Posted at 5:16 AM on July 2, 2006
by Valerie Kahler
Filed under: Piano eComp
Well, Thursday's event in the Forum was great fun. We had a nice turnout and it was wonderful to see the Yamaha concert grand here in the building.
Listen to the forum event (1:04:21s)
Melissa hosted a Q&A with Competition founding director Alexander Braginsky and a couple of techs from Yamaha who explained the ins & outs of the Yamaha disklavier.
Pianist Denis Evstioukhine � a student of Braginsky�s, and 3rd prize winner at the 2004 competition - demonstrated the gorgeous concert capabilities of the instrument. He played Balakirev's Islamey and a Chopin Impromptu for the enthusiastic audience. Both those performances made it to the airwaves on Friday June 30th. Ain't technology swell?
It was great to see how the disklavier worked, as well. Alexander played Debussy's L'Isle Joyeuse (delightfully) as the Yamaha guys recorded to the disklavier and videotaped him at the keyboard. Then they played it back and we watched Alexander's performance on the monitor screen as the disklavier played, perfectly synched. It's always odd to see the keys moving with no one at the keyboard, but even stranger to see the pedals working. Speaking of which - we learned that the pedals have 120 gradations of pressure from completely up to fully depressed. And the keys? a THOUSAND and change. That means the subtlest caress of a key is reproduced absolutely faithfully. Can you tell I was impressed?
This afternoon, Melissa and I are going to pop in to Sundin Music Hall to get our first glimpse of the contestants. They'll be drawing numbers to determine their competition order, as well as trying out the two Yamaha disklaviers to see which one they prefer for their performances.
We'll try to get some pictures online soon. Stay tuned.
Piano-e-Competition Web site
Watch live video of the competition.
Piano-e-Competition, June 29, 2006