From a field of 10, the judges in the Alaska International Piano-e-Competition have decided on five finalists. The contestants will next present a chamber work and a concerto.
None of the five were on my short list, and curiously two, Chen Guang and Peter Friis Johansson, performed the same piece, the Schubert Sonata in B-flat Major, in very different ways in the semi-final round on Saturday. Shows what I know, but judge for yourself. All performances and much more can be seen at the competition website, www.uaf.edu/piano.
Here's the full press release from UAF.
Five competitors have been selected to go on to the final rounds of the Alaska International Piano-e-Compeititon. Hailing from across the globe, those finalists include:
1. Chen Guang, China/Italy
2. Marianna Prjevalskaya, Spain
3. Peter Friis Johansson, Denmark/Sweden
4. Frank Dupree, Germany
5. Alexey Chernov, Russia
The five finalists will take part in a three-part challenge in next two rounds, playing a second solo recital and demonstrating their collaborative ability with chamber musicians in the third round, and finally playing a full concerto of their own selection with the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra in the final two evenings of performance.
Video Game Pianist to headline community events
Several free community events will round out the offerings of the final week of the Alaska International Piano-e-Competition. Among them is a community clinic with Martin Leung, also known as the Video Game Pianist. Leung was the subject of a video that went viral in 2006, which showed him playing a complex arrangement of the theme to the Super Mario Bros. video game blindfolded. Leung studies at the University of Southern California and recently gave a doctoral lecture on the various musical underpinnings of the compositions in the Super Mario Bros. series. Leung is a clever, playful musician with an accessible style that is sure to appeal to young piano students, teachers, and video game lovers alike. The clinic will take place July 9 at 11:00 am in the McGown Room of the Fine Arts complex. All community events, including demonstrations of Disklavier technology and master class performances, are free and open to the public.
A full schedule of performances, community events, live webcasts of the performances and archived video of past performances can also be found on the competition website, uaf.edu/piano.