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#1378466 - 02/19/10 08:49 PM They Came to Play
P I A N O piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 425
Loc: Ann Arbor, Michigan
I would love to buy the DVD. It appears to be available at screenings. I signed up months ago on the website- has anyone been successful ordering this DVD?
_________________________
Chopin, Polonaise in C sharp minor, Etude in E major;
Bach, Toccata in e minor BWV 914;
Debussy, Snow is Dancing;
Schubert, Moments Musicaux,No.4 in C Sharp Minor;
Beethoven, Sonata no. 15 in D major, op. 28 (Pastoral)
teacher: Katherine Teves Mizruchi, Ann Arbor, MI
Steinway B

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#1378472 - 02/19/10 09:10 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4785
Loc: Seattle area, WA
I'm still waiting for it to come from Netflix. Have you seen it? Is it wonderful?
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#1378473 - 02/19/10 09:13 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: gooddog]
P I A N O piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 425
Loc: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Have not seen it- but would love to! I tried searching for it without luck!
_________________________
Chopin, Polonaise in C sharp minor, Etude in E major;
Bach, Toccata in e minor BWV 914;
Debussy, Snow is Dancing;
Schubert, Moments Musicaux,No.4 in C Sharp Minor;
Beethoven, Sonata no. 15 in D major, op. 28 (Pastoral)
teacher: Katherine Teves Mizruchi, Ann Arbor, MI
Steinway B

Top
#1378478 - 02/19/10 09:18 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4785
Loc: Seattle area, WA
The Netflix website appears to be down right now but I seem to remember its availability was listed as "unknown". Maybe once it becomes available to Netflix, we'll be able to buy it.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#1378489 - 02/19/10 09:40 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
Loc: New York
Remember, if you get it, you get to see ME. smile

I'm surprised there's any trouble getting it. I thought they were eager to sell the DVD's. I ordered and received a few copies a long time ago. But, I just looked at their website and now they're just saying the DVD will be available "soon."

I've e-mailed the producer of the film to find out what's the story. I usually hear back from her very promptly, and of course I'll let y'all know whatever I hear. And I'm thrilled that people are so interested in it!
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1378493 - 02/19/10 09:48 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
P I A N O piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 425
Loc: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Oh- thanks so much for checking into this! Feel free to pass along my email address to them (or, let me know if I may contact someone different and not go through that website).. I'm in the mood to watch this movie- just the trailer is so inviting!
_________________________
Chopin, Polonaise in C sharp minor, Etude in E major;
Bach, Toccata in e minor BWV 914;
Debussy, Snow is Dancing;
Schubert, Moments Musicaux,No.4 in C Sharp Minor;
Beethoven, Sonata no. 15 in D major, op. 28 (Pastoral)
teacher: Katherine Teves Mizruchi, Ann Arbor, MI
Steinway B

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#1378528 - 02/19/10 10:52 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3914
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
I, too, emailed someone from the website and managed to get two copies (one of which I gave to AllForBach). Why they haven't updated the website to make it clear it's immediately available, I don't know. I just searched the Cliburn shop and found nothing.
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#1379944 - 02/21/10 09:27 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
Loc: New York
......working on it!
(Stay tuned......)
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1379951 - 02/21/10 09:35 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 1324
Loc: Canada
Wow, I just looked at the trailer and it looks great. I'd love to see it too, especially since I now sort of know someone on it! (Mark_C, how does it feel to be a movie star?)

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#1379964 - 02/21/10 09:48 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Frozenicicles]
Orange Soda King Offline
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Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
I saw the trailer, and this looks great! I'd love to get it!


Edited by Orange Soda King (02/21/10 09:49 PM)

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#1379978 - 02/21/10 10:19 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Frozenicicles]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
....(Mark_C, how does it feel to be a movie star?)

Mixed, because in the two clips where they show me playing, they omit the audio. ha ha
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1381206 - 02/23/10 02:01 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
Agilita Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/03/06
Posts: 476
Loc: Missouri
I attended a screening of it and also have the DVD. I really enjoyed it. I met the producer and have sent her an e-mail to let her know that folks here are interested in getting the DVD.

Mark_C: were you in it?

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#1381207 - 02/23/10 02:01 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Agilita]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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(yes -- see above)

They show me talking more than playing. smile
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1381215 - 02/23/10 02:13 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
Agilita Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/03/06
Posts: 476
Loc: Missouri
Oh, sorry. I'm afraid that I don't have time during the day to fully read things-I tend to scan and miss alot. I guess that we both e-mailed Lori!

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#1381314 - 02/23/10 03:48 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Agilita]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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No problem.......we usually forget what we read anyway. ha
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1381319 - 02/23/10 03:56 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Lori Miller Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/23/10
Posts: 2
Hi - I'm the producer of "They Came to Play". We will be wrapping up our theatrical roll-out late this spring, and then I will have permission to sell DVDs! We have been able to sell them at selected screenings. I apologize if you signed up a while ago, and then we began our theatrical screenings. We are booking new dates around the country, and are updating the website as we go along. Please write to me at: theycametoplay@gmail.com and let me know what area you live in!
Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Lori Miller

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#1381399 - 02/23/10 05:48 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Lori Miller]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
I take it, this is a play or movie? Sorry to be so out of it, but the discussion is mystifying since no one has mentioned what this work actually is, or is about. I can live without knowing, but I'm a little curious.
_________________________
Clef


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#1381429 - 02/23/10 06:43 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Jeff Clef]
P I A N O piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 425
Loc: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Here is the link to the trailer/teaser!

They Came to Play

Ms. Lori Miller, I will write to you and thank you so much for posting! Welcome to Piano World! smile
_________________________
Chopin, Polonaise in C sharp minor, Etude in E major;
Bach, Toccata in e minor BWV 914;
Debussy, Snow is Dancing;
Schubert, Moments Musicaux,No.4 in C Sharp Minor;
Beethoven, Sonata no. 15 in D major, op. 28 (Pastoral)
teacher: Katherine Teves Mizruchi, Ann Arbor, MI
Steinway B

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#1381483 - 02/23/10 08:26 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
al-mahed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/09
Posts: 769
Loc: Rio de Janeiro
Ohhh, is Mark Cannon in it? I wanna buy it!

ps: of course Mark appears talking more than anything else, just see how many posts he made since 4 months ago hahahaha

Cheers Mark smile
_________________________
Yamaha P155 Digital Piano
Learning since ~ JUN/JUL-2009

Working on: music

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#1381569 - 02/23/10 10:52 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Jeff Clef]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
I take it, this is a play or movie? Sorry to be so out of it, but the discussion is mystifying since no one has mentioned what this work actually is, or is about. I can live without knowing, but I'm a little curious.

It's a movie -- a documentary about the amateur Van Cliburn piano competition of 2007.

I've been to a few screenings, and I don't cease to be amazed how much people love it. It's an incredible feeling to see "the public" loving something that you were part of, especially when it's about something like classical piano which you love so much and which you wouldn't necessarily think everyone would find of interest. But they love it!
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1381570 - 02/23/10 10:53 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: al-mahed]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Originally Posted By: al-mahed
....ps: of course Mark appears talking more than anything else, just see how many posts he made since 4 months ago hahahaha....

Huh.......I thought it was a coincidence. ha
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1394489 - 03/12/10 04:04 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
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Just learned that there will be a showing at the Chicago amateur piano competition (June 24-27).
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1394514 - 03/12/10 04:59 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
wdot Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/07
Posts: 726
Loc: South Carolina, USA
I had not heard of this film before this thread. I just watched the trailer and it gave me chills. They actually screened this film earlier this afternoon around 120 miles from where I'm sitting right now.

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#1394519 - 03/12/10 05:03 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: wdot]
Less Rubato Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 266
Loc: Washington state via OH-IO
Is there any nudity or coarse language-- because I'm very fragile.
Just kidding. Sounds like a great film that many will be proud of.I hope I get a chance to see it.

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#1394554 - 03/12/10 05:51 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Less Rubato]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Less Rubato
Is there any nudity.....

Only the top of my head. smile
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1394614 - 03/12/10 07:47 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
Less Rubato Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 266
Loc: Washington state via OH-IO
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Less Rubato
Is there any nudity.....

Only the top of my head. smile



Ha! Hilarious! You're awesome, Mark.
Enjoy your weekend.

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#1394668 - 03/12/10 10:10 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Less Rubato]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Thanks!
And as a matter of fact, I have the first "laugh line" in the film.

(You wouldn't guffaw, but you'd probably snicker.) smile
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1404720 - 03/27/10 03:15 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5903
Loc: Down Under
Just bumping this to let anyone in Australia know this will be on ABC TV tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon at 4.30.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1404822 - 03/27/10 09:37 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: currawong]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
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Wow......on regular network TV??????

Australia must be pretty good. smile
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1404983 - 03/27/10 02:20 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: currawong]
ChopinAddict Offline
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Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6096
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Originally Posted By: currawong
Just bumping this to let anyone in Australia know this will be on ABC TV tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon at 4.30.


