|A Piano Competition with a difference||
17 September 2008
This new competition was successfully launched in 2007 and offers young pianists the rare and exciting opportunity to perform a concerto with an outstanding professional orchestra. It is unusual too in that every member of the jury is a well established concert pianist. In this respect it looks back to an earlier era of musical history, when the majority of jurors in piano competitions were players rather than teachers or critics. But the emphasis of the competition is forward looking, emphasising the positive for every young pianist who chooses to enter what promises to be an outstanding international event.
Whilst significant cash prizes (generously donated by the Ernest, Ellen and Michael Corby Foundation) are awarded to the winners and finalists in each category, the competition also offers its winners and top prize-winners tremendous opportunities through concert engagements throughout the UK, including London recitals. There is also an inspiring programme of master classes, featuring every member of the jury. Master classes are scheduled throughout the competition for all of the selected semi finalists and finalists in each category. This means that positive feedback and encouragement are at the forefront of the event, where the emphasis will always be on inspiration, motivation and educational stimulus. It almost goes without saying that the discipline involved in preparing a piano concerto to a high standard for recording purposes is invaluable in itself. Therefore those pianists who submit a recording for the competition, but ‘fail’ to be selected for the semi finals in August, need not feel too disappointed. As part of the encouraging policy of the competition, free tickets for all of the master classes, semi final and final performances are given to every applicant who enters but is not selected for the semi finals. In this way it is hoped that as many young musicians as possible will be motivated and energised by the competition.