Showing posts with label International Chopin Competition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International Chopin Competition. Show all posts

Monday, April 27, 2015

Bashing and boring? The Chopin Competition 2015: a juror's words...

Professor Andrzej Jasinski. Photo by Marek Ostas
The preliminary rounds of the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw have been and gone. Three Brits are through to the contest proper: Ashley Fripp, Kausikan Rajeshkumar and Alexander Ullman. In addition, Dinara Klinton of Ukraine, who has been studying at the Royal College of Music, is admitted to the competition without tackling the preliminaries; and RCM student  Hin-Yat Tsang of China is through too. The full list of 84 pianists can be found here.

Professor Andrzej Jasinski, who is a member of the jury, has been talking to the Chopin Society about the story so far, and here's what he has to say on the Soc's Facebook page:

"Yes,they have emerged! I am pleased to say that in my notes I put the letter "W" against the names of three potential prizewinners. This was an interesting round. Compared to previous editions the standard was very mixed.   
"What surprised me was that a good number of participants sent in excellent DVD's, whereas their live performances turned out to be disappointing. Some applied too much physical strength, ignoring the potential of the piano and the ears of the listeners. Then there were those whose playing was quite simply boring enough to put the audience to sleep.
"Fortunately there were also artistic personalities who combined truly exquisite piano playing with Chopin's aesthetic. To see that someone applies technical skills to a higher purpose rather than in order to show-off makes one very happy. 
"Another ingredient which will be needed in the finals is luck: a competition is different to a normal concert. It's a very stressful environment, the desire to do well creates a lot of pressure. One of the ways of relieving it is to have positive attitude. Each time I'm asked about it, I always say: Try to win the 1st prize. Express what you really feel and be spontaneous. 
"But in the end accept the verdict of the jury. Nothing ends with winning or losing one competition. The real competition is your life afterwards. It will decide your place as an artist in society at large"."Fortunately there were also artistic personalities who combined truly exquisite piano playing with Chopin's aesthetic. To see that someone applies technical skills to a higher purpose rather than in order to show-off makes one very happy. 
"Another ingredient which will be needed in the finals is luck: a competition is different to a normal concert. It's a very stressful environment, the desire to do well creates a lot of pressure. One of the ways of relieving it is to have positive attitude. Each time I'm asked about it, I always say: Try to win the 1st prize. Express what you really feel and be spontaneous. 
"But in the end accept the verdict of the jury. Nothing ends with winning or losing one competition. The real competition is your life afterwards. It will decide your place as an artist in society at large".

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The future's Liam Scarlett. And it's also Daniil Trifonov

I went along to Covent Garden to meet Liam Scarlett, at 26 the hottest new choreographic property in town. He's decided to give up his dancing career - which was going jolly well - to concentrate full time on choreography and Kevin O'Hare has created a new post of Artist in Residence at the Royal Ballet especially for him. My piece about him is in today's Independent.

It's fairly extraordinary interviewing ballet people after being used to musicians for so long. One doesn't like to generalise, of course, but first of all, they are so young...and so thin...and so lovely. They are poetic, intuitive, extremely bright and astoundingly determined, even driven - after all, it's a short career. Their vocation is the life they live - perhaps even more so than musicians. You know the business about a singer being his/her own instrument? With dance, it's like that, but it isn't a voice box; it's everything.

Meanwhile, it's a landmark day for me in a way I'd prefer to forget, really, but since I can't, I'm having a night off all my habitual high cultcha and  we're going to see Skyfall at the IMAX. As my own present to all of you - for to give is better than to receive - here is Daniil Trifonov playing the Chopin Polonaise-Fantasie at the 2010 Chopin Competition. I came away from his QEH recital last week thinking "Someone should book this boy to play Prokofiev 2, soon - it'll be his piece to a T." And guess what? He's playing it on Thursday at the RFH with the Philharmonia and Lorin Maazel.