LSM Newswire

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bachauer Winneres take over the Classical world

2010 Competition Could Unveil New International Superstar


In its 33-year history, the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition has awarded 14 Gold Medals to its Competitors. These prizewinners have consistently gone on to become some of the world’s most successful concert pianists, recording artists, and educators. Here are some recent accomplishments of some Bachauer winners.

Nicholas Angelich Begins Astounding Tour

When Summer 2010 arrives, Nicholas Angelich, winner of the 1994 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, will have completed a worldwide tour that is truly astounding by any measure. With performances almost every night in the world’s most prestigious venues, one wonders if this Brahms master can possibly be more in-demand.

In the space of six months, he will perform with the Berlin Royal Philharmonic, the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Montpellier Orchestra (France), the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Orchestre de Nice (France), the Orchestre Metropolitain de Montreal, the France Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic (Netherlands), and the SWR Orchestra in both Mainz, Germany and the Palais de la Musique in Strasbourg, France.

Appointments with the world’s greatest orchestras are nothing new for Angelich. In 2003 he made his debut with the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur and in 2004 he toured Japan with Kurt Masur and the Orchestre National de France.

Mr. Angelich also has upcoming recitals in Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Teatro della Pergola in Florence, Milan Conservatory, The Hague, and Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. With trio partners Renaud Capucon and Gautier Capucon, he will perform at Pennsylvania State University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Wigmore Hall in London, Valladolid (Spain), Liverpool (UK), with two concerts in Washington D.C.

Angelich graces the cover of the October 2009 International Piano. The feature article treats his upcoming release of Brahms’ demanding piano works Opp.116 to 119 on the Virgin Classics label. Angelich’s previous Virgin Classics recordings received a Schallplatten Prize, two Gramophone Editor’s Choice awards, a Diapason d’Or, and the CHOC du Monde de la Musique.

Stephen Beus, Darling of Fans and Critics

In the three months following his winning of the 2006 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, Stephen Beus continued his ascent into international stardom by winning first place in the Vendome Prize International Competition (Lisbon) and being awarded the Max I. Allen Fellowship of the American Pianists Association (Indianapolis).

Since his ascent to the world stage, Beus has been hard-pressed to keep up with the demand for concerts. In 2008, Mr. Beus made his Carnegie Hall debut performing with the Juilliard Orchestra. He has also performed as guest soloist with the Gulbenkian Symphony (Lisbon), the Tivoli Symphony (Copenhagen), the Northwest Sinfonietta (Seattle), the Royal Philharonic of Morocco (Casablanca), the Vaasa Symphony Orchestra (Finland), as well as with the Indianapolis, Utah, Fort Worth, Tucson, Yakima, Bellevue, Salt Lake, and Walla Walla orchestras.

Equally active as a soloist, Mr. Beus has performed in the Salle Gaveau and Salle Cortot (Paris), Merkin Hall, the Scuola san Rocco (Venice), the Teatro San Carlo (Naples), Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall), the Queluz Palace (Lisbon) and has performed for the Dame Myra Hess and Fazioli Salon series (Chicago), the International Keyboard Institute and Festival (New York City) and has given recitals across the United States as well as in Kazakhstan, Russia, Finland, Switzerland, Germany, and Morocco.

Beus’ performances have tendered rave reviews from press and audiences alike, which have recognized him as one of the most promising pianists of his generation.

“If you thought a classical pianist still in his 20s couldn't instill a sense of vibrancy and make even the hippest of cats drop their proverbial jaw, then you obviously have never witnessed the downright freakish talent of pianist Stephen Beus. Don't let his conservative appearance fool you. Underneath that conventional smile lurks a gifted madman with the ability to take his listeners on a protean aural journey that stands to leave them mentally exhausted…not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon.” — Kevin Hopper, Local iQ

“In some ways Beus doesn’t fit the mold of the typical competition winner. His playing is strikingly original and, despite his youth, he has an interpretive voice all his own… Above all, his playing is so natural as to seem effortless and the sound he produces has extraordinary richness and depth, not quite like anyone else’s.” — Fanfare

Beus has forged a connection with his audiences that many professional pianists never attain. One fan in New York wrote to his newspaper, “As long as young pianists like Stephen Beus and Koji Attwood appear, American pianism is in good hands.” Another fan in Oregon burst into a newspaper’s office to announce Beus’ concert, breathlessly declaring, “This young man—could be to this generation what Van Cliburn was to mine." When the paper printed the story, it wrote “Who are we to deny a little ink to a woman who seemed to run to the newspaper office to share this news as if telling us she'd won the lottery?”