Thanks for letting us know!
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#1405070 - 03/27/10 06:00 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5903
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Wow......on regular network TV??????
Australia must be pretty good. smile
ABC is the national non-commercial network. And sometimes it gets it right. smile
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1405151 - 03/27/10 09:04 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: currawong]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4785
Loc: Seattle area, WA
I can't find it on Comcast TV here in Seattle. I just requested it from Netflix for the second time. Perhaps if others contact Netflix, they will listen.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#1420018 - 04/19/10 01:17 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
Loc: New York
There is a showing of the film in New York this Wednesday evening (Apr. 21), 6:30 at Lincoln Center (Walter Reade Theater).

There will also be a "Q & A" session with some of us who were involved in the film, as well as live performances by Henri Delbeau (who was a finalist in the competition) and me (who wasn't). smile

Info

BTW......pay no attention to the next event that's listed after that. ha
No relation to the piano film. smile

P.S. There will also be three showings in May at the Symphony Space on Broadway & 95th St.
(May 16, 23, 30)
I'll be at the last two of those.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1420083 - 04/19/10 03:34 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
pianist87 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/10
Posts: 139
Loc: NJ, USA
How exciting! What will you be playing?
I would love to go see the film and hear you play in person. If only I didn't have to play the piano for Wednesday and Sunday church services. I'll be missing out on this one frown

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#1420084 - 04/19/10 03:38 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: pianist87]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
Thanks for being interested!
I'll probably be playing Chopin's Barcarolle. I mean, we've been talking about it enough on here lately, might as well play it. smile
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1420085 - 04/19/10 03:41 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
al-mahed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/09
Posts: 769
Loc: Rio de Janeiro
I don't know why, but I always imagine you playing scherzos smile

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Thanks for being interested!
I'll probably be playing Chopin's Barcarolle. I mean, we've been talking about it enough on here lately, might as well play it. smile
_________________________
Yamaha P155 Digital Piano
Learning since ~ JUN/JUL-2009

Working on: music

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#1420087 - 04/19/10 03:42 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: al-mahed]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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(Probably because I'm 'joking' most of the time.)

Scherzo means "joke." smile
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1420089 - 04/19/10 03:49 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
al-mahed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/09
Posts: 769
Loc: Rio de Janeiro
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
(Probably because I'm 'joking' most of the time.) smile


Yes! Well, I'm looking forward to see the DVD but it seems to be still unavailable...
_________________________
Yamaha P155 Digital Piano
Learning since ~ JUN/JUL-2009

Working on: music

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#1420257 - 04/19/10 09:16 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Change of plans! smile

Y'know, this is show business and stuff..... cry .....you never know.

We just learned that the time allotment will be shorter and we can only each play for about 5 minutes.
I tried to play around with 'abridged' versions of the Barcarolle, and they all sukkked.
So I'll plan to do Chopin's C# minor Waltz instead.

If they cut it down more, I might have to switch to the Minute Waltz. ha
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1420297 - 04/19/10 10:23 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
al-mahed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/09
Posts: 769
Loc: Rio de Janeiro
Hi Mark, op 72-1 is such a great nocturne, duration about 5 minutes smile
_________________________
Yamaha P155 Digital Piano
Learning since ~ JUN/JUL-2009

Working on: music

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#1420338 - 04/19/10 11:33 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: al-mahed]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
That would have been good too. smile
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1420467 - 04/20/10 07:31 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
Peyton Online   content
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Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 2530
Loc: Maine
Mark, sorry I'll miss the movie and your talk/play. I'm in the city this weekend for a show but not until friday. You must have solid nerves to be able to do all this public playing. I get shaky when I play for my wife.... smile
_________________________
"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."- Oscar Wilde
www.youtube.com/Biffer5
www.peytonart.com


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#1420549 - 04/20/10 11:05 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Peyton]
pianist87 Offline
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Registered: 01/06/10
Posts: 139
Loc: NJ, USA
That was such a short notice!
I guess performers gotta have one or two pieces that they are ready to play anytime, in case something like this happens.

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#1420593 - 04/20/10 12:43 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: pianist87]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Originally Posted By: pianist87
That was such a short notice!
I guess performers gotta have one or two pieces that they are ready to play anytime, in case something like this happens.

Not necessarily. We can also throw a tantrum and say "I will not change a single note!" ha
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1420598 - 04/20/10 12:51 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
pianist87 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/10
Posts: 139
Loc: NJ, USA
haha that works too!

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#1420610 - 04/20/10 01:02 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: pianist87]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
(Yes, but not well.) smile
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1438998 - 05/18/10 12:54 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
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Just a reminder that there will be showings in New York on the next 2 Sundays (May 23 & 30) at 2:30 PM, at the Thalia/Symphony Space on Broadway & 96th Street.

In addition to the screening of the film, there will be a Q & A and brief performances by me and Henri Delbeau, who was a finalist in the Cliburn competition that is covered in the film. I will also be helping to host this event.

Link for more info

If any of you do attend, please come by afterwards and say hello!!
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1495571 - 08/13/10 11:28 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
P I A N O piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 425
Loc: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Does anyone know how to schedule a screening? I'd love to have this show in my area!

Actually, I'd love to buy the DVD...still not available?
_________________________
Chopin, Polonaise in C sharp minor, Etude in E major;
Bach, Toccata in e minor BWV 914;
Debussy, Snow is Dancing;
Schubert, Moments Musicaux,No.4 in C Sharp Minor;
Beethoven, Sonata no. 15 in D major, op. 28 (Pastoral)
teacher: Katherine Teves Mizruchi, Ann Arbor, MI
Steinway B

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#1495623 - 08/14/10 01:47 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
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Hey there!
How about I put the producer in touch with you? I think she'll be thrilled to write or talk to you.
You don't need to give me any contact info for yourself......I know how to tell her to be in touch. smile

About the DVD: It will be made available again very soon. They're doing a 2-week run of the movie (two showings per night) in New York to sort of "celebrate" that.

The flick just got great reviews this week in the NY Times and Village Voice.

And I just got back from the opening of the NY run. We had one of those Q&A/performing gigs after each showing. They're always awesome. smile

P.S. I'm thrilled that you're so interested!
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1495631 - 08/14/10 02:09 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Mark_C Online   content
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_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1495634 - 08/14/10 02:17 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3726
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C

Cool! But, from the article:

"Professional musicians, actors and other performing artists, when they get to talking about their work, can, let’s face it, be kind of boring in a self-absorbed, detached-from-reality way."

Really? Talking to someone about his or her profession always carries the risk of boredom or alienation, just because the professional is so steeped in it, but surely talking with a professional artist should be one of the less boring experiences?

(Also, as long as I'm in critical mode, I expect more from the Times than that "let's face it", with its faux-casual coloring, as if the author is finally going to drop formal pretense and address some uncomfortable truth we've all been thinking but have been too polite to mention. None of which really applies here. Lazy writing. smile )

-J
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#1495658 - 08/14/10 03:27 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: beet31425]
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I agree. Maybe this bunch talks more interestingly than your average bunch of professional musicians -- maybe -- but I cringed when I read that opening. I wasn't about to complain, especially because when I saw the review I was with some people involved with the film. But that stuff was a turn-off, a cheap shot with no particular meaning, and it arguably damages the credibility and influence of the review. I was thrilled that the reviewer liked the film but I wished he hadn't made his point that way.
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#1496115 - 08/14/10 09:34 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
P I A N O piano Offline
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Hey Mark! Thanks! I'll look forward to hearing from the producer - lot's of piano interest in my area so this should be great!! smile
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#1496146 - 08/14/10 10:01 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Sorcerer88 Offline
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will it be possible to order from abroad (i.e. Europe, Germany)? I'd love to see this, since i saw Kapustin and Alkan performed at this competition and all the other great stuff i was hooked!
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#1496251 - 08/15/10 02:10 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: P I A N O piano
Hey Mark! Thanks! I'll look forward to hearing from the producer - lot's of piano interest in my area so this should be great!! smile

Consider it done. smile
I'll let her know.
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#1496252 - 08/15/10 02:12 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Sorcerer88]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Sorcerer88
will it be possible to order from abroad (i.e. Europe, Germany)? I'd love to see this, since i saw Kapustin and Alkan performed at this competition and all the other great stuff i was hooked!

Great to see that so many people are interested!
I'm sure it'll be possible to order from anywhere, because the DVD is expected to be available through all the usual internet outlets.

Just found out that the expected release date is Nov. 15.
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#1496655 - 08/15/10 05:57 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
P I A N O piano Offline
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"Like"
smile
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Schubert, Moments Musicaux,No.4 in C Sharp Minor;
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#1544315 - 10/26/10 11:17 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
raptor Offline
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I just received my copy from neoflix yesterday in the mail. Seems that it's selling now at that particular store and not as a preorder for November.

I bought it using this link: http://www.neoflix.com/store/EEF68/

The site has no information on delivery dates and they don't even inform you when they post the DVD, so beware of that if you decide to order from that link.

Haven't watched it yet, as I've been busy, but I plan to watch it sometime this week as i've only seen the trailers about the documentary so far.

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#1544317 - 10/26/10 11:21 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Kreisler Offline



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I've ordered mine, looking forward to seeing it!
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#1544611 - 10/27/10 10:02 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Sorcerer88 Offline
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Originally Posted By: raptor
I just received my copy from neoflix yesterday in the mail.
dito! can't wait to see it when i have the time.
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#1550862 - 11/04/10 02:32 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Kreisler Offline



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Watched it last night - it's great! (And enjoyed Mark C's commentary as well!)
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#1562100 - 11/22/10 12:56 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Frozenicicles Offline
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You can download it for $14.99 on the itunes store now! Should be studying...but I don't know if I can resist watching when it finishes downloading.

