Alexander Kobrin

Alexander Kobrin – United States
2005 Cliburn Gold Medalist

“He surrendered neither the smoothness nor the dynamic fluidity that the modern piano allows, and he gave his sense of fantasy free rein, and creating an almost confessional spirit .” — The New York Times

Called the “Van Cliburn of today” by the BBC, pianist Alexander Kobrin has placed himself at the forefront of today’s performing musicians. His prize-winning performances have been praised for their brilliant technique, musicality, and emotional engagement with the audience. The New York Times has written that Mr. Kobrin was a “fastidious guide” to Schumann’s “otherworldly visions, pointing out hunters, flowers, haunted corners and friendly bowers, all captured in richly characterized vignettes.” “This was a performance that will be revered and remembered as a landmark of the regeneration of exceptional classical music in Central New York.” -a critic wrote after Mr. Kobrin’s performance of the Second Piano Concerto by Johannes Brahms with Syracuse Symphony in Syracuse, NY.

In 2005, Mr. Kobrin was awarded the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Gold Medal at the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, TX. His numerous successes in competitions also include top prizes at the Busoni International Piano Competition (First Prize), Hamamatsu International Piano Competition (Top Prize), Scottish International Piano Competition in Glasgow (First Prize)

Mr. Kobrin has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Russian National Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Verdi, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Moscow Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Berliner Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Swedish Radio Symphony, Birmingham Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has collaborated with such conductors as Mikhail Pletnev, Mikhail Jurovsky, Mark Elder, Vassiliy Sinaisky, James Conlon, Claus Peter Flor, Alexander Lazarev, Vassiliy Petrenko and Bramwell Tovey.

He has appeared in recital at major halls worldwide, including Carnegie Zankel Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York, the Kennedy Centre in Washington, Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Louvre Auditorium, Salle Gaveau and Salle Cortot in Paris, Munich Herkulesaal and Berliner Filarmonia Hall in Germany, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, Sheung Wan Civic Centre in Hong Kong, as well as Sala Verdi in Milan and many others. Other past performances have included recitals at Bass Hall for the Cliburn Series, the Washington Performing Arts Society, La Roque d’Antheron, the Ravinia Festival, the Beethoven Easter Festival, Busoni Festival, the renowned Klavier-Festival Ruhr, the Festival Musique dans le Grésivaudan, the International Keyboard Institute & Festival, annual concert tours in Japan, China, and Taiwan.

Though widely acclaimed as a performer, Mr. Kobrin’s teaching has been an inspiration to many students through his passion for music. From 2003 to 2010 he served on the faculty of the Russian State Gnessin’s Academy of Music. In 2010 Alexander Kobrin was named the L. Rexford Distinguished Chair in Piano at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University, and from 2013 until 2017 has been a member of the celebrated Artist Faculty of New York University’s Steinhardt School. In July 2017, Mr. Kobrin has joined the faculty of the renowned Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Mr. Kobrin has also given masterclasses in Europe and Asia, the International Piano Series, and at the Conservatories of Japan and China. In 2020, he became co-director of Hiiumaa Homecoming Festival in Estonia.

Mr. Kobrin has been a jury member for many international piano competitions, including the Van Cliburn in Fort Worth, TX, Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano, Hamamatsu International Piano Competition, the Blüthner International Piano Competition in Vienna, E-Competition in Fairbanks, AK, and the Neuhaus International Piano Festival in Moscow.

Mr. Kobrin has released recordings on the Harmonia Mundi, Quartz, and Centaur labels, covering a wide swath of the piano literature to critical acclaim. His Schumann album, released on Centaur Records has been included into the top-5 albums of the year in 2015 by Fanfare Magazine. Gramophone Magazine raved about his Cliburn Competition release on Harmonia Mundi, writing that “in [Rachmaninoff’s] Second Sonata (played in the 1931 revision), despite fire-storms of virtuosity, there is always room for everything to tell and Kobrin achieves a hypnotic sense of the music’s dark necromancy.”

Mr. Kobrin was born in 1980 in Moscow. At the age of five, he was enrolled in the world-famous Gnessin Special School of Music after which he attended the prestigious Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire. His teachers have included renowned professors Tatiana Zelikman and Lev Naumov.
Mr. Kobrin immigrated to the United States in 2010 and became its citizen in 2015.

Mr. Kobrin is a Shigeru Kawai artist.


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Lise de la Salle

Lise de la Salle – FRANCE

With more than 15 years of award-winning Naïve recordings and international concert appearances, Lise de la Salle has established herself as a musician of real sensibility and maturity. Her playing inspired a Washington Post critic to write, “For much of the concert, the audience had to remember to breathe… the exhilaration didn’t let up for a second until her hands came off the keyboard.”

Ms. de la Salle has played with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors. She made her London Symphony Orchestra debut with Fabio Luisi, which initiated a long-term association: he invited her to be the first artist-in-residence at the Zurich Opera (2014), featured her regularly with the Vienna Symphony—including a performance in New York in the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center—and collaborated with her to record the complete works of Rachmaninov for piano and orchestra. She has also appeared with the most prominent orchestras in the United States (Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia), across Europe (BBC, London, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Munich, Paris, Rotterdam), and Asia (NHK, Singapore, Tokyo Metropolitan), working with conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Fabio Luisi, James Conlon, Gianandrea Noseda, Krzysztof Urbanski, Antonio Pappano, Rafael Payare, Karina Kanellakis, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Osmö Vanska, Fabien Gabel, James Gaffigan, and Semyon Bychkov.

Recital tours have taken her to esteemed halls—including the Vienna Musikverein, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Herkulessaal in Munich, Berlin Philharmonie, Tonhalle Zurich, Lucerne KKL, Bozar in Brussels, Wigmore and Royal Festival Halls, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, and the Hollywood Bowl—and most prestigious festivals. She also takes pleasure in educational outreach and conducts masterclasses in many of the cities in which she performs.

She has released 10 critically acclaimed recordings with Naïve, including an all-Chopin disc with a live recording of the Second Piano Concerto with Fabio Luisi and the Staatskapelle Dresden; a Liszt album for his Bicentennial, which received the Diapason d’Or and was named Gramophone’s Editor’s Choice; and Bach Unlimited, a Bach-focused album also featuring Liszt’s Fantasy and Fugue on a theme of B.A.C.H and the Bach/Busoni Chaconne. Her latest solo album (2021), When do we Dance?, presents an odyssey of dances through a whole century.

