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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: July 13, 2006 Archive

Opera in Duluth

Posted at 9:01 AM on July 13, 2006 by Rex Levang

Bob Kelleher has a nice piece on the opera thats going into production in Duluth. But this isnt the first time that opera has been given there, as old Duluthians (such as yours truly) will remember.

A couple quick memories seeing Tosca in the auditorium of Denfeld High School. My memory tells me that Teresa Stratas was in the lead can that actually be so? But Im pretty sure that we heard singers like Martina Arroyo and Sherrill Milnes.

And there was the time that the opera folks went to New York and signed up an outstanding soprano, though not a household name. As is usual, the contract was signed a few years in advance of the performance. But in the time that elapsed between the signing and the performance itself, the soprano got one of those magical career boosts that did indeed make her a household name it was Beverly Sills.

The Concertos Begin

Posted at 9:29 AM on July 13, 2006 by Melissa Ousley (2 Comments)
Filed under: Piano eComp

The intensity of the Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition was at full throttle last night as the first three of six finalists presented their concertos with the Minnesota Orchestra. Rehearsal time with the orchestra was fairly minimal, (40 minutes at most), but all of the soloists I spoke with seemed thrilled to be playing with an orchestra of this caliber. Last night we heard Mikhail Mordvinov play Schumann's Piano Concerto in a minor. Gregory DeTurck followed with Rachmoninoff's Concerto #1, and after intermission, Victoria Korchinskaya-Kogan gave a rock-solid performance of Prokofiev's Second Piano Concerto. As I was leaving the parking ramp at Orchestra Hall, I bumped into Alexander Braginsky. He's the President, Artistic Director and Founder of the e-Competition. I told him how impressed I was with the performances and he gave he a smile and a wink and said, "Wait until you hear tomorrow night!"

If you can't make it to Orchestra Hall to hear this evening's performance, please join us for another live broadcast on the Classical music stations of Minnesota Public Radio. Start time is 7:30.

Piano-e-Competition Web site

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Congratulations to eCompetition Winner Edisher Savitski!

Posted at 10:04 PM on July 13, 2006 by Valerie Kahler (5 Comments)
Filed under: Piano eComp

Alexander Braginsky just took the stage with the 7 members of the jury to announce the winners of the 2006 Minnesota International Piano eCompetition. From the original pool of 138 applicants, the final six were ranked as follows:

First Place - Edisher Savitski
Second Place - Ryo Yanagitani
Third Place - Victoria Korchinskaya-Kogan
Fourth Place - Michael Mordvinov
Fifth Place - Einav Yarden
Sixth Place - Gregory DeTurck

This is the second visit to the Piano eCompetition for Edisher. Four years ago, he came in 4th...and as he mentioned to Melissa, a lot can happen in four years! More conversation with Edisher Savitski and an encore performance of two pieces from his recital program tomorrow at noon...LIVE from the Fitzgerald Theater in downtown Saint Paul. It's FREE.

Classical Minnesota Public Radio will broadcast the event live, but you'd rather be right there in the audience to see the debut recital of Mr. Savitsky. You can also lay eyes on Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Competition director & founder Alexander Braginsky and pianist Awadagian Pratt, who was one of the seven jury members.

See you noon Friday at the Fitz.

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PS - Schubert Prize

Posted at 10:45 PM on July 13, 2006 by Valerie Kahler (81 Comments)
Filed under: Piano eComp

The Cinderalla story of this competition must be that of Canadian performer Ryo Yanagitani. Ryo had never played a Schubert sonata in recital before this competition. In fact, when it was announced that he was one of the nine who were advancing to the Schubert round, he said he was torn between exhilaration and complete panic. He told Melissa Ousley that as soon as those names were announced, there was a mass exodus - nine pianists running for the practice room. No one ran faster than Ryo, who wasn't sure he even had the piece memorized yet. Obviously, he had it more than memorized. He had absorbed it. He walks away with the $4000 Schubert Prize in addition to the 2nd prize in the overall competition.

Congratulations, Ryo!

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