; the mostly hotly viewed category, the piano, once again had a surprise up its sleeve. Instead of a final half dozen competitors, the jury, chaired by Denis Matsuev, have put forward seven players. So, competing in the Concerto Round, starting next Tuesday evening, are:

Konstantin Yemelyanov (Russia)

Dmitriy Shishkin (Russia)

An Tianxu (China)

Alexey Melnikov (Russia)

Alexandre Kantorow (France)

Mao Fujita (Japan)

Kenneth Broberg (USA)

Each pianist will play a concerto by Tchaikovsky (only Kantorow has chosen No 2, the rest have opted for No 1) and a concerto of his own choice. They will join the State Academic Symphony Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko for the final round. All performances will be streamed live on medici.tv and will be introduced by Gramophone’s Editor in Chief, James Jolly, and Irina Tushintseva. 

Neither of the two women in the 14-strong Round 2 line-up made it through, and two widely admired players – Andrey Gugnin (Russia) and Dohyun Kim (Korea) – also failed to make the final selection.

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