NEWSLETTER
The Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia
and the
Friends of The Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia

Editor: Daniel Mitterdorfer
March 2008


From the President | What they are doing now | Competitors in the 2008 Competition
Auditions for the 9th Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia, 2008
Competition Satchels | Challenging the Pianists | Sofitel Wentworth Sydney celebrates The Arts in Sydney

From the President



I have only good news for you. When the 2008 Competition comes to an end, we already have planned almost 60 concerts to be given by Prize-winners in all states of Australia, including quite a number of country towns.


Now that the Auditions have been completed, I am very pleased to say that we have an excellent list of pianists to perform in the Competition. I have heard from Warren Thomson how difficult the Judging Panels in each of the cities that the Auditions were held, to select only the very finest pianists. In New York, a music critic from the New York Times stated that without exception all of the pianists who had performed in the Auditions in New York were professional and how difficult it was to select only the finest of these pianists.

With this information, we can certainly look forward to a really outstanding Competition commencing on 16th July with the Opening Concert being given by the 2004 First Prize-Winner, John Chen. I look forward to seeing you at the Seymour Centre and the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House.


Claire Dan
AM, OBE

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What they are doing now

1985 First Prize-Winner Du Ning Wu and his wife Helen Sim were First Prize-Winners in 2004 in the 4th Grieg International Piano Competition in two Sections (a) Piano Four Hands and (b) Two Pianos.


Martina Filjak has had success in several recent competitions. In July, First Prize at the “Bartok-Prokofiev Kabalevsky” Competition and also First Prize in the IBLA Piano Competition which provides her with a Carnegie Hall debut and a USA tour in 2008.


John Chen has had successful Concerto appearances with the Queensland Orchestra with Roger Smalley’s Piano Concerto No 2 and the Bartók Piano Concerto No 2 on the same program (31 August, 2007) and with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Milton, and two performances of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2 (5 and 6 September 2007). On the 31st October, 2007, he featured soloist with the Australian Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, performing the complete No 1 favourite Concerto in the Competition conducted by ABC Classic FM, Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto (Piano Concerto No. 5).


Duncan Gifford has been quite busy with concerts as well as his weekly commuting to Palma on Majorca where he holds a Professorship in the Conservatory. He has recently performed with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in Prague. He has also performed the Bartók Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion in Palma and has given a solo recital in Madrid.

In January, 2008 Alexey Yemstov entered the UNISA International Piano Competition in Pretoria South Africa. He was awarded the following Prizes: 1. Second Prize, 2. Best performance of a Mozart Sonata, 3. Audience Prize 4. Best performance of the South African work, 5. Best performance of the Finals Concerto, equal with the First Prizewinner. The total prize money was AUD24,000. Alexey was soloist with the SSO conducted by Matthew Kourey at the Superbowl in early March playing the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Rachmaninov. More recently, Alexey gave two performances of the Rimsky Korsakov Piano Concerto with the Queensland Orchestra.

At the 2007 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow Alexander Lubiantzev was awarded the 3rd Prize.

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Competitors in the 2008 Competition

The level of performances by pianists that have undertaken live auditions in Naples, Vienna, Hamburg, Paris, Moscow, London, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai and Sydney has been very high. The judging panels in each city have had a very difficult task in selecting the 36 pianists who will be invited to participate in the 2008 Sydney International Piano Competition. A Reserve List has also been provided.

- Prof. Warren Thomson OAM
Artistic Director and Chairman of the Jury


 

 Name

 