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#1562101 - 11/22/10 12:58 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Frozenicicles]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
You can download it for $14.99 on the itunes store now! Should be studying...but I don't know if I can resist watching when it finishes downloading.

Cool!
Anyway I think you should get school credit for watching it. ha
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#1562389 - 11/22/10 02:36 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Frozenicicles Offline
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I enjoyed it! It's more of a documentary about the people than the music, and it really shines in that regard. I'm rather disappointed that a lot of the performances got cut, so maybe I should've gotten the physical copy with the dual layer DVD.

I was surprised at the wide variation of difficulty and musical styles in the repertoire performed. It must be insanely hard to judge these things. How do you compare a great rendition of one of the easier Chopin preludes with the Waldstein? One of the competitors remarked something to the effect that you needed to be able to trot out some of the big warhorses to make it. Too bad they didn't make this a series show, survivor style. How cool would that be?

Most of all, I was impressed with how well these people are able to juggle their professional, music and personal lives. Do they just have 24 hours to a day like everyone else? Amazing.

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#1565372 - 11/27/10 06:17 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
beet31425 Online   content
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FYI: The movie is coming to Netflix Streaming (in the US) in 3 weeks, so I (so lazy I don't even mail DVD's anymore) will finally watch it. Looking forward to it. smile

-J
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#1565386 - 11/27/10 06:38 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Piano Again Offline
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I saw this last year when they were first screening it, and I loved it so much I bought the DVD that night from the producer. I've watched it several times since then.

My copy does not have anything other than the movie on it. I believe you can see/hear complete performances on YouTube or on the Cliburn site.
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#1565428 - 11/27/10 07:50 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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I have a copy of They Came to Play.
Anybody who is interested please PM me, I watched once, and want to sell.

Ron

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#1675753 - 05/11/11 05:49 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
lilylady Offline
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I just rec'd it from Netflix and enjoyed it. The over 35 amateur competition.

The finalists played so well that you would think them pros! The winner did a great job all the way through and deserved the win (won't say who to spoil it)

Even got to see Mark C speak. Sorry I missed you at the piano somehow.

I want to watch it one more time before I ship it back.

How they control their nerves is beyond me. There were a couple of finalists who did not place who were fantastic too.

What an achievement to participate.

What was nice to see were the interviews of the participant's every day lives. We can relate although most were far from the everyday workman.

I recommend it.



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#1675852 - 05/11/11 09:31 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: lilylady]
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Lily: Nice post! And BTW it wasn't hard to miss me at the piano; they only show me briefly, twice -- and without the audio. ha
(They have other stuff playing meanwhile in the background, as was the case with many of us 'also-rans.') smile
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#1675875 - 05/11/11 09:55 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
gooddog Offline
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Oh wow. I'm glad Netflix finally has it. It's still listed as arrival date "unknown" on my Netflix.
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#1675882 - 05/11/11 10:07 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Palindrome Offline
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I saw it, then went to the Chicago Amateur Piano Competition last June. Some of the people in TCTP were competing here! Real screen stars walking (and playing piano) amongst us mortals. It was great.
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#1675950 - 05/12/11 12:25 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Palindrome]
RealPlayer Offline
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I just saw the film thanks to Netflix. Well, all but the last 20 min. or so, which I'll get back to. The director's POV is really the human-interest part with the pianists speaking about their musical lives and their work lives away from the piano. That's nice, and it helps give the film more mass-market appeal, but personally I would have liked to hear more than the 20- or 30-second snippets of playing, and without voice-overs obscuring the music.
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#1675956 - 05/12/11 12:38 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
cefinow Offline
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Very cool, I must watch... I am letting my netflix account expire before May 15, the next billing date. It shows "They" as available for streaming. ("Them"?) I just never watch movies or TV or anything! (although youtube can waste a lot of time in cumulative tiny snippets)

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#1677663 - 05/14/11 05:01 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
lisztvsthalberg Offline
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Just watched this from iTunes - so much better than the Eurovision Song Contest!

I was surprised that Slava Levin didn't place among the top three, he played the Schumann Toccata and La Campanella pretty convincingly.

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#1677674 - 05/14/11 05:11 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
tranquillo Offline
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It's a great story of an amateur competition caught on video, delves into the personal lives of the competitors, follows them to the stage and finals. I found it riveting.
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#1677694 - 05/14/11 06:16 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: lisztvsthalberg]
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Originally Posted By: lisztvsthalberg
.....I was surprised that Slava Levin didn't place among the top three, he played the Schumann Toccata and La Campanella pretty convincingly.

I was too. But, you have to realize that you only saw bits of the competition. For all of the film's excellence, the excerpts don't always give a full idea of how well the people really did in each round. If you had heard the entire finals, you might not be that surprised. It's not that he didn't play well, but by the very high standards of the finals, it seemed he had somewhat of an 'off-day,' not that there was anything really wrong but it often seemed a bit routine and uninspired -- maybe he was a bit tired? That's not hard to imagine after a long week of competing. It was still good enough to have won, but he left some room above himself, and people took it. Also his choice of repertoire for the finals may have worked against him: his big piece was Schumann's Faschingsschwank aus Wien, which is wonderful and his playing had stretches of great beauty (and his last movement was used basically as the "theme song" for the movie), but that piece has a hard time competing with the other people's "big pieces." And there was also another possible factor: there may have been a bit of a different standard applied to him since he had been a professional performer in the past.

But screw all that smile ....in the film, I said I thought the judges would have a hard time avoiding giving 3 first prizes (which the rules do allow) -- actually I thought FOUR were fully and equally worthy -- and Slava was one of the people that I meant. And it's possible that his performance of that last movement of Faschingsschwank aus Wien, since it is featured so prominently in the film, may help elevate the piece's profile. I'd bet that THOUSANDS of people who see the movie have wondered, "What IS that piece?" -- and have gone and found out.
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#1677746 - 05/14/11 08:07 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
gale Offline
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It's available for instant viewing on Netflix right now. I just watched the first 15 minutes. Wonderful!!

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#1677801 - 05/14/11 09:59 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: gooddog]
jdhampton924 Offline
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Originally Posted By: gooddog
I'm still waiting for it to come from Netflix. Have you seen it? Is it wonderful?
It is on netflix instant play, that is how I watched it a few months ago.

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#1678004 - 05/15/11 07:28 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
lisztvsthalberg Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
...there may have been a bit of a different standard applied to him since he had been a professional performer in the past.

I wondered if that was indeed the case after listening to both the winner's and his Toccata on YouTube. His non-legato playing was really incredible. Slava Levin's Campanella was also used for the end credits of the film.

Having said that, I really liked the heterogeneity of the competitors and the repertoire. Many of them displayed a strong personality through their playing and the judges seemed to reward this - and musical expression in general - much more than in professional competitions, which often have a very different (and less encouraging) atmosphere.

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#1678078 - 05/15/11 11:20 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
...there may have been a bit of a different standard applied to him since he had been a professional performer in the past.


How did you find out that different standards were applied to him?

After watching the movie, I went to Slava Levin's wife web-site. It said that Slava had doctorate from Moscow Conservatory majoring in piano performance. Just wonder, why somebody who had doctorate degree in piano performance competed in many amateur competitions. What is the fun?


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#1678085 - 05/15/11 11:33 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: RonaldSteinway]
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
How did you find out that different standards were applied to him?

I didn't "find out," and I didn't say I knew. I was speculating.

Quote:
After watching the movie, I went to Slava Levin's wife web-site. It said that Slava had doctorate from Moscow Conservatory majoring in piano performance. Just wonder, why somebody who had doctorate degree in piano performance competed in many amateur competitions. What is the fun?

Reasonable question, and at least for Slava, I'm quite sure the answers are ones that we all would admire. He jokes in the film that he entered this competition to show his wife (a professional pianist) that he can still play smile but whatever....from having been around him at two events, he truly seems to be there mostly for the performing opportunity and the camaraderie.
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#1678090 - 05/15/11 11:47 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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In no way will he lose his musical knowledge, he may be rusty. My teacher went to military service for 2 years while he attended Moscow Conservatory, and he could not practice. He was afraid that he will never gain back his ability. After he is done with military service, he was able to go back to the previous condition within 2 weeks of constant practice. Therefore, Slave can return to say 60 percent of his young age ability, and this will still be 10x better than most normal people since he graduated with Doctorate degree from one of the best conservatories in the world. But it is ok to have him in a competition, kind of fun and make normal people be more inspired....otherwise, competing against normal people , AARP members, is not challenging.

.

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#1678113 - 05/15/11 12:11 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
.....AARP members....

ha ha ha

I agree somewhat with what you say about professionally-trained pianists, but again I think you put it stronger than it deserves.
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#1678115 - 05/15/11 12:17 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Lisa C Offline
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Saw this thread yesterday and my husband and I watched this on Netflix last night. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was especially happy that one of my personal favorites -- Schubert's Wanderer - was played. (One of the many pieces that break my heart because my hands are too small.)

