Saturday, September 15, 2012

Leeds Piano Competition Finals 1: the story so far

The lovely editor of Pianist Magazine, Erica Worth, is on location at the finals of the Leeds International Piano Competition. JD got her on the phone and asked what she thought of the first three finalists, who played their concerti last night. The second three - and the results - will follow tonight, and we'll hopefully get Erica's feedback for that as well, so stay tuned.

"The standard generally is astronomical," Erica says. "In my view, it's way higher than it was three years ago. Every pianist we've heard so far is a fully fledged musician - and any of them we'd happily buy a ticket to hear in a concert hall.

"I was deeply moved by the performance of the Beethoven Piano Concerto No.4, by Louis Schwizgebel [Switzerland] (left) - a beautiful, sensitive account, very elegant - really someone to watch. Jiayan Sun [China] (left, below) in Prokofiev's Second Concerto was technically very impressive, even if I wanted a bit more from it in terms of sheer hair-raising scariness. Jayson Gillham [Australia] (right, above) in the Beethoven 'Emperor' Concerto seemed the least nervous and most at ease at the piano, sovreign in many ways, though in places the interpretation seemed a little too light and Mozartian for the piece."

Listen out for the final part 2 and the announcement of the prizes on BBC Radio 3 tonight. I'm still cross it's not live on TV, but will try to catch up with what there is on the iPlayer.