Country

Audition Venue

1

Mr

Charlie

Albright

USA

New York

2

Mr

Fernando

Altamura

Italy

Paris

3

Mr

Manuel

Araujo

Portugal

Paris

4

Mr

Marco

Ciampi

Italy

Naples

5

Mr

Sean

Chen

USA

New York

6

Mr

Ran

Dank

Israel

New York

7

Mr

Christopher

Devine

UK

Vienna

8

Mr

John

Fisher

Australia

Sydney

9

Mr

Balázs

Fülei

Hungary

Vienna

10

Mr

David

Fung

Australia

Los Angeles

11

Mr

Adam

Herd

Australia

Sydney

12

Miss

Elizaveta

Ivanova

Russia

Moscow

13

Miss

Miya

Kazauka

Japan

Naples

14

Mr

Tomoki

Kitamura

Japan

Tokyo

15

Miss

Tatiana

Kolesova

Russia

Paris

16

Mr

Eduard

Kunz

Russia

London

17

Miss

Colleen

Lee

Hong Kong China

Hamburg

18

Miss

Miyeon

Lee

South Korea

Tokyo

19

Mr

Jose

Menor

Spain

New York

20

Mr

Hoang

Pham

Australian

New York

21

Mr

Vitaly

Pisarenko

Ukraine

Paris

22

Miss

Yoonsoo

Rhee

South Korea

Vienna

23

Mr

Sergei

Saratovsky

Russia

Sydney (DVD)

24

Mr

Takashi

Sato

Japan

Hamburg

25

Mr

Konstantin

Shamray

Russia

Moscow

26

Mr

Yekwon

Sunwoo

South Korea

New York

27

Mr

Daniil

Tsvetkov

Kazakhstan

Moscow

28

Miss

Mariangela

Vacatello

Italy

Paris

29

Mr

Xun

Wang

China

New York

30

Mr

Wojciech

Wisniewski

Poland

Sydney

31

Mr

Alexey

Yemtsov

Australia

Sydney

32

Mr

Chun-Chieh

Yen

Taiwan

Los Angeles

33

Mr

Feng

Zhang

China

Shanghai

34

Mr

XiXi

Zhou

China

Shanghai

35

Mr

Hao

Zhu

China

Shanghai

36

Mr

Eric

Zuber

USA

Los Angeles


Reserve List (Listed in order of merit)

1

Mr

Ryan

MacEvoy McCullough

USA

2

Miss

Aiko

Yajima

Japan

3

Miss

Oxana

Shevchenko

Russia

4

Miss

Hee Youn

Choue

South Korea

5

Miss

Gayane

Saakjana

Latvia




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Auditions for the 9th Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia, 2008

Since the first Competition in 1977, live auditions have been held world-wide. In 2008, live auditions were held in Naples, Vienna, Hamburg, Paris, Moscow, London, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai and Sydney. In addition unedited videotapes or DVDs were sent from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Israel and South Korea. The videos and DVDs were viewed by the Sydney Panel. From these auditions, a total of 36 pianists were selected to come to Sydney for the Competition itself which runs from the Opening Recital on 16th July to the Presentation of Prizes on 2nd August, 2008. A Reserve list has also been provided.

Yamaha provided the Audition facilities in Paris, New York and Tokyo. Kawai provided the Audition facilities in Los Angeles and Steinway in Vienna, London, Moscow and Hamburg. Conservatories of Music provided the facilities in Naples, Beijing and Shanghai and in Sydney, The Scots College, Bellevue Hill. Practice rooms were provided in each venue and the staff members in each city were very helpful.

In each city I was assisted by leading performers and/or teachers. Those assisting were:
Naples: Francesco Nicolosi and Laurado De Fusco
Vienna: Alexander Jenner and Heinz Medjimorec
Hamburg: Volker Banfield and Matthias Kirschnereit
Paris: Aquiles delle Vigne and Marcel Baudet
Moscow: Serge Dorensky and Ludmila Roschina
London: Norma Fisher and Bryce Morrison
New York: Augustin Anievas and Robert Sherman
Los Angeles: John Perry and Nancy Bricard
Tokyo: Midori Tanabe and Shuku Iwasaki
Beijing: Zhou Guangren and Li Qifang
Shanghai: Huang-Kuan Chen and Yun-Ling Yang
Sydney: Michael Brimer and Malcolm Batty

Certificates of Appreciation were presented to each of the assisting Judges and to the Managers in each of the Venues where the Auditions took place.

New York auditions were the largest by sheer number, with 45 and second in number was Paris with 35. In Sydney there were 35 including the 8 videos and DVDs. A total of 240 Applications were received from 36 countries.
These countries were: Australia, Austria, Belarus, Canada, P.R. China, England, France, Georgia, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taipei, Thailand, Ukraine, Uzbekhistan and Venezuela.