I was curious though - the show did not say anything (or if it did, I missed it) about whether the competitors take lessons. If so, I would have enjoyed seeing something about that.
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#1678851 - 05/16/11 04:35 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Gyro Offline
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Some of the players seem to be basically concert pianists who chose not to go pro. And the repertoire requirements are very stiff: 10-12 min. program in prelim. rd., 16-20 min. in semi-finals, and 25-30 min. in finals. Which raises a question in my mind: do all 75 contestants in the prelims actually have the complete repertoire ready to go, or do most of them expect to be eliminated in the prelims and therefore don't actually have even the semi-final repertoire prepared? That is, most of the 75 are just in it for the experience and couldn't participate in the semi-finals if them somehow made the cut.

Also, the VC Youtube competition winner gets into the prelims, but do the Youtube contestants actually have the complete repertoire ready to go if they were to win?

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#1678929 - 05/16/11 06:56 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Frozenicicles]
boo1234 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles


Most of all, I was impressed with how well these people are able to juggle their professional, music and personal lives. Do they just have 24 hours to a day like everyone else? Amazing.


I think the thing to take away from this is that most of these competitors are very successful people in their professions that would have been good in almost anything they tried.

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#1679105 - 05/17/11 01:26 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Gyro]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gyro
Some of the players seem to be basically concert pianists who chose not to go pro. And the repertoire requirements are very stiff: 10-12 min. program in prelim. rd., 16-20 min. in semi-finals, and 25-30 min. in finals. Which raises a question in my mind: do all 75 contestants in the prelims actually have the complete repertoire ready to go, or do most of them expect to be eliminated in the prelims and therefore don't actually have even the semi-final repertoire prepared? That is, most of the 75 are just in it for the experience and couldn't participate in the semi-finals if them somehow made the cut.

Also, the VC Youtube competition winner gets into the prelims, but do the Youtube contestants actually have the complete repertoire ready to go if they were to win?


Most people prepare all of the pieces, but they know their ability. If they think that they are going to be a first rounder only, they just practice hard for the first round, and practice enough to not embarrass themselves in case they get into semifinal. People who foresee that they have a big chance to be a contender in the final, they practice all of the pieces very hard.

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#2032635 - 02/13/13 06:58 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
quodlibet Offline
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Sorry to revive such an old thread, but...I just finished watching this film for, oh, the third or fourth time, and am seeking a small bit of information from someone who might know (Mark C?).

After Mark Fuller's full performance of a Prokofiev sonata (in the bonus features), while he is talking backstage you can hear someone playing Schubert's B flat sonata, D960. I am just really curious to know which competitor that was. It is one of my favorite pieces, and I wondered too whether any video of that competitor playing it is online anywhere (if so, I can't locate it).

Thanks in advance if anyone can help!

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#2032644 - 02/13/13 07:08 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
JoelW Offline
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Wait a minute, Mark C was in this?? Now I want to watch it!




EDIT: "no, we're real doctors..." laugh

I saw the preview like two years ago (way before I joined PianoWorld) and I distinctly remember that line. Only now that I go back and watch it again do I realize it's Mark. Small world I guess!

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#2032692 - 02/13/13 08:10 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: quodlibet]
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Originally Posted By: quodlibet
....you can hear someone playing Schubert's B flat sonata, D960. I am just really curious to know which competitor that was. It is one of my favorite pieces, and I wondered too whether any video of that competitor playing it is online anywhere (if so, I can't locate it)....

One of my faves too!
I suspect that the only person who would know is the person him/herself, because I'm pretty sure it was a non-programmed piece that someone was just using to try out the piano. (I think nobody played any movements of the piece in the competition nor had it scheduled for any round that they didn't reach. If I have a chance I'll go back and look through the program book of the event to make sure.)

To Joel: Yes, with the help of my wife being "straight man," I had the first laugh line of the film. ha

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#2032697 - 02/13/13 08:15 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
quodlibet Offline
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Mark,
Thanks for the info! It didn't occur to me that someone was warming up with the Schubert. Does that mean that you're allowed warm-up time on stage before you perform? I assumed that folks had to warm up in a practice room or something, then go out on stage and jump right in to his/her piece.

I wish they'd included even more bonus material on the disc. Heck, I'd like to see a full performance from every competitor. Guess I'll have to go to Fort Worth some day for that!

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#2032779 - 02/13/13 11:28 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: quodlibet]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: quodlibet
It didn't occur to me that someone was warming up with the Schubert. Does that mean that you're allowed warm-up time on stage before you perform? I assumed that folks had to warm up in a practice room or something, then go out on stage and jump right in to his/her piece....

First of all, I was wrong about nobody having programmed the piece -- and I think I know who this was. I started looking through the program book, and it didn't take me very long going through the alphabetical order to get to someone who did list the piece (1st mvt only), and who probably did succeed in getting to the round where he would have played it.

Once I found that, I was able to find a video of him playing the movement, perhaps of the performance at that competition.
It's the first video on this page.

His name is Michael Brounoff and I actually know him a bit, so I'm extra surprised that I had no recollection of the piece having been part of that event. We've been together at several of the Cliburn amateur competitions, we played some 4-hand music together at an evening party during one of them, and sat together in a group at the same table for the post-competition dinner at the last one.

About the last part of what you said up there: Yes, you get to try the piano, not during "warm up" but earlier in the day or on the previous day. Everyone gets 7 minutes, which might not sound like a lot, but as these things go, that's real good. And besides that, there's plenty of actual "warm-up" before your performance. You get 45 minutes on a good practice piano in the building next door, then they pick you up and walk you to the green room in the auditorium, where (if memory serves -- I can't believe I don't remember this for sure after having been in that competition about a trillion times!) I think there's another piano that you warm up on some more for a few minutes before going on stage.

They treat you very nicely there. smile

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#2033004 - 02/14/13 11:57 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
quodlibet Offline
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Thank you so much for the info and the link! I love hearing details about the competition so I can live vicariously. I will likely never make it there as a competitor, but I do really want to go some day as an audience member. Maybe in 2015 (which I'm guessing is when the next one would be).

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#2033013 - 02/14/13 12:12 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: quodlibet]
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Originally Posted By: quodlibet
....I will likely never make it there as a competitor, but I do really want to go some day as an audience member....

That's how I got started in this whole thing!

I went to the first amateur Cliburn as an audience member, out of curiosity, especially because some friends were in it. And I caught the bug. ha

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#2033144 - 02/14/13 04:40 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
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I think having pianists with a doctorate from the Moscow Conservatory competing in an amateur competition is like having Roger Federer compete in the local amateur tennis tournament 10 years after he retires from professional tennis.

I think this topic has come up before at PW but this situation seem particularly outrageous. I don't think many would consider him an amateur even if he pursued another career after graduation.

Why would anyone with training like that want to compete in an "amateur" competition? I realize that the Cliburn isn't the only competition that allows this kind of situation, but I find it outrageous and almost pathetic. What is he trying to prove?


Edited by pianoloverus (02/14/13 04:45 PM)

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#2033163 - 02/14/13 04:54 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Sorcerer88 Offline
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He himself said in the documentary that he wanted to show that "he can still do it" which he said (perhaps jokingly) his wife doubted. He was working in IT after arriving in the US, because he needed the money.
Still, i get your point, he had a slightly unfair advantage of long professional training. That he still didn't sweep the competition of passionate amateurs speaks for itself.
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#2033190 - 02/14/13 05:26 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Sorcerer88]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Sorcerer88
He himself said in the documentary that he wanted to show that "he can still do it" which he said (perhaps jokingly) his wife doubted. He was working in IT after arriving in the US, because he needed the money.
Still, i get your point, he had a slightly unfair advantage of long professional training. That he still didn't sweep the competition of passionate amateurs speaks for itself.
If that is his reason, I don't consider it particularly good. He doesn't have to enter a competition to see if he can still do it. He should just give a free concert at some local venue.

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#2033227 - 02/14/13 06:35 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: pianoloverus]
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
....Why....

this post

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#2033239 - 02/14/13 06:55 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
....Why....

this post
No

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#2033379 - 02/14/13 09:54 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: pianoloverus]
Mark_C Online   content
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Yes. ha

I know the guy. You don't.

And BTW I'm pretty honest. grin

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#2033541 - 02/15/13 06:10 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
I know the guy.
Knowing the guy has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not people like him should be allowed to enter amateur competitions.


Edited by pianoloverus (02/15/13 06:11 AM)

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#2033663 - 02/15/13 11:06 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: pianoloverus]
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
I know the guy.
Knowing the guy has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not people like him should be allowed to enter amateur competitions.

Correct.

But take a look at what I've been replying to in those 2 posts.

I'm very specific about such things. smile

Maybe you forgot or didn't realize what your "Why" was about. That's what kicked this off.

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#2033716 - 02/15/13 12:48 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: pianoloverus]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think having pianists with a doctorate from the Moscow Conservatory competing in an amateur competition is like having Roger Federer compete in the local amateur tennis tournament 10 years after he retires from professional tennis.

I think this topic has come up before at PW but this situation seem particularly outrageous. I don't think many would consider him an amateur even if he pursued another career after graduation.

Why would anyone with training like that want to compete in an "amateur" competition? I realize that the Cliburn isn't the only competition that allows this kind of situation, but I find it outrageous and almost pathetic. What is he trying to prove?