Ms. de la Salle started the piano at age 4 and gave her first concert five years later in a live broadcast on Radio France. She entered the Paris Conservatoire at age 11, and at 13, made her concerto debut in Avignon, followed by her Paris recital debut at the Louvre, and went on tour with the Orchestre National d’Ile de France. She has worked closely with Pierre Réach, Bruno Rigutto, and Pascal Nemirovski, and was long-term advisee of Genevieve Joy-Dutilleux.

In 2004, she won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. Later that year, the organization presented both her New York and Washington, D.C. debuts. At the Ettlingen International Competition in Germany, she won First Prize and the Bärenreiter Award. She has also won First Prize in many French piano competitions.

lisedelasalle.com

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Lukas Lee

LUKAS LEE 李璐王子

China  I  15

“Classical music has brought too much beauty to this generation, too much psychological comfort, too much spiritual treatment, and too many supplies for life. I think that no matter what era classical music is in—whether in the future or in the past—it is the greatest and most sacred art.”

Lukas Lee’s drive in his art stems from the influential people in his life—his teachers, family, and friends—as well as his deep connection with music: “When I play the piano, I feel the beauty of music, the greatness of music, and the sanctity of music.” He attends the Hebei Vocational Art College in his native Shijiazhuang and studies piano with Xiaohan Wang, head of the piano department at the Tianjin Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division. He made both his recital and concerto debuts last summer and is first prize winner of the Singapore International Piano Competition. He comes to the Cliburn Junior excited to visit the United States, “to see it and to feel the local culture” and, in the Competition, he’s hoping “to gain more academic progress, gain the progress of communication with the players, and show myself on this platform.” After practicing, he likes listening to lots of CDs and vinyl records; he also enjoys reading psychology books and science fiction, and playing soccer.


REPERTOIRE

Preliminary Round

BACH Prelude and Fugue in B Major, BWV 892
LISZT Paganini Etude No. 3 “La campanella”
DUTILLEUX “Choral et variations” from Sonata pour piano

Quarterfinal Round

HAYDN Sonata in E-flat Major, Hob. XVI:52
RACHMANINOV “Elégie” from Morceaux de fantaisie, op. 3
BARTÓK Piano Sonata, Sz. 80

Semifinal Round – Recital

CHOPIN 12 Etudes, op. 25
ZHANG ZHAO Numa Ame

Final Round – Concerto 

SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, op. 22

 


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Alyssa Gabrilovich

ALYSSA GABRILOVICH

United States  I  17

“Regardless of our differences, we understand each other through classical music. It is amazing that even today, musicians play pieces that were composed centuries ago. Although society has been changing due to exponential growth of technology, the art of classical music could never be replaced.”

Alyssa Gabrilovich, a junior at Harriton High School near Philadelphia, has studied piano with Dr. Igor Resnianski at the Nelly Berman School of Music for nine years. She says her primary goal when performing is “being able to elicit emotions in other people through the use of imagination” and finds inspiration in the “distinctive colors, images, and meanings that each piece possesses.” Her dedication to her art has certainly been evidenced in her 43 competition prizes to date, as well as scholarships from the Chopin Foundation of the United States, EONClassics, and the Chicago and Philadelphia International Music Festivals. She’s been to Fort Worth twice for the PianoTexas International Festival & Academy and has also participated in festivals in New Orleans, Columbia, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Her host of concert engagements to date have included appearances at Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall), Kimmel Center, and Merkin Hall; she’s been featured on WWFM (New Jersey), WRTI (Philadelphia), and NPR’s From the Top. Her love of culture extends to other areas of her life: she speaks English, Spanish, and Russian; participates in the Asian Culture Club at her school; and enjoys traveling and singing.

 


REPERTOIRE

Preliminary Round

BACH  Prelude and Fugue in F Minor, BWV 857
RACHMANINOV Étude-tableau in C Minor, op. 39, no. 1
SHCHEDRIN–PLETNEV  “Prologue” and “Horse Racing” from Anna Karenina

Quarterfinal Round

 

SHOSTAKOVICH Prelude and Fugue in E Major, op. 87, no. 9
BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 6 in F Major, op. 10, no. 2 (I)
OSSIP GABRILOVICH Melody in E Minor, op. 8
MESSIAEN “Première communion de la vierge” from Vingt regards sur l’enfant-Jésus
RAVEL “Une barque sur l’océan” from Miroirs

Semifinal Round – Recital

PROKOFIEV Visions fugitives, op. 22, nos. 1, 4, 6, 9
PROKOFIEV Symphony No. 1 in D Major, op. 25 (I, II)
VINE Five Bagatelles
BACH–BUSONI Chaconne in D Minor (from Violin Partita No. 2, BWV 1004)

Final Round – Concerto 

GRIEG Piano Concerto in A Minor, op. 16


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Lauren Koszyk

Lauren Koszyk

Lauren Koszyk maintains a versatile career as an educator, opera coach, and collaborative pianist in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. A graduate of the University of North Texas, she earned her Master of Music in Collaborative Piano with a related field in Early Music; she also holds a degree in German Language. Ms. Koszyk has been presented with top honors by the Governor of Illinois and the President of Illinois State University.

A passionate and dedicated educator, she currently serves as piano faculty at Tarrant County College Northwest, maintains a private piano studio in the Dallas area, and is an active member of the Dallas Music Teachers Association, where she serves as treasurer. Her students have been accepted into top music schools and summer festivals across the country. She is honored to work for leading arts organizations including the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy and, of course, Cliburn in the Classroom!

Albert Cano Smit

Albert Cano Smit

Spain/Netherlands  |  Age 25

Albert Cano Smit has “established himself as an artist to watch” (Montreal Gazette), having won first prizes at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and the 2017 Walter W. Naumburg Piano Competition, the latter of which earned him a Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall. He was also awarded the prestigious Arthur Rubinstein Piano Prize from The Juilliard School in 2020, and had strong finishes in the 2017 Montreal and 2016 Hilton Head competitions.

Notable concerto engagements include appearances with the San Diego Symphony, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Orquesta Filarmónica de Boca del Río, Barcelona Symphony, and Catalonia National Orchestra. He has given recital and chamber performances across the United States at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, Merkin Concert Hall, Steinway Society–The Bay Area, New York’s Salon de Virtuosi, and Bravo! Vail Festival; in France at the Wissembourg Festival and Fondation Louis Vuitton; at Germany’s Rheingau Music Festival; in Xiamen, China; and throughout Spain.

