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piano competition

Discussion in 'General' started by pianolady, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Terez wrote:
    Hi Terez, I just discovered the Boston group last night. Before I host a soiree, I am actually going to find out about the group members first, to see whether they're a vibrant young group or if they're stuck up. Seriously, I've gone to symphony and museum based events before, only to find that most are trying to size you up, or marketing their egos/businesses - YAWN! However, if the group is genuine, I'd love to host a soiree, then my invitation is open with all sincerity to you, your teacher, Monica, and all the PS members with whom I am familiar. :D

    I think he was looking for the fulcrum-release lever?! :p

    Hi Monica, should I start preparing for 2011?... :p How amazing would that be if we both entered a piano competition! The red carpet will be ready should you decide to come to Boston. How much time do you have for each round? Any specific repertoire?

    I've been following the Van Cliburn Competition ever since 1981 on PBS, but I haven't seen "They Came to Play." Is going to be released as a DVD?... The Van Cliburn Competition is the World Cup for professional pianists. Believe me, there is nothing amateur about it. All I know is that it takes years of full-time preparation to compete at this level. Unless the caliber of applicants have changed in recent years, the majority of applicants never go beyond the video submission stage in the application process. This is how they screen us "amateurs." The top 50 have monumental technique, extensive repertoire (Baroque-Classical-Romantic-Modern), and amazing musicianship in all genres; can sight read on the spot, and can learn a difficult piece by the composer in attendance during the competition in a span of a week. The top 25 are/will be world class pianists; The top 10 will be the future greats; but the medal round, i.e. top 3-5, are mostly determined by feuding jurors and the ultimate decision is usually based on politics, especially if one's teacher is famous or knows a juror(s). The stakes are huge at this level - concert venues in major cities, Carnegie Hall debut, recording labels, money, overnight reputation, etc.

    I've noticed that over the years, there are pieces that are a yardstick of to place in the top 50: Bach Partitas, Suites; Beethoven late sonatas; Liszt Etudes, Hungarian Rhapsodies; Chopin Etudes (Op.10/1 is a screening favorite - they'll even count the missed notes for you as a courtesy), Scherzi, Ballades, Sonatas; Rachmaninov Etudes, Preludes; etc.... Finalists must know at least 2-5 difficult concertos: preferably late Mozart, Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Chopin, Saint Saens, Prokofiev, etc.... That rules me out! :p

    If I didn't know the subjects in the photo were 125 years apart, I thought I was looking at two lovely Renoir paintings. However, I think Renoir would have preferred the 'impressionistic' elements in your dress over the Woman at the piano. :wink:
     
  2. pianolady

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

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    Hi George,

    I don't quite know how they run the Boston competition, but if it's similar to Chicago then you get 10 minutes for the first round, 20 minutes for the second round, and 30 minutes for the third round. Repertoire is practically anything - mostly I heard all the 'normal' stuff - Chopin, Bach, Beethoven, Bartok, Debussy, etc...but I also heard a few pieces by composers I didn't know. Regarding Van Cliburn, okay forget it - I'll not even bother with that one. Too hard! Yes, you can get the documentary "They Came to Play" on DVD. The director/producer was trying to sell more copies of it to our group. But maybe you can find it at your library too.

    So, do you think you really would enter the Boston? I'd seriously consider it if you are. But my husband would have a cow if I told him that now, so I'd have to let a little time pass before mentioning another competition.
     
  3. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oh, what did/could you do within three minutes on that piano? I think it is too short!


    Hey George, I thought at the first reading of your post that you mean the Van Cliburn Competition for the professionals, not the Van Cliburn for amateur pianists. Is it really true, that the prize winner at that amateur competition make commercial recordings and get much money from concerts (in Carnegie Hall) and CDs? Then they aren't amateurs any more, are they?
     
  4. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    The VC Foundation runs two piano competitions, one for professional young pianists, the other for outstanding amateurs. I don't think that the IPCOA is much different from the Chicago or Boston ones - you read more or less the same names competing in all of them.
     
  5. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Alfonzo is right, Monica, I didn't know VC Foundation also had an Amateur Competition as well. I was referring to the Professional Competition. By all means, go for it if you and your friends are up to it!

    Yes, Hye-Jin, In the professional competition, the Gold, Silver, and Bronze medalists carry a $20,000 cash prize, and 3 year concert season tours all paid for including travel expenses, career management fees, and a recording label with Harmonia Mundi. The Gold medalist receives additional concerts in Europe, Asia, appearances with major orchestras, and prestigious houses all over the world. Finalists receive $10,000 cash prize, 3 year concert tours in U.S. Semifinalists receive $5000 cash prizes. And there are individual cash awards given too.

    I was half-serious. "Mooo!" I can sympathize with your husband, I am having a cow too just thinking about it. :p After my only and last competition, I had said never again: I had been studying piano for just 5 years, I was the youngest at 16 (high school), and everybody else was 22 (college grads). I had to hear all the other finalists until my turn came to play. I feel that competitions tend to bring out the worst in people because one's constantly in a state of tension and fear. It's not fun when you know you can't practice other repertoire because you're too busy preparing for a competition.

    On the other hand, a part of me wants to excel, not by competing with anyone else, but to compete within myself to see what I can achieve. I am at a point in life where I am secure, have more than I need, so I have nothing to lose if I enter. In retrospect, I feel my musical run was cut short because of education, career, time, etc. Perhaps a competition might provide the incentive to work towards the goal of completing the larger works from where I left off years ago... If I were to play for 2011, I'd have to start now to rebuild my former repertoire in order to play near 30 minutes, let alone 60 minutes. I wish had your vast repertoire-on-demand.

    You see that my feelings are mixed either way. I don't have the time necessary to prepare for a competition, 1-2 hrs a week won't cut it. I don't want to make a promise that I cannot keep. If I work at it, and if I have enough pieces ready to enter before the deadline, I wouldn't mind entering the competition. But, that's a lot of "if's." Perhaps, it might at least give me an incentive to practice towards it. I will inform you if I make any headway towards 2011, if not perhaps 2013?...
     
  6. pianolady

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

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    Yes, I thought you were talking about the VC Amateur Competition. That is what the documentary, "They Came to Play" is based upon. And really I don't care about 'regular' competitions at all. I don't watch them, I don't care who wins, etc.... To me, amateur competitions are much more interesting because of the people involved.

    Well you hit the nail on the head - competing with myself is exactly the approach I took. I admit that I strayed from time to time and actually had some grandiose ideas, but really I needed to prove to myself that I could do something like this. That I would have the guts. Also, I just wanted to see what it was like to be in a competition. And yes - there certainly is no better practice motivating factor than knowing you are soon going to be playing in a competition. I practiced my heart out these past few weeks. And because of that, I got some of my pieces into much better shape than how I had played them before.


    Ok, if you enter, then I will too. I'll just keep it a secret from my husband for awhile. :lol:
     
  7. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    OK, Monica. I am on vacation next week, so I'll think about all this more clearly. You know, if anything positive comes out of mounting a long term effort such as preparing for an amateur competition, it's fulfilling a dream of performing pieces that I never quite finished. I have lived by the motto that it is better to try and fail, rather than to prove that it can't be done... :)
     

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