20-YEAR-OLD CHINESE PIANIST
JIAYAN SUN WINS FIRST
CCC TORONTO INTERNATIONAL
Toronto, November 9, 2010…A 20-year-old pianist from China’s eastern Shandong province, currently living in New York, has captured the top prize in the first CCC Toronto International Piano Competition.
Pianist Jiayan Sun was presented with $15,000 U.S. and will also receive orchestral and solo concert engagements.
Second prize, $8,000 U.S., went to Kirill Zvegintsov, 27, of Ukraine, who currently studies in Bern, Switzerland. Winner of the $5,000 U.S. third prize was Vakhtang Kodanashvili, 32, of Georgia, who currently resides in South Bend, Indiana, U.S.
Winners were announced after the three performed concerti with the Toronto Concert Orchestra and conductor Kerry Stratton, at the Competition Final, Monday, November 8 at the Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall. Jiayan Sun performed the Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor by Prokofiev.
Sun, whose mother lives with him in New York while he studies at the Juilliard School, credited his parents – neither of them musicians – for their support. He started lessons at six, and affirms, “Music is my life! I cannot imagine doing anything else.”
About competitions, he adds, “They give me great opportunities to perform for the public. I also get chances to communicate with colleagues around the world. I live for society and the world, not for myself. Music is my religion and I use the power of music to make people aware of the true meaning of life.”
Performances from the finals and earlier rounds may be viewed on line, along with photos at www.cccpianocompetitions.org/international.html.
The first CCC Toronto International Piano Competition attracted over 100 DVD entries from 25 countries. From these, 25 pianists from 10 countries were invited to compete – with 20 arriving for the first two rounds, November 2-5 at the P.C. Ho Theatre. Six pianists were selected to compete in the Semi-Final round, November 7, after which the three finalists were named.
Chaired by Yoheved Kaplinsky of the Juilliard School, the jury comprised Marc Durand, Université de Montréal and the Banff Centre’s 2010 Piano Master Class program; Marietta Orlov, University of Toronto, and the Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School; Richard Dyer, former chief music critic of the Boston Globe; John Giordano, jury chair, Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and music director emeritus of the Fort Worth Symphony; Yong Hi Moon, Peabody Institute of Music; and Arie Vardi, Hochschule für Musik in Hannover, Tel Aviv University, and chair, Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition.
Honorary advisors were Peter Simon, President of the Royal Conservatory, Toronto; James Anagnoson, Dean of the Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School; world renowned pianist Dang Thai Son, and Prof. David Beach of the University of Toronto and Royal Conservatory.
Artistic Directors were solo and duo pianists Lang Ning Liu and Lu Wang (Juilliard Duo). Competition President was Dr. Ming-Tat Cheung, Chairman and President of the Chinese Cultural Centre (CCC) of Greater Toronto since 1989. Dr. Dong-Dong Dong was the Vice-President of the Competition.
In addition to support from major sponsors Rolex Canada Ltd., Philip Leong and Downtown Fine Cars Group, the Competition was supported by a Celebrate Ontario grant. Sponsors for the Competition pianos were the Piano & Keyboard Centre and Yamaha Canada. The University of Toronto and The Royal Conservatory were major collaborators.