LSM Newswire

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Chinese Cultural Centre Launches Toronto International Piano Competition



Rounds I-III at P.C. Ho Theatre in Scarborough

Final Round November 8 at Koerner Hall, Royal Conservatory, Toronto

The attention of the music world will be on Toronto when the first CCC Toronto International Piano Competition launches November 1-8, 2010. The event has attracted 100 entrants from around the world. It is organized by the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto. Artistic directors are pianists Lu Wang and Lang Ning Liu, Toronto-based pianists who are both enjoying successful international careers as soloists and as duo-pianists.

The CCC Toronto International Piano Competition offers a total of $28,000 U.S. in prize, with the first-prize winner receiving $15,000 U.S. along with orchestral and solo concert engagements. Second prize is $8,000 U.S., and third, $5,000 U.S.

Twenty competitors will be selected, and announced at a Media Launch in late September. The time and location will be announced closer to the date.

As Lang-Ning Liu, Artistic Director of the Competition, commented, “Hard work, exceptional talent and training are crucial, but not always enough to guarantee success for a solo pianist. One of the biggest challenges is finding the opportunity to be heard and appreciated. We have dedicated ourselves to creating a professional, international arena that will allow young, talented pianists to render their artistic visions to the best of their abilities, and to promote world-class excellence in the art of pianism. Live streaming on the internet will showcase their talent to the whole world.”

Lu Wang, co-Artistic Director and one of Toronto’s leading pianists added, “We wanted to put Toronto on the map for the world’s pianists. We are also allowing competitors freer rein in their choice of repertoire than do most competitions.”

Competition President is Dr. Ming-Tat Cheung, Chairman and President of the Chinese Cultural Centre (CCC) of Greater Toronto since 1989. Dr. Dong-Dong Dong is the Vice-President of the Competition.

Since the postmark deadline of June 30, Toronto’s CCC has received 100 entries from 25 countries, most of them from Canada, mainland China, Japan, Korea, Russia and the U.S.A. The entrants are almost evenly divided between men and women, with an average age of 25.7 – the majority being 26-30 years old. The youngest are a 12-year-old girl, Szuyu Su, from Taiwan, and 13-year-old boy, Robin Pan from Canada. The eldest is an American woman of 35, the maximum age. Other competitors come from France, Italy, Israel, Malaysia, Poland, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Serbia, Algeria and Belarus.

DVDs submitted by the entrants are currently being evaluated by the Competition’s Artistic Committee.


The 20 competitors they select will arrive in Toronto October 31. The Competition OpeningCeremony, Monday, November 1 features the draw for competition order, followed by piano try-outs. In Rounds I and II, November 2-3 and 4-5 respectively, competitors must each play a total of 55 minutes of different repertoire from memory. Six semi-finalists will compete in Round III, Sunday, November 7. In it, they play a 50-minute solo recital of their own choice Three finalists will be named that evening and perform with orchestra on Monday, November 8. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded at the conclusion of the evening.

A competition break, Saturday, November 6, features master classes with the competition jurors.


The jury will be chaired by Professor Yoheved Kaplinsky, Chair of Piano and Director of the Pre-College program at New York’s Juilliard School, and a distinguished judge of many international competitions. On the panel are Canadians Marc Durand (professor of piano, Université de Montréal and artistic coordinator of the Banff Centre’s 2010 Piano Master Class program) andMarietta Orlov (Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, and the Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School); Americans Richard Dyer (former chief music critic of the Boston Globe) andJohn Giordano (jury chair, Van Cliburn International Piano Competition since 1973, and music director emeritus of the Fort Worth Symphony); Yong Hi Moon of Korea (professor of piano, Peabody Institute of Music, U.S.A.); and Arie Vardi of Israel (chair, Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, and professor of piano, Hochschule für Musik in Hannover and at the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University).

Honorary advisors are Peter Simon, President of the Royal Conservatory, Toronto; James Anagnoson, Dean of the Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School; world renowned pianistDang Thai Son, and Prof. David Beach of the University of Toronto and Royal Conservatory.


In the Final round, each of the three pianists performs a concerto with the Toronto Concert Orchestra conducted by Kerry Stratton.


The Opening Ceremony and first three rounds take place at the state-of-the-art, 626-seatP.C. Ho Theatre, Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, 5183 Sheppard Ave. E. (at Progress/Sheppard bus stop). Sessions run 1-8 p.m. and cost $10 for an entire day. Tickets may be purchased at the door, or reserved by phoning (416) 292-9293 ext. 232, or by

Ticketing for the November 6 Master Class will be announced in a later time.

The Competition’s Final (concerto) round is held Monday, November 8, 7:30 p.m. at theRoyal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. Tickets, $25 to $35, are available by phone at (416) 408-0208 or via

THE SPONSORS: The CCC Toronto International Piano Competition is made possible by the Celebrate Ontario grant, Rolex Canada Ltd., Philip Leong, Downtown Fine Cars Group, and other dedicated sponsors. The University of Toronto and The Royal Conservatory are major collaborators.

Accommodation and local transportation will be provided by community volunteers to the competitors who require it.

Details on all phases of the Competition, including the distinguished international judging panel and other key personnel are at

Relevant Websites:

Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto -

Lang-Ning Liu -

Lu Wang -

Yoheved Kaplinsky -


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