A polyglot who speaks five languages, Albert was born in Geneva, the son of a Dutch mother and Spanish father who settled in Catalonia. He left home at 9 to join the Escolania de Montserrat choir school, where hours of rehearsal every day strongly affected his musical development. The school also produced one of his most memorable performance experiences, a benefit for the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, because it “had a purpose beyond music that brought us together.” His serious piano studies took him to Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester and finally to Juilliard, where he completed his artist diploma in May 2022, under the tutelage of Robert McDonald.

albertcanosmit.com


REPERTOIRE

Preliminary Round

BACH Contrapunctus I, IV, II, XIIIb, XIIIa, V, IX from The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080
ALBÉNIZ “Evocación” and “El Puerto” from Iberia, Book I
HOUGH Fanfare Toccata

Quarterfinal Round

BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, op. 31, no. 2 (“The Tempest”)
SCRIABIN Poem in F-sharp Major, op. 32, no. 1
SCRIABIN Etude in C-sharp Minor, op. 2, no. 1
LIGETI Etude No. 15 “White on White”
LIGETI Etude No. 13 “L’escalier du diable”

Semifinal Round – Recital

BACH English Suite No. 1 in A Major, BWV 806
SCHUMANN Kreisleriana, op. 16
GINASTERA Danzas Argentinas, op. 2

Semifinal Round – Mozart concerto

MOZART Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491

Final Round – Concerto I

BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, op. 58

Final Round – Concerto II

BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, op. 15


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Alessio Bax

ALESSIO BAX – ITALY

Combining exceptional lyricism and insight with consummate technique, Alessio Bax is without a doubt “among the most remarkable young pianists now before the public” (Gramophone). He catapulted to prominence with First Prize wins at both the Leeds and Hamamatsu International Piano Competitions, and is now a familiar face on five continents, not only as a recitalist and chamber musician, but also as a concerto soloist who has appeared with more than 150 orchestras, including the London, Royal, and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestras, the Boston, Dallas, Cincinnati, Sydney, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, and the NHK Symphony in Japan, collaborating with such eminent conductors as Marin Alsop, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Andrew Davis, Fabio Luisi, Sir Simon Rattle, Yuri Temirkanov, and Jaap van Zweden.

Bax constantly explores many facets of his career. He released his eleventh Signum Classics album, Italian Inspirations, whose program was also the vehicle for his solo recital debut at New York’s 92nd Street Y as well as on tour. He recently embarked on a trio tour of Spain with violinist Joshua Bell and cellist Steven Isserlis. Bax and his regular piano duo partner, Lucille Chung, gave recitals at New York’s Lincoln Center and were featured with the St. Louis Symphony and Stéphane Denève. He has also presented the complete works of Beethoven for cello and piano with cellist Paul Watkins in New York City.

Next season he will make his debut with the Milwaukee Symphony, performing Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto and will return for the fourth time for two recitals at the historic Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. This past summer was highlighted by his fifth season as Artistic Director of Tuscany’s Incontri in Terra di Siena festival as well as return appearances at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival and at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival with the Dallas Symphony and Fabio Luisi conducting.

Bax revisited Mozart’s K. 491 and K. 595 concertos, as heard on Alessio Bax Plays Mozart, for his recent debuts with the Boston and Melbourne Symphonies, both with Sir Andrew Davis, and with the Sydney Symphony, which he led himself from the keyboard. Other recent highlights include the pianist’s Auckland Philharmonia debut, concerts in Israel, a Japanese tour featuring dates with the Tokyo Symphony, a U.S. tour with flutist Emmanuel Pahud and an Asian tour with Daishin Kashimoto. Recent seasons also saw Bax make his solo recital debut at London’s Wigmore Hall, and give concerts at L.A.’s Disney Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, and New York’s Carnegie Hall. In 2009, he was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and four years later he received both the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award and the Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists.

Bax’s celebrated Signum Classics discography includes Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” and “Moonlight” Sonatas (a Gramophone “Editor’s Choice”); Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto; Bax & Chung, a duo disc with Lucille Chung; Alessio Bax plays Mozart, recorded with London’s Southbank Sinfonia; Alessio Bax: Scriabin & Mussorgsky (named “Recording of the Month … and quite possibly … of the year” by MusicWeb International); Alessio Bax plays Brahms (a Gramophone “Critics’ Choice”); Bach Transcribed; and Rachmaninov: Preludes & Melodies (an American Record Guide “Critics’ Choice 2011”). Recorded for Warner Classics, his Baroque Reflections album was also a Gramophone “Editor’s Choice.” He performed Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata for Daniel Barenboim in the PBS-TV documentary Barenboim on Beethoven: Masterclass, available on DVD from EMI.

At age 14, Bax graduated with top honors from the conservatory of Bari, his hometown in Italy, and after further studies in Europe, he moved to the United States in 1994. A Steinway artist, he lives in New York City with pianist Lucille Chung and their daughter, Mila. He was invited to join the piano faculty of Boston’s New England Conservatory in the fall of 2019.

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Alexander Kobrin

ALEXANDER KOBRIN
 2005 CLIBURN GOLD

SEMIFINAL ROUND RECITAL
ORIGINALLY BROADCAST MAY 29, 2005

PROGRAM
SCHONTHAL Sonata quasi un’improvvisazione
SCHUMANN Symphonic Etudes, op. 13
RACHMANINOV Etudes-tableaux, op. 33

ABOUT ALEXANDER KOBRIN

Heralded for “thoughtful performances perfectly balanced between intellectual rigor and expressive pliancy” (Dallas Morning News), 2005 Cliburn Gold Medalist Alexander Kobrin has established a performance career across North America, Europe, and Asia. He has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Russian National, English Chamber, Dallas Symphony, and BBC Symphony, and recitals have taken him to major halls and music festivals around the world. He has released nine acclaimed recordings to date, covering a wide swatch of piano literature, for the harmonia mundi, Quartz, and Centaur labels. Born in Moscow, Alexander enrolled in the Gnessin Special School of Music at age 5, after which he attended the Moscow Conservatory. In addition to the Cliburn gold medal, he has won top prizes at the Busoni, Hamamatsu, and Scottish International Piano Competitions. He is currently on faculty of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

Leonardo Pierdomenico

LEONARDO PIERDOMENICO
2017 CLIBURN COMPETITION JURY DISCRETIONARY AWARD

 

PROGRAM
CLEMENTI Sonata No. 5 in F-sharp Minor, op. 25
HAMELIN Toccata on “L’homme arme”
BRAHMS Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Books I and II, op. 35

