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Classical Notes

Let the playing begin!

Posted at 10:35 AM on July 5, 2011 by Melissa Ousley
Filed under: Piano eComp

The Minnesota International e-Piano Jr. Competition got underway this weekend in St. Paul. On Saturday and Sunday, 25 contestants from 10 countries took turns performing before a panel of distinguished judges. For the First Round, pianists must play for about 25 minutes, and include music of several genres. Everything is memorized. Because this is a junior competition, pianists must be 17 or younger. In fact, three of them are just 12.

On Sunday night, the judges made the difficult decision as to which contestants would move on to Round Two. This cut, from 25 to 12, is the biggest and can be heartbreaking for those who are eliminated. These kids are tremendously gifted, they work hard, and they're not accustomed to defeat.

Rounds Two and Three are on Tuesday and Wednesday at Hamline University's Sundin Hall in St. Paul. The playing begins at noon each day and lasts until early evening. There is a charge for admission, but it's very reasonable. As I listened to the performances over the weekend there were many times when I said to myself, "I'd pay money to hear this person play." Plus, who knows? You may be in on the discovery of the next classical superstar.