He wants F A M E! What else? But if they do not allow ex-professionals to join amateur competitions, the competitions will be boring, it will be a bunch of middle age people playing intermediate to early advance pieces. It is a high percentage of the people who joined amateur competitions have piano performance degree. People who do not have piano degree are not many, and very few of them can play well. It is not a surprise. To play convincingly, ones need a lot of training and dedication. People with piano degree had had enough training and playing hour in front of public.

Anyway, joining amateur competition is fun, and a good way to motivate many people to practice piano. Regardless the result, we will keep getting better by practicing for a piano competition.

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#2033815 - 02/15/13 04:02 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Sorcerer88 Offline
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That's also not true, Steinway. Actually, most of the people who participated in the Cliburn Amateur competition didn't have a degree in piano. There are very dedicated, passionate amateurs that chose a different profession and still put a lot of time into piano practice and are very convincing to listen to, comparable to professional pianists.
Fuller - lawyer
Mark C - psychologist
Henry Delbeau - doctor of medicine
Griffin - IT specialist
..

the list goes on. I don't think any of these have degrees in piano, and they're excellent (amateur) pianists.
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#2033831 - 02/15/13 04:41 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Sorcerer88]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: Sorcerer88
That's also not true, Steinway. Actually, most of the people who participated in the Cliburn Amateur competition didn't have a degree in piano. There are very dedicated, passionate amateurs that chose a different profession and still put a lot of time into piano practice and are very convincing to listen to, comparable to professional pianists.
Fuller - lawyer
Mark C - psychologist
Henry Delbeau - doctor of medicine
Griffin - IT specialist
..

the list goes on. I don't think any of these have degrees in piano, and they're excellent (amateur) pianists.


Henry has BA and MA in Music (please click the link below) http://www.robertaonthearts.com/insidePe...%20Delbeau.html

Griffin has composition degree from Curtis (not just a state school).

People like Fuller (not sure with the background). Looking at his repertoire, it is too good for a pure amateur, he could be a half way conservatory student or a prodigy. https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/amateur-piano-competition/id262628850

Mark C is considered a real amateur pianist who is passionate about playing.

As I said many times, generally only ex-prodigies and people with high music education can win big amateur competition. The background gap between pure amateurs and the top quality amateurs is too big.

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#2033838 - 02/15/13 04:55 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Sorcerer88 Offline
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Okay, didn't know about Henry's and Griffin's degrees. But they are probably still in the minority. And if you flag all others as "prodigies" who put a lot of time into the piano (which, in my eyes, is how a "prodigy" is created"), then of course you limit the "amateur" label and the people that fall under it in amateur competitions quite a lot. I do think you can compete as a "real" amateur, if you put a lot of time into it, and there are many examples in the Cliburn. Also, most "amateurs" say their goal is not winning the competition anyways, it's all about the passion.
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#2033840 - 02/15/13 05:01 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Sorcerer88]
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Sorcerer: Thanks for your good posts. There's a fair amount of truth in what Ronald said, including that most of the contestants who place near the top are from the arguably-professional group, but he overstated it. My main quibble with his post is that many of the real real amateurs in these events, not "very few," do play very well.

BTW "psychologist" isn't exactly right but close enough. grin

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#2033859 - 02/15/13 05:38 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: RonaldSteinway]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think having pianists with a doctorate from the Moscow Conservatory competing in an amateur competition is like having Roger Federer compete in the local amateur tennis tournament 10 years after he retires from professional tennis.

I think this topic has come up before at PW but this situation seem particularly outrageous. I don't think many would consider him an amateur even if he pursued another career after graduation.

Why would anyone with training like that want to compete in an "amateur" competition? I realize that the Cliburn isn't the only competition that allows this kind of situation, but I find it outrageous and almost pathetic. What is he trying to prove?


He wants F A M E! What else? But if they do not allow ex-professionals to join amateur competitions, the competitions will be boring, it will be a bunch of middle age people playing intermediate to early advance pieces. It is a high percentage of the people who joined amateur competitions have piano performance degree. People who do not have piano degree are not many, and very few of them can play well. It is not a surprise. To play convincingly, ones need a lot of training and dedication. People with piano degree had had enough training and playing hour in front of public.
I think this is partially true. I think part of the reason contests like the Cliburn allow people with not only performance degrees but advanced performance degrees is so that the finalists will sound impressive. I really can't think of any good reason for someone like Slava to participate.

OTOH, I think it's an exaggeration to say few of the true amateurs can play "well". They just can't, in general, play as well as conservatory graduates. Many of he ones I listened to struggled quite a bit to play the notes of pieces(admittedly sometimes very advanced works)they chose that often sounded a little beyond their technical ability.

This has all been discussed in other threads and I don't remember if there was any consensus. But I, for one, would much prefer if there was some kind of rule that prevented conservatory graduates from playing even if they had abandoned their performance careers some time ago. I don't think many truly think of these pianists as amateurs.

Perhaps they could limit amateur competitions to those who never played professionally or studied at a conservatory. For me. this would only be a plus.


Edited by pianoloverus (02/15/13 05:40 PM)

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#2033874 - 02/15/13 05:59 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Sorcerer88]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: Sorcerer88
Okay, didn't know about Henry's and Griffin's degrees. But they are probably still in the minority. And if you flag all others as "prodigies" who put a lot of time into the piano (which, in my eyes, is how a "prodigy" is created"), then of course you limit the "amateur" label and the people that fall under it in amateur competitions quite a lot. I do think you can compete as a "real" amateur, if you put a lot of time into it, and there are many examples in the Cliburn. Also, most "amateurs" say their goal is not winning the competition anyways, it's all about the passion.


This is the statistic of the 25 semifinalists (Highlighted names were finalist).


Daniel Bertram (DMA in piano)
J. Michael Brounoff (real amateur but from very musical family)
Mark Cannon (real amateur)
Barry Coutinho (from India, study music in London)
Darlene Cusick (Master Piano performance)
Andrea De Tomas (Piano degree)
Pablo Eizayaga (real amateur)
Jun Fujimoto (Piano degree, and in music industry)
Mark Fuller (Lawyer - unknown musical background)
Clark Griffith (Composition - Curtis)
Martha Chestnut Hartman (Master Degree in Piano from Indiana)
Ken Iisaka (Ex-prodigy)
Jane Gibson King (Master Piano performance)
Iona Luke (unknown)
Thomas A. Maurice (BA and MA in piano performance)
Joseph Mercuri (unknown)
Valentina Rodov (from Moscow Consevatory)
Christopher Sarzynski (Prodigy)
Christopher Shih (Ex-real Van Cliburn competitor, must be prodigy)
Vincent J. Schmithorst (Piano degree)
Dominic Piers Smith (Study music at Trinity - Prodigy)
Madalyn Bingham Taylor (piano degree and piano teacher)
Angela Lee Tien (Julliard MA Piano performance)
Eberhard Zagrosek (real amateur)
Jorge Zamora (Piano degree from Cleveland Institute)

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#2033960 - 02/15/13 09:17 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Sorcerer88 Offline
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Ah, nice statistics, that does give quite a clear advantage to people with degrees. But i really don't think you need to extend your point any further with all this prodigy business, because that's hard to define. Also, why would a prodigy, even an "ex-prodigy", not be an amateur?

I definitely didn't know that most semifinalists had a piano degree though, you have a point. Still, some amateurs manage to compete with them!


Edited by Sorcerer88 (02/15/13 09:17 PM)
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#2033995 - 02/15/13 10:58 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: pianoloverus]
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
....I think part of the reason contests like the Cliburn allow people with not only performance degrees but advanced performance degrees is so that the finalists will sound impressive....

I think so too, especially since you said "part of," but I'd put this thing differently: I'd say to make it a better event -- which it does, IMO including for us 'real amateur' contestants. I would feel very bad -- truly very bad -- if they were excluded. I'd have a better chance to win, or probably the way I should put it is I'd have a chance to win ha but I would not be happy about it.

I think the bigger reason such people are "allowed" into the competition is that it's simply impossible to come up with a perfect definition of "outstanding amateur." Choices have to be made, hard and fast lines have to be drawn, it's extremely hard to know what the best lines are, and I think it comes down to whether you want to be more careful about whom you exclude or about whom you allow -- how important it is to exclude so-and-so if the side effect is that you'll also be excluding genuine amateurs. As I've mentioned in the past, I think I'm a good example of the difficulty of this, because even though I think we'd all agree I'm a "real amateur," in fact I have things on paper that some would argue in theory make me a non-amateur, including having played many solo recitals over a long period of time, having performed with orchestra, and having been (reasonably) favorably reviewed. With no false modesty, I think the only clear reason I'm an amateur is that I'm not that good -- and that can't be a criterion. I think the Cliburn does as good a job as any and better than most in drawing the lines, especially because of their making the minimum age be 35 rather than something lower. IMO the biggest issue of how the competitions 'draw the line' isn't anything about what's been mentioned here so far, but admitting people young enough that they're in the process of becoming professionals; the only thing making them "amateurs" is that they're too young to have established anything yet as a primary career. I think the presence of such contestants changes the entire atmosphere of the event to a student/conservatory type of thing, and with the emphasis being on the qualities that professional competitions are infamous for. I don't think that happens with older contestants of the kind that are being complaining about here.