ABOUT LEONARDO
Leonardo recorded his debut album just six months after the 2017 Cliburn; released in 2018 by Piano Classics, the all-Liszt recording was hailed by Gramophone magazine as “stunning… Pierdomenico is a musician of rare sensitivity and vision, and following his further development will be a pleasure.” He is planning another for the label this year. He has made solo, chamber, and concerto appearances throughout Europe and North America, and has been selected to compete in the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Utrecht, now slated for November 2020. He graduated in 2017 from the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, where he studied with Benedetto Lupo. In 2011, he was awarded a medal for his artistic achievements by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. leonardopierdomenico.com

Alessandro Deljavan

ALESSANDRO DELJAVAN
2013 CLIBURN JURY DISCRETIONARY AWARD WINNER
CLIBURN COMPETITION PRELIMINARY ROUND I RECITAL (originally broadcast May 25, 2013)

 

Program
BACH Partita No. 5 in G Major, BWV 829
CHOPIN Twelve Etudes, op. 25

ABOUT ALESSANDRO

Alessandro’s “highly individualistic musical psyche” and “stunningly beautiful and expressive” performances have earned him legions of fans; his tours take him across North and South America, Europe, and Asia. His discography of over 40 albums reveals a voracious musical curiosity: they include the complete Chopin waltzes, etudes, and mazurkas; the complete piano works for Reynaldo Hahn; the complete violin sonatas of Grieg; the complete strings/piano works of Tanayev; and deep explorations of Bach, Schumann, Mompou, Martucci, Grieg, and Liszt. In addition to his performance activities, he is also currently a professor of piano at the Giordano Conservatory of Music in his native Italy.

If you’d like to preview Alessandro’s newest album with the BACH Goldberg Variations, sign up here: https://mailchi.mp/acca9c787c92/goldberg-preview

ALLEN RACHO

ALLEN RACHO

AGE 49  I  BOLINGBROOK, ILLINOIS  I  UNITED STATES
SOFTWARE ARCHITECT

Allen Racho completed two undergraduate degrees at Amherst College: one in biology and the other in composition with a thesis in—appropriately— electronic music. He has been a software engineer and architect for the past 20 years, in fields as diverse as medical technology and the retail sector. Spending the earliest part of his childhood in Asia and Europe, Allen’s formative musical experience was at the Jakarta Intercultural School in Indonesia. He is currently a technology lead for Ulta Beauty’s IT Marketing group, a primary driver of sales for the major U.S. retailer. Allen and his father consider Van Cliburn one of their idols; participating in a competition named in honor of the great pianist is “icing on the cake—very nice icing on a very nice cake.” At this pivotal time in his musical journey, before new paths make their demands on the time he can devote to piano, Allen competes “for the sheer joy of playing alongside and being measured against the most dedicated and talented musicians out there, who just happen to not be doing this for a living.”

 


Repertoire

Preliminary Round

KAPUSTIN Concert Etude, op. 40, no. 3 “Toccatina”
LISZT Transcendental Etude No. 11, “Harmonies du soir”
CHOPIN Etude in C Major, op. 10, no. 1

Semifinal Round 

KAPUSTIN Concert Etude, op. 40, no. 6 “Pastoral”
CHOPIN Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, op. 52
GERSHWIN–WILD “Embraceable You”
CHOPIN Polonaise in A-flat Major, op. 53, (“Héroïque”)

Final Round 

GRIEG Concerto in A Minor, op. 16 (III)

Alexander Kobrin

Alexander Kobrin – United States

The distinguished pianist Alexander Kobrin— heralded as the “Van Cliburn of today” by the BBC Russia—has placed himself at the forefront of today’s performing musicians. Mr. Kobrin has been an active guest soloist with leading orchestras throughout his career, including the New York Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Russian National Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Verdi, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Moscow Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Deutsche Symphony,Swedish Radio Symphony, Birmingham Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has collaborated with such conductors as Mikhail Pletnev, Mikhail Jurovsky, Sir Mark Elder, Vassiliy Sinaisky, James Conlon, Claus Peter Flor, Alexander Lazarev, Vassiliy Petrenko amongst others.

He has appeared in recital at major halls worldwide, including Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, the Louvre Auditorium, la Salle Gaveau and Salle Cortot in Paris, Munich’s Herkulesaal and Berlin’s Filarmonia Hall in Germany, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, Sheung Wan Civic Centre in Hong Kong, and the Sala Verdi in Milan, amongst others. Notable past engagements have included recitals under the aegis of the Cliburn Series, Washington Performing Arts Society, Chautauqua Institution Music Festival, La Roque d’Antheron, Ravinia Festival, Beethoven Easter Festival, Busoni Festival, Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Festival Musique dans le Grésivaudan, and International Keyboard Institute & Festival, as well as annual concert tours in Japan, China, and Taiwan.

In addition to his international performing career, Mr. Kobrin has also been an active figure in music education for many years. From 2003 to 2010 he served on the faculty of the Russian State Gnessin’s Academy of Music. In 2010 Alexander Kobrin was named the L. Rexford Distinguished Chair in Piano at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University, and from 2013 until 2017 was a member of the Artist Faculty of New York University’s Steinhardt School. In July 2017, Mr. Kobrin joined the faculty of the renowned Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. His masterclass schedule has included engagements with the International Piano Series and the Conservatories of Japan and China, as well as jury participation for international piano competitions including the Busoni,Hamamatsu, Seoul, Neuhaus International Piano Competitions and others. Mr. Kobrin is currently a member of Van Cliburn International Piano Competition pre-screening jury.

Alexander Kobrin has released recordings on the Harmonia Mundi, Quartz, and Centaur labels, covering a wide swath of the piano literature. Latest releases include a Russian album as well as Chopin Complete Piano Sonatas.

Born in Moscow in 1980, Mr. Kobrin was enrolled in the world-famous Gnessin Special School of Music at the age of five, after which he attended the prestigious Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. His teachers have included renowned professors Tatiana Zelikman and Lev Naumov. Mr. Kobrin is the winner of numerous international piano competitions—besides the Van Cliburn, he has garnered top prizes from the Busoni, Hamamatsu, and Glasgow International Piano Competitions.

alexanderkobrin.org

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Lilya Zilberstein

LILYA ZILBERSTEIN – Germany

Lilya Zilberstein got her first taste of international success in 1987 when she won the Busoni Competition in Bolzano. By 1988, the Moscow-born pianist was able to perform big tours abroad in the West. Traveling for her concerts took her to almost all of Europe, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Canada, and Brazil.

