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Classical Notes

e-Piano Competition breaks its own rule

Posted at 10:36 AM on July 12, 2008 by Melissa Ousley (8 Comments)

Following Friday's thrilling Final Round of the Minnesota International e-Piano Junior Competition, the judges and Artistic Director Alexander Braginsky found they were faced with a slight dilemna. When the competition was established, the rules stated that, no matter what, only ONE First Prize would be awarded. No questions asked!
At yesterday's Award Ceremony, Braginsky said that since he made the rule, he had the power to break it. So, here are the results:

First Prize went to two contestants:

Frank Duepree, 16/Germany, played Tchaikovsky Concerto #1 in the Final Round
Nansong Huang, 14/China, played Rachmaninoff Concerto #3 in the Final Round

Second Prize -- not awarded

Third Prize went to two contestants:

Osip Nikiforov, 14/Russia, played Beethoven Concerto #3 in the Final Round
Jan Lisiecki, 13/Canada, played Chopin Concerto #2 in the Final Round

Fourth Prize -- not awarded

Fifth Prize: Vladimir Levitsky, 16/Russia, played Tchaikovsky Concerto #1 in the Final Round

Your thoughts?

Comments (8)

The judge's decision in this competition exactly mirrors my own assessment of the performers in the final round. A very satisfying result. Now all I have to do is keep track of these young wonders, and see what becomes of them as they mature.

Posted by Sandra Berthene | July 12, 2008 1:51 PM

Bravo to the judge's .

The teen pianists played with the maturity
of well seasoned concert artists.

John Oliver
Olympia, Washington

Posted by John Oliver | July 12, 2008 7:14 PM

Any chance you would consider playing the recordings of these young marvels again? If so, would you please post the times on this website.


Posted by Jo Faulmann | July 13, 2008 10:53 AM

I found the concerto portion of the competition immensely satisfying. There is a special quality that young artists give to even the standard classical repertoire, the result of a kind of innocence combined with a sense of newness.
I look forward very much to the next competition and will be certain to attend all performances (well, ok, most of them). I very much appreciate the work that the organizers of this competition have done to bring this event to Minneapolis.

Posted by eugene allred | July 13, 2008 6:47 PM

Thank you for announcing the winners. I have to agree with the judges.. two First prizes were in order for such immensely talented young people. It was a thrill to watch them progress through the various stages of the competition. Thanks to Hamline for sponsoring this great event.

Posted by Jean McIntosh | July 14, 2008 5:25 AM

The winners were great--such talented young people who had traveled from all over the globe and had worked so hard for so long to acquire their marvelous skills...
The problem here is that only half of the offered prize money was awarded!
If two winners in golf, for example, share first place, they share the first AND the second prize winnings.
Apparently the sponsors (mainly Yamaha Corporation) are short of cash this year...
Curiously, this also happened with third and fourth places. And the director of the competition is now out of town "without access to phone or internet" as her automatic answers to your phone calls or emails will tell you...

Posted by Suzanne Brown | July 17, 2008 10:14 AM

My golf example would be better if it were a tie for second, third, or fourth place, since there would always be a playoff for 1st.
The point I was trying to make is that reputable competitions don't change the rules at the end, especially in a way that holds back from the winners the cash prices that were offered.
These young people were not playing for money, but they could use it, and certainly deserve to be treated fairly.

Posted by Suzanne Brown | July 17, 2008 12:15 PM

I am the managing director of the competition, and yes, I am away from the phone and have unreliable access to the internet. I would like to set the record straight once and for all. The amount of money received by each of the first prize winners Nansong Huang and Frank Duepree is 6,500 which is the sum of the first and second prize monies combined and divided equally between the two. This is a practice that is quite common amongst the competitions. Same was done for the winners of the 3rd and 4th prizes, Jan Lisiecki and Osip Nikiforov, who each got 2,500.
I hope this answers all the questions about the prizes out there. It has been an exciting competition with remarkable performances. All performances from the solo rounds are now currently available as archived videos on our website.
Stella Sick, DMA
Managing Director
Minnesota International

Posted by Stella | July 22, 2008 2:06 AM