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#2034006 - 02/15/13 11:08 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: RonaldSteinway]
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway

Ken Iisaka (Ex-prodigy)



I'm wondering what has to happen to make a person move from the "prodigy" category to the "ex-prodigy" category. confused
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#2034016 - 02/15/13 11:21 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Sorry, I used prodigy or ex-prodigy interchangeably. I should use ex-prodigy.

I found out by Googling these people and read their piano history, for example, like Ken Iisaka, he went to Europe after winning something. Only very good kids (prodigies) will go abroad for piano related matters. Actually, most people who got into big name schools can be considered prodigies, may not up to Mozart caliber, but they must be very good since they were small.

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#2034018 - 02/15/13 11:31 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
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If they do not allow ex-professionals or people with piano degrees in amateur competitions, the competitions will be:

1. Very few participants (It is not easy to find adults who have no piano degree and dare to play in front of people). I know from my first hand experience that it is hard to gather adults who do not have piano degree to come together and play for each other. It is like pulling teeth. Most of them are too afraid to play in front of people.
2. Very boring.

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#2034060 - 02/16/13 01:29 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Monica K.]
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Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway

Ken Iisaka (Ex-prodigy)



I'm wondering what has to happen to make a person move from the "prodigy" category to the "ex-prodigy" category. confused


You grow up.

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#2034154 - 02/16/13 08:29 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
[quote=pianoloverus]

I think the bigger reason such people are "allowed" into the competition is that it's simply impossible to come up with a perfect definition of "outstanding amateur." Choices have to be made, hard and fast lines have to be drawn, it's extremely hard to know what the best lines are, and I think it comes down to whether you want to be more careful about whom you exclude or about whom you allow -- how important it is to exclude so-and-so if the side effect is that you'll also be excluding genuine amateurs. As I've mentioned in the past, I think I'm a good example of the difficulty of this, because even though I think we'd all agree I'm a "real amateur," in fact I have things on paper that some would argue in theory make me a non-amateur, including having played many solo recitals over a long period of time, having performed with orchestra, and having been (reasonably) favorably reviewed.
But have you been paid anything(other than perhaps an honorarium) for the performances?

I think simply saying no conservatory graduates allowed in the amateur would be suitable as a start. Almost no rule will be perfect but almost any rule would IMO be far better than the present situation which I find bordering on ridiculous with the word "amateur" in the competition's name. It's not necessary to come up with a perfect definition. What's necessary is to change the way any competition with the name "amateur" is done.

It's kind of like the gun laws. Maybe no rules are perfect but many think that some change no matter how imperfect would be far better than the status quo.

How many people would call those with performance degrees amateurs even if they've done other careers after graduation? I found the list of the contestants that had piano performance degrees or similar credentials shocking.

I can't fathom how contestants with conservatory degrees wouldn't be embarrassed to even enter an amateur competition. Perhaps it's just because, at least in the Cliburn, so many do it. Kind of like all the people taking performance enhancing drugs in cycling..."everyone else's doing it, so I can do it also."

Another option would be to clearly state up front for anyone viewing the competition that the rules allow conservatory graduates but also having a separate and differently named competition for those with conservatory degrees(or however one wants to make the rule). This would clearly bring the level of the amateur competition down but at least things would be honest and transparent in both competitions.

The whole thing as it stands is, I think, rather pathetic and highly deceptive. What are these former conservatory students trying to prove? The most obvious answer is that it's some kind of ego trip for them, but if they are thinking correctly it should be embarrassing to compete with true amateurs.

It would be interesting to know during the history of the Cliburn amateur competition what percent of the finalists had performance degrees or similar training. I'm guessing it would be similar to the most recent competition.



Edited by pianoloverus (02/16/13 11:00 AM)

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#2034230 - 02/16/13 11:41 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
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Just a thought. When it comes to "performance degrees," standards vary significantly from institution to institution. I've known a few individuals with degrees in piano performance from lesser schools who probably wouldn't be able to pass the undergraduate entrance auditions for the better universities/conservatories.


Edited by carey (02/16/13 11:42 AM)
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#2034249 - 02/16/13 12:11 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: pianoloverus]
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
But have you been paid anything(other than perhaps an honorarium) for the performances?....

I'm glad you said that -- because a close look at it shows how hard this is. First of all the answer happens to be yes (unless you want to argue that whatever I got was an honorarium and not getting paid). grin
But even if it were no, I don't think it helps you, because how would you use that for what we're talking about?

It wouldn't help anything to try to use this an an automatic inclusion, i.e. that you're automatically an amateur if you've never gotten paid, which would be the direct thing from what you said. I think almost all of the people who are anywhere close to any border, where any criteria or definitions start mattering, have been paid at some point, unless you want to start a new debate about what's getting paid and what's an honorarium. (BTW I've clearly gotten both, so it wouldn't matter on me.) You couldn't use this thing for anything meaningful unless you want to add another exclusion, essentially the inverse of how you put it: can't ever have gotten paid. I'm not sure that this would exclude any additional people that you want to exclude, and it would exclude a lot of people that you absolutely wouldn't want to.

Maybe you'd say we should add that exclusion too, an extra thing that nobody has mentioned here -- and one could go on and on. You mentioned this (however mistakenly) in response to a specific example. Other specific examples would give rise to yet more criteria to cover what seem to be exceptions. Other people would suggest other additional exclusions they think make perfect sense, just as what you think about the conservatory thing. The Cliburn is already far more exclusive than most of the amateur competitions because you have to be at least 35; you want it to be still more exclusive in the way that you're saying. The line is simply difficult to draw. To me the issue is whether a given competition draws it well. I think the Cliburn draws it extremely well. I know that you don't.

I'm with you on the gun issue, but I hope you'd agree that the Cliburn does a better job on eligibility than we do on guns. grin
The analogy would be closer if people like Kissin and Ax and Argerich were in the amateur competition.

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#2034300 - 02/16/13 02:58 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: carey]
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Originally Posted By: carey
Just a thought. When it comes to "performance degrees," standards vary significantly from institution to institution. I've known a few individuals with degrees in piano performance from lesser schools who probably wouldn't be able to pass the undergraduate entrance auditions for the better universities/conservatories.


Very true.

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#2034305 - 02/16/13 03:13 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
But have you been paid anything(other than perhaps an honorarium) for the performances?....

I'm glad you said that -- because a close look at it shows how hard this is. First of all the answer happens to be yes (unless you want to argue that whatever I got was an honorarium and not getting paid). grin
But even if it were no, I don't think it helps you, because how would you use that for what we're talking about?

It wouldn't help anything to try to use this an an automatic inclusion, i.e. that you're automatically an amateur if you've never gotten paid, which would be the direct thing from what you said. I think almost all of the people who are anywhere close to any border, where any criteria or definitions start mattering, have been paid at some point, unless you want to start a new debate about what's getting paid and what's an honorarium. (BTW I've clearly gotten both, so it wouldn't matter on me.) You couldn't use this thing for anything meaningful unless you want to add another exclusion, essentially the inverse of how you put it: can't ever have gotten paid. I'm not sure that this would exclude any additional people that you want to exclude, and it would exclude a lot of people that you absolutely wouldn't want to.

I can't imagine how an amateur competition that allows those with a Doctorate from the Moscow conservatory(or similar backgrounds) to compete could be considered to be drawing the line well. And I frankly can't imagine that many would disagree.

As I said, just because is no easy or perfect solution doesn't mean one shouldn't admit the present system is seriously flawed and make an attempt to improve it. Even a less than perfect solution would be far better than leaving things the way they are which IMO is close to being ludicrous. I'd guess at least some amateur competitions have greater restrictions about who can play and those could be a starting point for discussion.

My guess is that the Cliburn amateur is too interested in having the finalists look impressive(which you've already basically agreed with)because they think that will make their competition look impressive, especially to those who don't realize they allow pianists with advanced conservatory degrees. Unfortunately, I think that they don't accomplish their goal by allowing the type of pianist they do.

I find it sad that someone with an advanced conservatory degree would even want to compete in an amateur competition. I can't imagine that some of the best professional pianists who post at PW(the two moderators for example), if they for some reason stopped playing professionally, would decide to enter the Cliburn amateur ten years after starting a new career.


Edited by pianoloverus (02/16/13 03:34 PM)

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#2034308 - 02/16/13 03:19 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
JoelW Offline
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I've only been briefly skimming, but it sounds to me like the Cliburn is wants to be something it's not. No?

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#2034332 - 02/16/13 04:18 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: pianoloverus]
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Since so much of the recent discussion has centered on one contestant, I thought I needed to add something more. We are ostensibly talking about general criteria, but he has been used as Exhibit A in many of the posts. I noted that I'm an example that shows the difficulty of relying on certain criteria. I think he's an example of the difficulty of relying on some others, including the conservatory thing.

First of all, I don't think he has a "doctorate," but no matter. He did have advanced training at that conservatory, and so that point remains.

As I mentioned, I do know him and I know his basic story but not all the details, so please pardon that some of this is vague. Yes, he had advanced professional training, and I'll even add further that he was an extraordinary talent, probably remarkable even for someone with that training. However, when he applied to leave the Soviet Union, he came under the kind of persecution that often occurred, including that he wasn't able to play the piano at all for some years. He lost a lot of what he had, including not only virtually everything tangible but also much of his pianistic ability. He's no longer what he was. Sure, in line with what Ronald and others have said, there are aspects that stay with someone who was a prodigy and had advanced training from an early age, but.....I think this is a special case, not just because of the lost ability but because of his particular history.