She started playing the piano at 5 years old. In 1985, she won first prize in the Competition of the Russian Federation and was one of the prizewinners at the All Union’s Competition in Riga. She emigrated to Germany in 1990. In 1991, she debuted with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Claudio Abbado, which formed the basis of a longterm cooperation. Ms. Zilberstein has since performed with the foremost orchestras and conductors in the world. She is a regular guest in the major concert halls and at the most important festivals in Europe, North America, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. She has toured with violinist Maxim Vengerov and celebrated the 20-year anniversary with her duo partner Martha Argerich in 2019.

Highlights of recent years include a residency at the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, invitations to play at the Salzburg and Easter Festivals, and performances with Düsseldorf Symphony and Cologne Gürzenich Orchestras, where she played Tchaikovsky‘s rarely performed Third Piano Concerto (documented by a critically acclaimed CD by Oehms Classics).

She has recorded eight albums for Deutsche Grammophon; more recently, she has recorded the Brahms Sonata for Two Pianos with Martha Argerich (EMI) and Clementi, Mussorgsky, and Rachmaninov (Hänssler Classic).

Since 2015, she is professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, succeeding Paul Badura-Skoda and Oleg Maisenberg.

lilyazilberstein.com

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ALESSANDRO DELJAVAN

ALESSANDRO DELJAVAN – ITALY

Italian pianist Alessandro Deljavan has been astonishing audiences for more than two decades. Acknowledgements began at the age of nine when he won the prestigious Concours musical de France (1st Prize, Paris, 1996). He is embraced for his remarkable prowess and emotional intensity by audiences and colleagues alike. “Deljavan played Chopin’s B minor Etude with jaw dropping virtuosity and heart-stopping eloquence.” (Dallas Morning News)

A prolific recording artist, Alessandro Deljavan has more than 60 albums from the solo and chamber music repertoire. Of his recording of the Chopin complete Études Pizzicato wrote, “Technically brilliant and with an exceptional imagination, Alessandro Deljavan brings finesse and spontaneity to Chopin’s Etudes.”

Alessandro Deljavan has won top prizes in competitions including Concours musical de France (1st Prize, Paris, 1996), Hummel Competition (2nd Prize, Bratislava, 2005), Gina Bachauer Young Artist Competition (5th Prize, 2005), Cliburn Competition (John Giordano Discretionary Award, 2009; Raymond E. Buck Discretionary Award, 2013), and Isangyun Competition (2nd Prize, Tongyeong, South Korea, 2010).

Alessandro has performed with the Mariinsky Theatre, Fort Worth Symphony, Israel Camerata, Wu Han Philharmonic, and the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestras, as well as Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Orchestra Sinfonica Leopolis, and Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano e Trento, among others.

He has appeared at festivals such as the Festival International Piano Classique de Biarritz, Festival Chopin à Paris, Piano Intime Series, Glafsfjordens musikfestival, Bologna Festival, Il Festival Piano Master, Orta Festival, Gradus International Piano Festival, Franz Liszt Festival, Festival Città di Morbegno, Festival Internazionale di Lapedona, Autunno Musicale, the Bogotà International Piano Festival and Tippet Rise.

Alessandro Deljavan has a discography of over 60 albums. In 2021 Alessandro launched his own label, AERAS. A new Bach Goldberg recording, a Liszt album, to be followed by Schubert sonatas, Beethoven sonatas with violin, Mozart sonatas, and more.

On Youtube, his recording of the complete Chopin Waltzes has received more than one million streams to date.

He is currently professor of piano at the U. Giordano Conservatory of Music, Rodi Garganico, Italy.

 

 

 

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Alex McDonald

Alex McDonald – UNITED STATES

Since his orchestral debut at age 11, pianist Alex McDonald has soloed with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de Mexico, Louisiana Philharmonic, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and Utah Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has performed across the United States, as well as in Israel, Mexico, Canada, Japan, and South Korea; additionally, he has been a featured performer on PBS, WRR (Dallas/Fort Worth), NPR, and WQXR (New York City). Awards include second prizes at the 2007 New Orleans International Piano Competition and 2001 Gina Bachauer International Young Artist Piano Competition, and the 2008 Harvey Fellowship by the Mustard Seed Foundation. In 2013, he was a competitor in the Fourteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Mr. McDonald is currently the festival director for Basically Beethoven, a thriving summer concert series now approaching its 40th season in downtown Dallas’ Arts District. His program “Music for Animals” was hailed by Theater Jones as one of its “Concerts of the Year” in 2016. Equally passionate as a teacher, his private piano students have been admitted to Juilliard and Eastman, and have performed at Carnegie’s Weill Hall and on WRR. He has taught at Texas Woman’s University, Richland College, and The Juilliard School, where he also was a teaching fellow for both the Literature and Materials and Piano Minor departments. The Texas Music Teacher’s Association awarded him the 2017 Outstanding Achievement Award in teaching at the age of 34.

Mr. McDonald received his pre-college training under Lois Nielson, his bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory with Academic Honors and Distinction in Performance under Russell Sherman, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Juilliard under Yoheved Kaplinsky and Julian Martin. His doctoral document, a source study on manuscripts and editions for Liszt’s Sonata in B Minor, has been cited in the most recent edition of the sonata by Alfred Publishers, edited by Nancy Bricard.

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Lowell Liebermann

Lowell Liebermann – United States
2001 winner, Cliburn American Composers Invitational

Lowell Liebermann is one of America’s most frequently performed and recorded living composers. He has written over 130 works in all genres, several of which have gone on to become standard repertoire for their instruments, such as his Sonata for Flute and Piano and Gargoyles for piano, each of which have been recorded over 20 times on CD.

Mr. Liebermann has been commissioned by a wide array of ensembles and instrumentalists, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Emerson Quartet, and flutist Sir James Galway. His full-length ballet Frankenstein was co-commissioned by London’s Royal Ballet and the San Francisco Ballet and has been released on Blu-Ray and DVD. Mr. Liebermann has written two full-length operas, both enthusiastically received at their premieres: The Picture of Dorian Gray, the first American opera commissioned and premiered by l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo, and Miss Lonelyhearts, after the novel by Nathanael West, commissioned by The Juilliard School to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

Mr. Liebermann served as composer-in-residence for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for four years, a role he also held with the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and many other organizations. He joined the composition faculty of Mannes School of Music of the New School in 2012, where he founded the Mannes American Composers Ensemble, devoted to performing works of living American composers. He was appointed head of Mannes’s Composition Department the following year. He is also artistic director of the Thessaly Chamber Music Festival in Greece, which has its inaugural season this summer.