Douglas Humpherys, Educator Extraordinaire

Since he won the first Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in 1976, Douglas Humpherys’ career has been characterized by excellence in performance and education. Mr. Humpherys is currently chair of the piano department at the Eastman School of Music. As a teacher in high demand, he has taught hundreds of master classes at universities, conservatories, music academies, and festivals throughout the world. In 2009 he taught master classes at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the Xian Conservatory of Music, and the China Conservatory of Music, to name a few. He has also presented lectures to the European Piano Teachers’ Association, the Music Teachers’ National Association, the World Conference on Piano Pedagogy, and the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.

Mr. Humphrey’s performing career has taken him across Asia, Europe, and North America. His recent solo concert schedule has found him in major Asian cities, including Beijing, Chonqing, Guanzhou, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei, Tokyo, Xiamen, and Xian. Some of his recent European engagements include Berlin, Dublin, Hamburg, Novgorod, Prague, and Venice.

Douglas Humpherys is also in high demand as an adjudicator. He has served on the jury of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition eleven times, and has also been a jurist for the Rachmaninoff International Young Artists’ Piano Competition, the Chinese 2005 National Competition in Beijing, the PTNA National Piano Competition in Tokyo, and the Hilton Head, Bösendorfer, and Cleveland International Piano Competitions. Drawing on his years of experience with competitions, Mr. Humpherys created the Eastman Young Artists’ International Piano Competition, which he also oversees as director.

Mr. Humpherys has also recorded a wide variety of repertoire on CD, and has been featured in live broadcasts of performances on affiliates of PBS Television and National Public Radio.

Cedric Pescia, Successful Touring and Recording Artist

Since Cedric Pescia won the 2002 Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition, he has established himself as a successful touring artist throughout Europe, South America, and the USA, and has recorded five equally well-reviewed CDs.

Pescia has performed at the Berlin Philharmonie, Berlin Konzerthaus, Hamburg Musikhalle, Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall London, and Tonhalle Zürich. He has also appeared in numerous festivals, including the prestigious Prague Spring Festival, Menuhin Festival-Gstaad, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, and Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad.

His orchestral appearances have included the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, the Sinfonie Orchester Berlin, the Ensemble Oriol Berlin, the Klassische Philharmonie Bonn, and the Camerata de Lausanne.

He is founding member and artistic director of the Lausanne chamber music series Ensemble en Scène. In 2005 and 2007 he served as a jury member in the Clara Haskil Competition in Vevey. He regularly teaches master classes in the USA and in Europe, including at the prestigious Accademia Pianistica Internazionale “Incontri col Maestro” in Imola, Italy.

In 2007, Cédric Pescia was honored with the Prix Musique de la Fondation Vaudoise pour la culture. He was also a prizewinner at the Bourse de la Fondation Leenaards in Lausanne. He has performed for Live Music Now, Berlin, a non-profit organization founded by Yehudi Menuhin, since 2002.

Pescia’s five CDs on the Claves label have been unanimously acclaimed by critics. His first work, Bach: Goldberg Variations (2004), was hailed as an “impressive début” by International Record Review, and Le Temps said, “This pianist shows that his first record is a master stroke.” Gramophone called his recording of Schumann's complete works for piano solo (vol. 2) “vivacious, lucid and affectionate… I eagerly look forward to further recordings by this outstandingly gifted pianist.” Le Temps wrote about his recording of Busoni's and Enescu's Violin and Piano Sonatas: “The attention to nuances in the design of the sentence in its internal breathing, beauty of sound, [and] rich harmonics, [is] a delight.”

Will the 2010 Competition Unveil the Next International Piano Superstar?

The XV Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition will be held June 17-July 1, 2010 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. This quadrennial event will feature 35 pianists from across the globe competing for fame and more than $80,000 U.S. in prizes. After two rounds of performances, the six finalists will perform a concerto in Abravanel Hall with the Utah Symphony under the direction of Maestro Laurence Leighton Smith. If history is any indication, this year’s Bachauer Competition will be an event not to be missed, as its winner may soon become one of the world’s most popular and influential pianists. More information about the Competition and the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation is available at www.bachauer.com.

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