Tessa Knipe, 53
San Diego, California
South Africa/United States

Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Tessa Knipe achieved much pianistic success from ages 8 to 18. Highlights included appearing on the “Young South Africa” show at age 9; performing the first movement of the Kabalevsky Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra at 11; and receiving a four-year undergraduate scholarship at age 17 to the Royal College of Music in London—one of just eight offered per year. Instead of furthering her musical pursuits, Ms. Knipe turned the scholarship down to forge a career in law. Now a deputy attorney general for the department of justice in California, she has returned to music after 35 years away, realizing “how central the piano is to my life.” A mother of two grown daughters, Ms. Knipe is a lover of the performing arts, movies, and books, as well as a fan of good food and wine.


Preliminary Round
BACH   “Sinfonia” from Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826
DOHNÁNYI   Rhapsody in C Major, op. 11, no. 3

Quarterfinal Round
CHOPIN   Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat Minor, op. 31
RAVEL   Jeau d’eau

Semifinal Round
SCARLATTI   Sonata in D Major, K. 29
BEETHOVEN   Sonata No. 21 in C Major, op. 53 (“Waldstein”): I. Allegro con brio
CHOPIN   Ballade No. 3 in A-flat Major, op. 47
LISZT   Transcendental Etude No. 5 “Feux follets”
ALBENIZ   “Castilla” from Suite Española, op. 47

Final Round
SCHUMANN   Piano Concerto in A Minor, op. 54: I. Allegro affetuoso