Among his many awards are a Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, awards from ASCAP and BMI, and a Grammy® nomination. He was the first winner of the Cliburn’s American Composers Invitational, and in 2014 became the inaugural recipient of the Virgil Thomson Award for vocal composition.

ALESSIO BAX, jury chairman

ALESSIO BAX – ITALY
JURY CHAIRMAN

Combining exceptional lyricism and insight with consummate technique, Alessio Bax is without a doubt “among the most remarkable young pianists now before the public” (Gramophone). He catapulted to prominence with first prize wins at both the Leeds and Hamamatsu International Piano Competitions, and is now a familiar face on five continents, not only as a recitalist and chamber musician, but also as a concerto soloist who has appeared with more than 100 orchestras, including the London, Royal, and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestras, the Boston, Dallas, Sydney, Cincinnati and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, and the NHK Symphony in Japan, collaborating with such eminent conductors as Marin Alsop, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Simon Rattle, Yuri Temirkanov, and Jaap van Zweden.

Mr. Bax explores many facets of his career in the 2019–2020 season. Fall brings the release of Italian Inspirations, his eleventh recording for Signum Classics. Pairing works by Luigi Dallapiccola and Alessandro Marcello with Italian-themed pieces by Rachmaninov and Liszt, the album’s program is also the vehicle for Mr. Bax’s solo recital debut at New York’s 92nd Street Y. A further debut follows with the Milwaukee Symphony, where he plays Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto under Han-Na Chang, and the same composer’s Fourth Concerto and Choral Fantasy take him to the Santa Barbara Symphony. Placing special focus on long-term collaborative projects, this season Mr. Bax undertakes Beethoven’s complete works for cello and piano at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) and on a forthcoming Signum Classics release, both with Paul Watkins of the Emerson String Quartet; plays trios in Santiago with Berlin Philharmonic concertmaster Daishin Kashimoto and French horn virtuoso Radovan Vlatković; and embarks on multiple U.S. and European recital tours with superstar violinist Joshua Bell. After headlining the North Carolina Symphony’s season-opening concerts together, Mr. Bax and his regular piano partner, Lucille Chung, give duo recitals with CMS, at Atlanta’s Spivey Hall, in the Yale Piano Series, and at Sala São Paulo in Brazil. He rounds out the season with a full summer of festivals, highlighted by his third season as Artistic Director of Tuscany’s Incontri in Terra di Siena festival, which is fast becoming a major international destination for music-lovers.

Mr. Bax revisited the two concertos heard on Alessio Bax Plays Mozart for his recent debuts with the Boston and Melbourne Symphonies, both with Sir Andrew Davis, and with the Sydney Symphony, which he led himself from the keyboard. Other 2018–2019 highlights include the pianist’s Auckland Philharmonia debut, concerts in Israel, a Japanese tour featuring dates with the Tokyo Symphony, U.S. collaborations with Miguel Harth-Bedoya and Edo de Waart, and two solo recitals marking his return to the prestigious Mozarteum Argentino series at Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colón. Recent seasons have also seen Mr. Bax make his solo recital debut at London’s Wigmore Hall, which aired live on BBC Radio 3, and give concerts at L.A.’s Disney Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, and New York’s Carnegie Hall. In 2009, he was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and four years later he received both the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award and the Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists.

Alessio Bax graduated with top honors at the record age of 14 from the conservatory of Bari, his hometown in Italy, where his teacher was Angela Montemurro. He studied in France with Francois-Joël Thiollier and attended the Chigiana Academy in Siena under Joaquín Achúcarro. In 1994, he moved to Dallas to continue his studies with Mr. Achúcarro at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts. In fall 2019, Mr. Bax joins the piano faculty of Boston’s New England Conservatory. A Steinway artist, he lives in New York City with Lucille Chung and their 5-year-old daughter, Mila. Beyond the concert hall he is known for his longtime obsession with fine food; as a 2013 New York Times profile noted, he is not only notorious for hosting “epic” multi-course dinner parties, but often spends his intermissions dreaming of meals to come.

Alexander Kobrin, piano

Called the “Van Cliburn of today” by the BBC, Alexander Kobrin is at the forefront of today’s performing musicians. Since his Cliburn Competition win in 2005, he has performed in the world’s greatest halls—including New York’s Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Washington’s Kennedy Center, London’s Albert Hall, Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, and Berlin’s Philharmonie—and with leading orchestras, such as the New York Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic, Russian National, and KBS Symphony. He has released eight CDs to great acclaim; his 2015 album was a top five of the year by Fanfare magazine. An inspiring teacher, the Moscow native recently joined the faculty of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and has served on the jury of several prestigious competitions.

LEONARD SLATKIN, CONDUCTOR – FINAL ROUND

LEONARD SLATKIN, jury chairman & conductor – Final Round

Internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin is music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL). He also maintains a rigorous schedule of guest conducting and is active as a composer, author, and educator.

Mr. Slatkin’s more than 100 recordings have garnered seven Grammy® Awards and 64 nominations. His recent Naxos recordings include works by Saint-Saëns, Ravel, and Berlioz with the ONL and music by Copland, Rachmaninov, Borzova, McTee, and John Williams with the DSO. He has also recorded the complete Beethoven and Tchaikovsky symphonies with the DSO.

A recipient of the prestigious National Medal of Arts, he also holds the rank of Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor. He has received Austria’s Declaration of Honor in Silver, the American Symphony Orchestra League’s Gold Baton Award, and the 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award for his book, Conducting Business.

Mr. Slatkin has conducted virtually all of the leading orchestras in the world. He has held posts as Music Director of the New Orleans, St. Louis, and National Symphony Orchestras. He was chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and has served as principal guest conductor of London’s Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and the Minnesota Orchestra.

leonardslatkin.com

ALEXANDER TORADZE

Alexander Toradze is universally recognized as a masterful virtuoso in the grand Romantic tradition. He appears with the leading orchestras of North America, and overseas performs with the BBC Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, La Scala Philharmonic, London Symphony, Mariinsky Orchestra, and Orchestre National de France, among others. Festival engagements include BBC Proms, Hollywood Bowl, and White Nights in St. Petersburg.

Mr. Toradze has made lauded recordings for EMI/Angel, Philips, and Pan, including the complete Prokofiev piano concertos with Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra.

Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Mr. Toradze graduated from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and soon became a professor there.  He moved to the United States in 1983, and was appointed as the Martin Endowed Chair Professor of Piano at Indiana University South Bend in 1991. The Toradze Piano Studio has developed into a worldwide touring ensemble that has gathered critical acclaim for their performance projects in Europe and the United States.

Mr. Toradze is the 1977 Cliburn silver medalist.

LEONARD SLATKIN, Jury Chairman

Internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin is Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL). He also maintains a rigorous schedule of guest conducting and is active as a composer, author, and educator.

Mr. Slatkin’s more than 100 recordings have garnered seven Grammy® Awards and 64 nominations. His recent Naxos recordings include works by Saint-Saëns, Ravel, and Berlioz with the ONL and music by Copland, Rachmaninov, Borzova, McTee, and John Williams with the DSO. He has also recorded the complete Beethoven and Tchaikovsky symphonies with the DSO.

A recipient of the prestigious National Medal of Arts, he also holds the rank of Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor. He has received Austria’s Declaration of Honor in Silver, the American Symphony Orchestra League’s Gold Baton Award, and the 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award for his book, Conducting Business.

Mr. Slatkin has conducted virtually all of the leading orchestras in the world. He has held posts as Music Director of the New Orleans, St. Louis, and National Symphony Orchestras. He was chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and has served as principal guest conductor of London’s Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and the Minnesota Orchestra.

Leonardo Pierdomenico

Leonardo Pierdomenico

Italy | Age 24

Leonardo Pierdomenico is studying for his master’s degree under Benedetto Lupo at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Born in Pescara, he graduated from the Luisa D’Annunzio conservatory there, then studied at the Fiesole School of Music. Mr. Pierdomenico won the 2011 Premio Venezia piano competition in Venice and was a semifinalist at the 2016 Queen Elisabeth Competition, where his Chopin Ballade No. 1 in G Minor was included on the best-of-competition CD, released by harmonia mundi. Mr. Pierdomenico was named a fellow of the 2016 Music Academy of the West Festival in Santa Barbara, where he worked with artists such as Jeremy Denk, Jerome Lowenthal, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Julian Martin, and Leon Fleisher. He also has played solo recitals in Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, and in the major venues of Italy, and his performances have been featured on the radio in Belgium, Italy, and Santa Barbara, California. In 2011, he was awarded a medal for his artistic achievements by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. When not at the piano, Mr. Pierdomenico especially enjoys painting and soccer.

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COMPETITION REPERTOIRE

Preliminary Recital
CLEMENTI Sonata No. 5 in F-sharp Minor, op. 25
HAMELIN Toccata on “L’homme armé”
BRAHMS Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Books I and II, op. 35

Quarterfinal Recital
LISZT Ballade No. 2 in B Minor
RACHMANINOFF Variations on a Theme by Chopin, op. 22

Semifinal Recital

BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 4 in E-flat Major, op. 7
CHOPIN Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, op. 23
CHOPIN Ballade No. 2 in F Major, op. 38
CHOPIN Ballade No. 3 in A-flat Major, op. 47
CHOPIN Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, op. 52

Semifinal Concerto
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K. 466

Final Round Piano Quintet
SCHUMANN Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, op. 44

Final Round Concerto
LISZT Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major

 

Alyosha Jurinic

Alyosha Jurinic

Croatia | Age 28

Alyosha Jurinic won the International Robert Schumann Competition in 2012, and was a fifth-prize winner of the 2016 Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition and a finalist at the 2015 International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition. He won the Best Young Musician Award from the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, and is the youngest-ever recipient of the Croatian Ministry of Culture’s Vladimir Nazor Award, given annually for highest achievement in the arts. Mr. Jurinic made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2015 and has performed with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, Croatian Radio-Television Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic, National Orchestra of Belgium, Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra, Kosovo Philharmonic, and others. His festival appearances include Piano Fortissimo in Zagreb, Dubrovnik Summer Festival in Croatia, Kiev Summer Music Evenings, and Serate Musicali in Milan, as well as Chopin festivals in Serbia, France (the George Sand House), and Chopin’s birthplace in Poland. Mr. Jurinic is currently studying with Grigory Gruzman at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar. His passions include film, TV, pop music, books, fitness, and soccer tactics.

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COMPETITION REPERTOIRE

Preliminary Recital
DEBUSSY Rêverie
BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 13 in E-flat Major, op. 27, no. 1 (“Quasi una fantasia”)
HAMELIN Toccata on “L’homme armé”
SCHUMANN-LISZT Widmung
LISZT Concert Etude No. 2 in F Minor “La Leggierezza”
LISZT Hungarian Rhapsody No. 11 in A Minor

Quarterfinal Recital
DEBUSSY Images, Book II
SCHUMANN Sonata No. 1 in F-sharp Minor, op. 11

Semifinal Recital

SCHUBERT Sonata in A Major, D. 664, op. posth. 120
DORMAN Piano Sonata No. 5
CHOPIN Nocturne in D-flat Major, op. 27, no. 2
CHOPIN Mazurkas, op. 17 , nos. 1 and 2
CHOPIN Etudes, op. 25, nos. 1, 2, 6, 7, 11, and 12

Semifinal Concerto
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488

Final Round Piano Quintet
SCHUMANN Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, op. 44

Final Round Concerto
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, op. 16

 

Luigi Carroccia

Luigi Carroccia

Italy | Age 25

Luigi Carroccia was born into a musical family, and his first piano teachers were his father and grandfather. He continued studies at the Claudio Monteverdi Conservatory in Bolzano, where he earned undergraduate and master’s degrees with honors. He has won prizes in many competitions, such as the Maria Herrero International Competition in Granada and the Premio Abbado, organized by the Italian Ministry of Culture in memory of Claudio Abbado.  He also was a finalist at the 2015 Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition and a semifinalist at the 2015 International Fryderyk Chopin Competition. Mr. Carroccia has given numerous recitals in Naples, Rome, and elsewhere in Italy, as well as in Poland, the United States, Great Britain, Bulgaria, and Germany. Besides music, his passions include cooking.

