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Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012

Discussion in 'Useful resources' started by pianolady, May 15, 2011.

  1. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I had the pleasure of meeting Monica yesterday, it was a special honor to meet in person "pianolady," :D who has produced so many wonderful, characterful performances that are on the main site for everyone to listen to! It was really nice of her to pal around with me, have lunch and she even gave me a free ticket to the amateur competition! I was going to pay at the door otherwise :roll: And it was special to meet on this day because it was the one when the music instrument of the piano was being celebrated in the city, CSO called it "Chicago Piano Day" :)

    Yesterday was a day I will never forget, I hope I don't anyway :lol: It was a day for piano enthusiasts (non-players) but perhaps specifically inspirational and target marketed for real-life players :p . If only more members on the forum had the opportunity to see the performances Monica and I saw! Emanuel Ax playing a duet with David Hyde Pierce (Dr. Crane on Frasier :lol: ), Igudesman and Joo performing Ave Maria (it was like watching a piano lesson with a strict teacher, very funny) Marc-Andre Hamelin playing Alkan and his own work requiring virtousic technique (his paganni variations had it's funny moments), Jorge Osorio playing some masterworks of the concert repetoire (really excellent playing of chopin) and Gorden Cheng who I saw compete for the final round of the chicago amateur competition (finally I'm on topic :lol:) and who Monica told me today won the competition. I'm almost not surprised :wink: , his performances of a piece each by Mozart and Biscardi were truly incredible. The end of his Mozart was met by very loud cheers from the audience :!:

    What Monica said is true, though it is still sinking in--I met Marc Andre Hamelin yesterday and shook his hand! It is true, we engaged in small talk (something about the weather in Chicago :lol: ) but it was great to see him and his wife Cathy Fuller. To think, for the longest time, the closest I had gotten to seeing him was through Youtube videos.. :lol:

    After the amateur competition I had a listen to Etudes by Liszt and Rachmaninov performed by the well-known Valentina Lisitsa. Her ability to recall sheets and sheets of music with hardly any margin of error, totally memorized and with a range of expression was to put it simply, spellbinding :shock: was totally beyond spellbinding :p :p :p you should have been there Monica, she was spectacular.

    Jeremy Denk gave some some great accounts of Ligeti's etudes. By the way he was moving while he was playing, you really could tell the music was a part of him. It was like he was channeling the spirit of Ligeti! He said he just released a CD of his Ligeti. Hmm, I might get that... 8)

    The finale was phenomenal. It was the tour de force of the day. Imagine 8 pianos on the stage and 8 page turners next to each performer. Well that was the case for the first three pieces. The ride of the valkeries, a Hamelin arrangement of Maple Leaf Rag, a Rossini piece, there were up to 8 players playing together, like a small ensemble performance (there where only eight players but each one of the pianos was a grand, all for one. The final piece was Stars and Stripes forever by Sousa. How appropriate, a military march just in time for memorial day! For this piece, the conductor, Mei-Ann Chen didn't conduct eight players, but sixteen :eek: ! page turners turned into duetists! With 16 strong, it was quite a march! At one part of the refrain, the audience clapped along (Ms. Chen continued to conduct, ignoring them) :p The piece ended, Mr. Ax introduced the performers and duetists and they left the stage. I went home in awe.

    Still in awe :lol: ,

    Riley
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Eddy - I hope to see you in 2014!!

    Riley - you're sweet! It was my pleasure to 'pal around with you'! And I'm glad you got to enjoy more fine piano playing after we went separate ways. If only I could have split myself in two, then I would have gone with you back to Orchestra Hall.

    Just received an email from a piano friend -a photo of me playing the beautiful Fazioli on Saturday. I love that piano! Downstairs in the showroom is a 10-foot Fazioli. It costs about the same as a house! The piano at the competition was a restored 100 year old Steinway concert grand. It was a nice piano too...lovely warm tone and slightly stiff keys, which I'm used to from playing on my Yamaha for many years.
     
  3. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Sounds great. I'm impressed they managed to get so many "names" to come along.
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Emmanuel Ax was in charge of putting together the festival and one of the other artists made a joke something like...."When Manny Ax asks you to do something, you don't turn him down."

    (try saying "Ax asks" three times....I can't say it one time! :lol: )
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Your dentures pop out don't they ? :mrgreen:
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    :lol: :lol:
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I rest my case :p
     
  8. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    haha! I vaguely remember that but didn't catch that it was joke! Very clever!

    Speaking of Emanuel Ax, not to rub it into any of your faces, but I am seeing him and a number of other pianists tonite at Orchestra Hall! I think it's going to be another one of these all-stops-out concerts showcasing a work for 8 hands! Very excited. If you're interested in a report tomorrow just pm me :lol:

    Riley
     
  9. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    That wasn't really a joke; more like a statement.
    But I did hear a joke the night before by David Hyde Pierce (the actor). He said it so quickly and hardly anyone in the audience even got the joke...took me a couple seconds and then I really LOL.

    He said something like, "someone came up to me and asked if I wanted to be in the piano competition, and I said gee, amateur."

    You have to say the word 'amateur' like this: Ahhhmahchure - Get it? hehehe.. cracks me up! :lol:
     
  10. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    :lol: Yes, more of a statement. I give you credit for making it into a tongue twister! Of course, if your dentures pop out that could be bad :|

    I must admit, took me a while to get the "I'm not sure." out of Ahhmahchure *facepalm*

    perhaps I just spelled it out for some and they are getting it for the first time :D

    The Ax concert last night was super. It was all pieces for 2 hands, 2 pianos. Wonderful pieces, Ravel's La Valse, Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances and Brahms Variations.

    Riley
     
  11. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Probably... :lol:
     

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