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Kevin O'Connor
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Classical Notes

e-Comp, Day Three

Posted at 8:42 AM on July 3, 2009 by Melissa Ousley
Filed under: Piano eComp

Things really began to heat up at the Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition on Thursday. The lineup included two of the youngest contestants, both 20 -- Ukraine's Denis Zhdanov and Piotr Rozanski from Poland. Returning from the 2006 e-Comp were Rui Shi, 26, from China and Howard Na, 23, from the United States. In the '06 Competition, I remember Shi for her elegant playing and her ability to draw the listener into her world. As she performed Ravel's difficult and imaginative work Gaspard de la Nuit yesterday, she did just that.
My Italian blood was pumping with pride as I listened to Alessandro Taverna play Beethoven's Eroica Variations followed by Chopin, Liszt, Ligeti and Stravinsky (Petrouchka). At 25, Taverna has technique (of course), maturity and plenty of style. I'm hopeful that the judges will agree and send him on to the next round.

Listen to my conversation with John Birge