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Classical Notes: July 7, 2006 Archive

In Our Concert Halls

Posted at 9:10 AM on July 7, 2006 by Rex Levang (1 Comments)

All the piano e-activity that you've read about gives me a chance to put in a plug for the auditorium where this current phase of the competition is happening -- the gracious Sundin Music Hall, which may be the best space that the Twin Cities have for chamber music. (Other nominees?)

On Tuesday, no less than Glenn Gould will be heard at Sundin. Gould, of course, has been dead for some years, but John Q. Walker is going to use some computer and robotics wizardry -- the same kind that puts the "e" into E-Competition -- to let his playing live again in this lecture-demonstration. This one's free, by the way.

Then it's off to Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, where the wind-up of the competition morphs into the beginning of Sommerfest.

Nothing ever happens in the summertime, right?

Comment on this post

Sweet 16

Posted at 6:18 PM on July 7, 2006 by Valerie Kahler
Filed under: Piano eComp

Many of you heard a snippet or two of Melissa's interview with the youngest performer in this year's Piano e-Competition, 16-year-old Claire Huangci. She's a charmer - well-spoken and enthusiastic. A wunderkind...but then again, each competitor here has been (or still is) the wunderkind in his or her respective circle.

Audio Claire describes why she chose to perform Franz Liszt's Reminiscences of Don Juan, followed by this afternoon's performance.

Often, musicians who compete at this level are tutored & test out of junior high and/or high school. They know exactly where they're going, and quite reasonably decide to focus all their energies on music. Like many of her colleagues in this competition, Claire is unmistakably destined for Big Things. But. She's chosen to finish high school the old-fashioned way, kind of. Up early for half days at public school and then on to The Curtis Institute three afternoons a week. Throw in an hour or two of homework and the requisite 4-8 hours of practice every day and you've got a very busy teenager.

Did I mention she thinks calculus is fun?

As I type this at 6:34 pm, the last of the 24 contestants is probably beginning the final piece of the recital round (Cheng Chen playing Pictures at an Exhibition, if you're curious) and then the judges will announce the names of the 9 pianists who are advancing to the next round. Will Claire be among them? Who knows? But if her recital earlier today was any indication, we haven't heard the last of Ms. Huangci!

Piano-e-Competition Web site
Watch live video of the competition.

And Then There Were Nine

Posted at 8:01 PM on July 7, 2006 by Valerie Kahler
Filed under: Piano eComp

8:00pm Friday night

Just got a phone call from Melissa over at Sundin Hall, where Alexander Braginsky took the stage to announce the names of the nine contestants who will advance to the next round. Here they are, in order of appearance for tomorrow's Schubert round:

Victoria Korchinskaya-Kogan
Gregory DeTurck
Edisher Savitski
Konstantin Krasnitsky
Angelo Arciglione
Mikhail Mordvinov
Ryo Yanagitani
Einav Yarden
Claire Huangci

Congratulations to these nine performers! Also, a heartfelt ovation for the other talented pianists - thank you for your outstanding contributions to five days of incredible musicmaking. We hope you'll be sticking around for the remainder of the two-week run to cheer on your colleagues, and to enjoy the sights & sounds & tastes of the Twin Cities.

Onward. The Schubertiad begins promptly at noon tomorrow (Saturday). It will wrap by 8pm, with an hour break from 2-3. Are you going to attend? You really should. There's nary a better return on your entertainment dollar than the cost of a day pass to this competition.

P.S. If you're planning to come, bring a sweater! It's freezing in the hall.

Piano-e-Competition Web site
Watch live video of the competition.