In the abstract, I might agree with the idea that someone with conservatory training shouldn't be eligible for these amateur competitions. In fact, I used to think that. It's mainly because of my acquaintance with these specific people and participation in these events that I so much value their participation and would hate to see it lost. But at least speaking for me, even if I were still against it in theory, I'd want to make an exception for someone like Slava, and it pains me to see him continually used as a supposed slam-dunk illustration of someone who doesn't belong in these events. Someone like him comes along and says, I'd like to be in these amateur events -- you let him, with appreciation and with sympathy and open arms.

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#2034374 - 02/16/13 05:27 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Since so much of the recent discussion has centered on one contestant, I thought I needed to add something more. We are ostensibly talking about general criteria, but he has been used as Exhibit A in many of the posts. I noted that I'm an example that shows the difficulty of relying on certain criteria. I think he's an example of the difficulty of relying on some others, including the conservatory thing.

First of all, I don't think he has a "doctorate," but no matter. He did have advanced training at that conservatory, and so that point remains.

As I mentioned, I do know him and I know his basic story but not all the details, so please pardon that some of this is vague. Yes, he had advanced professional training, and I'll even add further that he was an extraordinary talent, probably remarkable even for someone with that training. However, when he applied to leave the Soviet Union, he came under the kind of persecution that often occurred, including that he wasn't able to play the piano at all for some years. He lost a lot of what he had, including not only virtually everything tangible but also much of his pianistic ability. He's no longer what he was. Sure, in line with what Ronald and others have said, there are aspects that stay with someone who was a prodigy and had advanced training from an early age, but.....I think this is a special case, not just because of the lost ability but because of his particular history.

Whether this pianist has a doctorate from Moscow conservatory or some lesser degree hardly seems to be relevant.

Nothing in your post convinces me he should be allowed to play in an amateur event anymore than Roger Federer should be allowed to play an amateur tennis tournament if he quit playing tennis and decided to enter an amateur tournament 10 years later. The Cliburn shouldn't be like American Idol where the human interest story overrides other considerations of basic fairness. Why is it relevant that he couldn't play for some years? The fact remains that few would call him an amateur. It's not really complicated.

According to the list posted previously, an astonishing number of the finalists in the recent Cliburn amateur had similar degrees. I think many people would lose respect for the Cliburn as an "amateur" competition if they understood the details.

The Cliburn could change the title of their competition so that it was obvious that non amateurs are allowed to compete. The idea that people who are no longer professionals become amateurs is silly.

Why on earth would anyone with that kind of background want to compete in an amateur competition?



Edited by pianoloverus (02/16/13 06:50 PM)

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#2034523 - 02/16/13 11:17 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: pianoloverus]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

The whole thing as it stands is, I think, rather pathetic and highly deceptive. What are these former conservatory students trying to prove? The most obvious answer is that it's some kind of ego trip for them, but if they are thinking correctly it should be embarrassing to compete with true amateurs.


They are not embarrassed. If they were, they would not have entered these amateur competitions.

The main problem is that the organizers also like to have these people in the competitions. These ex-professionals make the competitions look impressive to people who do not know the background of these ex-professionals. They think it is wonderful and impressive that middle ages people/ grand mothers or grand fathers can play like that. If people really know, they would not be that impressed.

My first piano teacher went to Moscow Conservatory. After finishing the first year, he must join the military service for 2 years. He could not play for 2 years, and afraid that once he returned, he would be able to play piano. By the way, he got beaten in the service too, it was not pleasant at all. However, to his surprise, he was able to regain his piano playing ability in a very short time, and competed in Tchaikovsky and got into semifinal. I think once one acquired solid basic piano skill, it is difficult to lose it.

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#2034533 - 02/17/13 12:20 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: pianoloverus]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Whether this pianist has a doctorate from Moscow conservatory or some lesser degree hardly seems to be relevant....

I said so. I hope you noticed.

Your eagerness to argue against me, even when what I've said is exactly what you go on to say, is perhaps the most interesting thing of your post. grin

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#2034550 - 02/17/13 01:33 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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This about Slava Levin

http://books.google.com/books?id=TZkPUK0...ano&f=false

He studied at Moscow Conservatory from 1975 to 1983 ( 8 years), he does have doctorate degree in music performance (piano I guess).

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#2034553 - 02/17/13 01:42 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: RonaldSteinway]
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
....he does have doctorate degree....

OK! ✔
As I said, I wasn't sure. I thought he didn't but I acknowledged that for what you were saying it wouldn't have mattered even if he didn't since it was a given that he had advanced training, beyond the bachelor's. I had thought it was 'just' the equivalent of what we call the master's in the U.S. -- and to tell you the truth I'm not sure the book has it right that it was a doctorate. But as far as I'm concerned your argument would be equally strong for 'just' a master's degree in piano from a top conservatory as it would be for a doctorate.

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#2034639 - 02/17/13 08:43 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
and to tell you the truth I'm not sure the book has it right that it was a doctorate.


If I remember correctly in the "They Came toPlay", the wife also said that SL has doctorate degree.

To be honest about this amateur competition, non piano major people are in the minority. Nothing can be done, as long as most of the participants are piano degree people. The only remedy is to give an award to the best non degree people in the competition. It will basically say that the winner is the best real amateur in the competition.

Definition of real amateur : A person who never entered a conservatory, received degree in music (composition, guitar, theory, etc), competed in a professional competition.

Preventing ex-professionals from competing in amateur competitions is also not a good idea. The excitement will subside dramatically, the drive to improve the quality of playing of non degree people will also diminish. I agree with Mark that having ex-professionals is fun.

To me, it is unrealistic to expect to win if there are tons of ex-professionals around. Within the first 10 seconds, the judges can tell that the tone quality, the way the two groups perform, etc, etc are totally different. Non degree people should have reasonable goals, for example, did I play better than my last performance in the other amateur competitions, did I play cleaner, more expressive etc. Everything is against ourselves, don't worry about others, because most of them have different piano background. If non degree people keep wanting to place, they will be disappointed. Just perform the best, and have fun with all piano people. That is it from me.

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#2034643 - 02/17/13 09:00 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Whether this pianist has a doctorate from Moscow conservatory or some lesser degree hardly seems to be relevant....

I said so. I hope you noticed.
Of course I saw what you wrote, but the point is if it was irrelevant why say it in the first place?

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#2034652 - 02/17/13 09:29 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: RonaldSteinway]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
To be honest about this amateur competition, non piano major people are in the minority. Nothing can be done, as long as most of the participants are piano degree people. The only remedy is to give an award to the best non degree people in the competition. It will basically say that the winner is the best real amateur in the competition.

Definition of real amateur : A person who never entered a conservatory, received degree in music (composition, guitar, theory, etc), competed in a professional competition.
I think you idea about giving an award to the best real amateur makes sense. I would make the award equal in prestige or anything else to the award given to the "formerly a professional" winner. The only part of your idea I might change is the definition of amateur. I think those with a degree in music but not in piano could be allowed to compete in the really an amateur division. I think the names of competitions should be changed to reflect the fact they include non amateurs if that is the case.

I think one possible solution is to have two separate divisions...one for real amateurs and one for former professionals. The competition could be honest and describe the formerly a professional division for what it is and people would still be impressed/interested that these now lawyers, doctors or whatever profession they are now have maintained or improved their skill while pursuing another career. Yes, the overall level of playing in the real amateur division would be lower but still high enough to make sense. I suppose there are some true amateurs who would rather have very little chance to do well in terms of a prize but have what they think of as the prestige of competing against conservatory graduates, but I think that is just an ego thing.

IMO the most important thing to realize is that a professional who has switched from a music career to some other field should not be called an amateur anymore than Roger Federer should be considered an amateur if he retires from tennis and ten years later decides he wants enter a local amateur tournament.

There is no perfect solution but leaving things the way they are is IMO the least desirable path.


Edited by pianoloverus (02/17/13 09:47 AM)

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#2034714 - 02/17/13 11:34 AM Re: They Came to Play [Re: pianoloverus]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Of course I saw what you wrote, but the point is if it was irrelevant why say it in the first place?

Just 'for the record,' along with saying that it didn't matter for the discussion.

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#2034927 - 02/17/13 06:58 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Pianoloverus,

Your Roger Federer example is a perfect example. People who know how to play tennis can relate to your example.
Even if RF stops playing for 5 or even 10 years, he will be beat ANY real amateur tennis players older than 35 years, if we give him, say, 3 months to practice (assuming he is still healthy).
It is the same like Slava Levin, he might not be able to play for sometimes during the process of moving to the US, once he started practicing again, he could easily shine among real amateurs or people with piano degree who graduated from low level music schools or conservatories. As it had been proven, he was able to get into final in virtually all of the amateur competitions that he entered.

About changing the name is even less likely to happen. The organizers want to WOW people. They want people to think that the participants are grand fathers and grand mothers who happened to be talented. If the name of the competition "Adult Piano competition", it will not be as impressive as "Adult Amateur Piano Competition".