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COMPETITION REPERTOIRE

Preliminary Recital
GLUCK-SGAMBATI “Mélodie” from Orfeo ed Euridice
CHOPIN Polonaise-Fantaisie in A-flat Major, op. 61
SCRIABIN Sonata No. 3 in F-sharp Minor, op. 23
HAMELIN Toccata on “L’homme armé”

Quarterfinal Recital
CHOPIN Barcarolle in F-sharp Major, op. 60
CHOPIN Two Nocturnes, op. 62
CZERNY Variations from a Theme by Rode in E-flat Major, op. 33
KABALEVSKY Rondo in A Minor, op. 59

Semifinal Recital

SCHUBERT Sonata in B-flat Major, D. 960
BRAHMS Sechs Klavierstücke, op. 118

Semifinal Concerto
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488

Final Round Piano Quintet
SCHUMANN Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, op. 44

Final Round Concerto
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, op. 58

 

Alina Bercu

Alina Bercu

Romania | Age 27

As a young teen, Alina Bercu was awarded a special prize by Romania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for promoting her nation through culture. She started piano lessons at age 7 in her native Campina, Romania, and her family soon moved to Brasov so she could study piano at Transylvania University. She went on to study in Germany with Grigory Gruzman (Weimar University) and Wolfgang Manz (Nuremberg University), among others. Ms. Bercu has performed at major concert venues including Carnegie Hall and in Zurich, Munich, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Rome, and Bucharest. Her orchestra appearances include the Vienna Philharmonic, Orchestre de chambre de Lausanne, and Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra. Her Schubert-Brahms recording with violinist Ilian Garnet, winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition, won the Golden Label prize in Belgium and the Cle d’Or in France. Ms. Bercu has won prizes at the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition, the European Piano Contest, and the World Piano Competition (Cincinnati), among others, as well as at chamber-music competitions as a member of Duo Enesco. In addition to music, Ms. Bercu is devoted to travel, running, and cooking.

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COMPETITION REPERTOIRE

Preliminary Recital
BACH Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828
HAMELIN Toccata on “L’homme armé”
PROKOFIEV Sonata No. 7 in B-flat Major, op. 83

Quarterfinal Recital
LIEBERMANN Gargoyles, op. 29
SCHUMANN Carnaval, op. 9

Semifinal Recital

BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 30 in E Major, op. 109
CHOPIN Polonaise-Fantaisie in A-flat Major,op. 61
DEBUSSY Images, Book I
RACHMANINOFF Étude-tableau in F Minor, op. 33, no. 1
RACHMANINOFF Étude-tableau in D Major, op. 39, no. 9

Semifinal Concerto
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat Major, K. 271

Final Round Piano Quintet
BRAHMS Piano Quintet in F Minor, op. 34

Final Round Concerto
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, op. 26

 

Lana C. Marina

Lana C. Marina, 47
Stay-at-home mother
New York, New York
United States

Lana C. Marina spent her childhood practicing the piano, under the assumption she would become a pianist. When she was 14, she won the Van Cliburn scholarship to the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan, where she met Mr. Cliburn at a ceremony: “He complimented my playing and, memorably, kissed my hand.” But an accident—in which she slipped on ice and broke her left wrist—during her junior year at Northwestern University sidelined her budding career, and Ms. Marina decided to pursue a law degree at Cornell Law School. For 20 years, she worked as a trademark lawyer until she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which forced her to take a step back. In participating at the Amateur Competition, Ms. Marina hopes to achieve her personal best and to be a role model for her 9-year-old daughter, Sydney, showing her that one can accomplish dreams in the face of obstacles.

COMPETITION REPERTOIRE

Preliminary Round
HOROWITZ   Variations on Themes from Bizet’s Carmen
LISZT   Paganini Etude No. 3 in G-sharp Minor (“La Campanella”)

Quarterfinal Round
BEETHOVEN   Sonata No. 3 in C major, op. 2, no. 3: I. Allegro con brio
BALAKIREV   Islamey (Oriental Fantasy)

Semifinal Round
BRAHMS   Etude No. 5 (for left hand) after J.S. Bach’s Chaconne in D Minor, BWV 1016
SCHULZ-EVLER   Concert Arabesques on Motifs by Johann Strauss (“By the Beautiful Danube”)

Final Round
MENDELSSOHN   Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, op. 25: III. Presto

Lawrence Hsu

Lawrence Hsu, 58
Real estate agent
Seattle, Washington
United States

Lawrence Hsu began private piano lessons when he was 10, switched to the violin at 12, and then went back to piano at age 15. Mr. Hsu studied with Randolph Hokanson as a non-music major at the University of Washington, where he graduated with degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering. He worked at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the Veterans Administration in a variety of capacities until 2014, when he transitioned into a completely different career as a real estate agent. Since then, he has focused on his clients, as well as the piano. For the past three years, he has attended a summer piano academy in Victoria, British Columbia, as well as master classes with Paul Robert at the Portland Piano Company in Portland, Washington. Among his diverse interests, Mr. Hsu lists gardening, foreign languages, singing, traveling, and cooking.

COMPETITION REPERTOIRE

Preliminary Round
BACH   “Praeludium” from Partita No. 5 in G Major, BWV 829
SCHUMANN   “Traumerei” from Kinderszenen, op. 15
DEBUSSY   Reflets dans l’eaufrom Images, Book I

Quarterfinal Round
SCHUBERT   Sonata No. 13 in A Major, op. 120

Semifinal Round
CHOPIN   Nocturne in B Major, op. 62, no. 1
CHOPIN   Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, op. 23
RAVEL   Sonatine

Final Round
MOZART   Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 48: I. Allegro

Alfredo Garcia Jr.

Alfredo Garcia Jr., 62
Financial advisor
Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey
Cuba/United States

Born in Cuba, Alfredo Garcia Jr. began studying piano when he was 8, and was preparing to enter the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory at 14 when his family relocated to Madrid, Spain. After studying briefly at the Conservatorio Real de Madrid, he moved to New York City in 1970 to further his musical pursuits at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. But when his father became ill, he was drawn away from the piano and eventually became a financial analyst. Throughout his life—which has included a successful and busy career (he now serves as first vice president and senior international financial advisor for Merrill Lynch/Bank of America), marrying his college sweetheart and raising three daughters, and extensive travel—Mr. Garcia has never given up on his first love, the piano. He diligently practices daily and has continued to take lessons throughout his adult life. He is the winner of the 2014 Cliburn Amateur Piano Video Contest, which was determined by an online vote.

COMPETITION REPERTOIRE

Preliminary Round
RACHMANINOV   Moment musical in C Major, op. 16, no. 6
SCRIABIN   Etude in D-sharp Minor, op. 8, no. 12

Quarterfinal Round
CHOPIN   Andante Spaniato and Grand Polonaise Brillante, op. 22

Semifinal Round
SCHUBERT   Fantasy in C Major, op. 15 (“Der Wanderer”)
CERVANTES   “Mensaje;” “Interrumpida;” and “La Carcajada” from Danzas Cubanas

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