“Words cannot express how I feel to have been awarded the Gold Medal of the China International Music Competition. It has been an extraordinary time in Beijing, and I am so grateful to the jury and everyone here who have been such great colleagues,” says Tony Siqi Yun, a Canadian pianist who won first prize at the inaugural China International Music Competition.
It’s hard to imagine a pianist’s performance that is so utterly polished, yet spontaneous and endlessly imaginative. Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov’s performance at Carnegie Hall wasn't just solid, it wasn’t just excellent. It was a performance of legends.
Pianist Karim Said moved to the UK from his native Jordan at age 11 without his family to study music. It is through this independence and the structure of Purcell School that have influenced his music-making.
German pianist Frank Dupree can be described with one word: versatility. He doesn’t think in stereotypes and has experimented with a variety of musical genres and instruments.
“Why isn’t it possible that one person plays a Beethoven Piano Sonata and improvises over a song by Duke Ellington in the same concert? I say it is! It’s all about making music,” said Frank, winner of the 2018 Opus Klassik Award for Piano Concerto Recording of the Year (20th/21st century).
French Canadian pianist Alexandra Stréliski is inspired by emotions, people, and the experiences she lived. “I cannot make a distinction between that and the way I write,” she said. This is why her work touched many emotions to those her listen to her work, recently via Jean-Marc Vallée’s films Dallas Buyers Club (2013) and Demolition (2016), as well as the trailer of the acclaimed HBO series Big Little Lies (2017).
Ukranian pianist Antonii Baryshevski hopes that the one thing his music is remember for is touching souls. His lifelong dream has always been to travel all over the world performing at the highest level, and this pianist is doing just that, with the culmination of his six-year journey with Messaien’s momentous two-hour cycle called Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jésus.
Pianist François-Xavier Poizat feels that the supporting presence of an audience, the rituals around a concert, and the stage fright are all necessary for the magical moment of a performance to happen. “We can of course play music anywhere else, but it will never have the intensity as if it is on the stage during a real concert,” he said.
Canadian pianist and Portland Piano International guest curator Marc-André Hamelin played with a robust love for the piano in front of a crowd at Carnegie Hall, mastering grand arrangements with ease. This time he performed French popular songs and some of the most technically challenging classics in the repertoire.
After a life-changing event at age 13, pianist Rachel Cheung said she cherishes every note she plays on stage. At only 26 years old, she has accomplished much in her musical career, and finds her happiness on the piano bench. This December she performs on the prestigious Portland Piano International series.