- Prof. Warren Thomson OAM
Artistic Director and Chairman of the Jury


Kawai New York: Warren Thomson, Brian Chung (host), Nancy Bricard, John Perry
Steinway Austria: Heinz Medjimorec, Alexander Jenner, Warren Thomson
Yamaha Paris: Aquiles Delle-Vigne, Warren
Thomson, Marcel Baudet, Stan Zielinski (host)



Competition Satchels

The Committee of the Friends of the Competition have received many requests for memorabilia, and for the 2008 Competition they will have satchels made with the 2008 Competition Logo on the Front.

The satchels will be black vinyl with the logo in white in the middle of the front. The satchel has a main pocket and four smaller pockets, a place for a name to be inserted and three places for pens or pencils. The satchel has a handle and also a shoulder strap. The cost of the satchel will be $15.00. An order form is enclosed with this Newsletter and should be returned to the Treasurer as indicated.

Satchels will be available from 16th July 2008 from the Competition Office in the downstairs foyer of the Seymour Centre.


Warren Thomson, Louise Allison and John Allison
at SIPCA 2007 Christmas Party
Ara Vartoukian, Michael Brimer, Nicholas Young and John Blanch at SIPCA 2007 Christmas Party



Challenging the Pianists

An upcoming course offered by the Centre for Continuing Education, University of Sydney in collaboration with the Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia.

Sunday 15th June, 2008

Course Description

The four-yearly Sydney International Piano Competition is regarded internationally as one of the world’s great piano Competitions. This course, conducted by the Competition’s Artistic Director and Chairman of the Jury, Professor Warren Thomson OAM, examines the variety of musical styles in the repertoire required from competitors. This will be of great help to prospective audiences. Performances by former competitors and other pianists will be used to demonstrate the types and range of performances.

10.00am - 11.00am Session 1 – From Stage I, Virtuoso Studies by Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninov and Scriabin AND from Stage II Debussy Préludes
11.00am – 11.20am Morning Break
11.20am – 12.30pm Session II – From Stage III Sonatas of Clementi, Haydn and Mozart and the Commissioned Australian Works by Andrew Ford and Roger Smalley
12.30pm – 1.30pm Lunch
1.30pm – 2.45pm Session III – From Stage IV (a) Sonatas of Beethoven and Schubert and Stage IV (b) Piano Trios
2.45pm – 3.05pm Afternoon Break
3.05pm – 4.30pm Session IV – From Stage V (a) Mozart Concertos and Stage V (b) 19th/20th Century Concertos and Question Time


For bookings, visit http://www.cce.usyd.edu.au/ or telephone (02) 9036 4789.


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Sofitel Wentworth Sydney celebrates The Arts in Sydney

Sofitel Wentworth has a proud standing as Sydney’s Hotel of the Arts and as part of our commitment, we support many significant arts organisations including Sydney International Piano Competition, Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of Contemporary Art and the upcoming Biennale of Sydney 2008.

On 15 April, Sofitel Wentworth Sydney will host the 2008 Archibald Luncheon with the Art Gallery of NSW. The nation’s favourite and most prestigious prize for portraiture is always a source of entertainment and controversy. This is your opportunity to be part of the conversation with the Gallery’s director Edmund Capon, selected artists and their subjects.

The luncheon will be held from 12.30pm to 2pm in the Wentworth Ballroom on Level 3, Sofitel Wentworth Sydney. The 2 course meal includes wine and coffee and tickets are available for $80 per person and $73 per person for Art Gallery Society members. Bookings are essential by calling 02 9228 9169.

If you can’t make it to the Archibald Luncheon, for a limited time, you can make the most of your Archibald experience by enjoying a luxurious overnight stay at Sofitel Wentworth Sydney

The Archibald Experience package starts from $389 per night and includes luxurious overnight accommodation for two people; a two course lunch (including a glass of wine) at The Restaurant at the Art Gallery of New South Wales; two tickets to the Archibald Prize exhibition; full buffet breakfast and car parking. Terms & conditions apply. Valid until 18 May 2008.

For enquiries and reservations, please call 1800 676 960 and quote Archibald Experience.

For more information visit http://www.sofitelsydney.com.au

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