I agree with you to have two classes in the competition. But again, Mark C also against this idea. To me, as long as the real amateurs are allowed to enter the open class, it should be ok. The only difference is that the piano degree people cannot enter the lower division.

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#2034939 - 02/17/13 07:28 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
....he was able to get into final in virtually all of the amateur competitions that he entered.

Good of you to hedge, since you weren't sure, but I'm pretty sure it's absolutely all. smile

And before 'anyone' grin starts making too much of that, I said it just for the record. It doesn't affect the discussion.

Quote:
I agree with you to have two classes in the competition. But again, Mark C also against this idea. To me, as long as the real amateurs are allowed to enter the open class, it should be ok....

I think it dilutes and complicates the event and makes it less appealing, both for the public and for most potential competitors. I personally would be much less motivated to attend such an event at all, as either spectator or participant, and if I did participate, as you said it would be in the upper division. I'd rather 'fail' against equal and better contestants than win against people who are mostly at a lower level.

You might wonder, shouldn't the quasi-professionals you're talking about feel the same, and eschew participating in competitions with lesser candidates? The thing is, this is the highest level there is for non-professionals -- and while you don't consider them amateurs, they don't consider themselves professionals, and it works for me and for many others, if not for you.

Something that is perhaps getting lost here is that the Cliburn amateur competitions have been tremendously successful events. Some of you are talking as though the Cliburn amateur competition has some huge problem and that it has not been well received, but in fact it has been spectacularly well received. Of course there's no problem about expressing opinions on who should or shouldn't be eligible, but discussing it as though there's some huge problem with the competition seems pretty off the mark.

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#2034951 - 02/17/13 07:45 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: carey]
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Originally Posted By: carey
Just a thought. When it comes to "performance degrees," standards vary significantly from institution to institution. I've known a few individuals with degrees in piano performance from lesser schools who probably wouldn't be able to pass the undergraduate entrance auditions for the better universities/conservatories.


I think this bears repeating. It is unrealistic to lump all performance degrees into one basket and assume the recipients have the same levels of proficiency.

I realize this has been discussed to death in other threads, but according to at least one definition, an amateur is "a person who engages in an art, science, study, or athletic activity as a pastime rather than as a profession." What's wrong with simply defining "amateur" in this context ?? If someone earns an MM or DMA in performance and then goes on to make their living in a completely different profession, why shouldn't they be allowed to participate? In a sense, degrees are meaningless. You're either an amateur or you're not. If some amateurs have extensive training and play at a very high level - why should that be held against them?? And for that matter, someone who was "professional" for a time (whatever the heck that really means - because professional can refer to teaching and performing in a variety of situations for pay) should also be eligible to participate if they really feel compelled to do so.
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#2034959 - 02/17/13 08:02 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: P I A N O piano]
Sorcerer88 Offline
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About the Roger Federer comparison: I actually find it quite unfitting. RF is one of the best tennis players in the world, currently ranked #2 on the ATP Tour. The comparison to Slava Levin pales. He is certainly not seen as one of the best pianists in the world and he certainly hasn't made a fortune in music, he didn't have any career in it.
The tennis world might not be the best place to look for comparisons, but if at all, you should look at someone who trained for years, participated in some tennis tournaments and eventually became a coach (or an IT specialist for that matter). Of course one shouldn't allow Federer to amateur tournaments, just like Horowitz or Marc-André Hamelin would be misplaced in the VCA.

For the record, i'm on carey's and Mark C's side. I don't find the arguments of their professional training compelling to rob them (and others) the pleasure of participating in amateur competitions, but your (the anti-degree group's) points per se are hard to refute, and I don't think any discussion will change your opinion. I have benefitted from your arguments though, i didn't know so many people had degrees in the Van Cliburn Amateur and i understand your perspective.


Edited by Sorcerer88 (02/17/13 08:11 PM)
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#2034965 - 02/17/13 08:14 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Something that is perhaps getting lost here is that the Cliburn amateur competitions have been tremendously successful events. Some of you are talking as though the Cliburn amateur competition has some huge problem and that it has not been well received, but in fact it has been spectacularly well received. Of course there's no problem about expressing opinions on who should or shouldn't be eligible, but discussing it as though there's some huge problem with the competition seems pretty off the mark.
Not at all. IMO it's basically dishonest in terms of the way it's set up as an "amateur" competition. You have even admitted several times that one of the reasons it allows conservatory graduates is so that the finals will look "impressive".

I think if it was well known about the background of many of the finalists many (and probably most) would have the same problems with the competition that I have. The fact that the competition has been a success, either commercially or in terms of drawing participants, doesn't mean it doesn't serious problems like the type I and others on this thread have suggested.

Similarly, the Cliburn competition for professionals has had big success both commercially and in the mind of much of the public, but those with more knowledge about it know it has not been without big problems beginning with the relative lack of success of its winners compared to the other very big competitions. The competition is extremely good at publicity.

The idea that a professional who has begun a new career is now an amateur is simply not reasonable. It could be argued they were in some in between designation but calling them amateur is not reasonable. It's not complicated...it's plain common sense and the ordinary use of the term although you refuse to accept it.



Edited by pianoloverus (02/17/13 08:51 PM)

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#2034966 - 02/17/13 08:17 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Sorcerer88]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Sorcerer88
About the Roger Federer comparison: I actually find it quite unfitting. RF is one of the best tennis players in the world, currently ranked #2 on the ATP Tour. The comparison to Slava Levin pales. He is certainly not seen as one of the best pianists in the world and he certainly hasn't made a fortune in music, he didn't have any career in it.
My thinking would be the same for anyone who has played professional tennis even if they had only been ranked 1000 in the world. You can replace Roger Federer by No.1000 if that makes my point more convincing.


Edited by pianoloverus (02/17/13 08:46 PM)

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#2034975 - 02/17/13 08:35 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
....he was able to get into final in virtually all of the amateur competitions that he entered.

Good of you to hedge, since you weren't sure, but I'm pretty sure it's absolutely all. smile

And before 'anyone' grin starts making too much of that, I said it just for the record. It doesn't affect the discussion.

You can't resist the nasty jab with the sarcastic smiley next to it.

Of course it affects the discussion. It shows how one sided things are when former professionals are allowed to enter an amateur competition.

Why on earth would a former professional even want to enter a so called amateur competition? A severe lack of pride I think. This reminds me of some chess players who, before certain rules made it difficult, would purposely lose some games before a tournament so they could play in a lower rated division.

Just call the competition what it really is and choose a more appropriate name for it if the organizers want to allow former professionals to participate. Or have two divisions with equal prizes or whatever they get.

The huge majority of former professional pianists who live in the U.S. obviously don't enter the Cliburn amateur or any amateur competitions. I doubt it ever crosses their mind as a possibility. There could be many possible reasons but I think most would find it embarrassing and inappropriate to do so.


Edited by pianoloverus (02/17/13 08:44 PM)

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#2034978 - 02/17/13 08:44 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: pianoloverus]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Of course it affects the discussion. It shows how one sided things are when former professionals are allowed to enter an amateur competition....

Well then, shouldn't you be commending me for going out of my way to mention something that helps your side? grin

Can't help it, I'm all heart. ha

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#2034982 - 02/17/13 08:53 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Of course it affects the discussion. It shows how one sided things are when former professionals are allowed to enter an amateur competition....

Well then, shouldn't you be commending me for going out of my way to mention something that helps your side? grin

Can't help it, I'm all heart. ha
You certainly didn't go out of your way(that's just more sarcasm), but you did mention something that diminishes your argument.

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#2035366 - 02/18/13 04:29 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: pianoloverus]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

The huge majority of former professional pianists who live in the U.S. obviously don't enter the Cliburn amateur or any amateur competitions. I doubt it ever crosses their mind as a possibility. There could be many possible reasons but I think most would find it embarrassing and inappropriate to do so.


Thanks God that most of former professional pianists have decency! Only the shameless ones will participate in amateur competitions. I had this discussion with my teacher who earned degrees from Moscow and Juilliard, and had participated in real Van Cliburn and Tchaikovsky. One word he said "Those people are disgusting!"

It is a mutual symbiosis between the organizers and the glory hunger individuals. Because of this mutual symbiosis, it is virtually impossible to change the system.

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#2035390 - 02/18/13 05:26 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Mark_C Online   content
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Sorry, but I think his comment was pretty disgusting, and if you're quoting accurately, it seems to suggest a person who isn't very pleasant.

Also, I think it's safe to say that there are relatively few "former professional pianists," and among those, I would judge on a case-by-case basis how reasonable it is or isn't for them to enter amateur competitions. Among the considerations would be the circumstances of why they stopped being professionals, and what they've done since then.

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#2035533 - 02/18/13 10:41 PM Re: They Came to Play [Re: Mark_C]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Sorry, but I think his comment was pretty disgusting, and if you're quoting accurately, it seems to suggest a person who isn't very pleasant.

Also, I think it's safe to say that there are relatively few "former professional pianists," and among those, I would judge on a case-by-case basis how reasonable it is or isn't for them to enter amateur competitions. Among the considerations would be the circumstances of why they stopped being professionals, and what they've done since then.


Yes, I quoted perfectly what he said. He might think that it is disgusting for ex-professionals to lower themselves to the amateur level.

To me, regardless the reasons or circumstances , ex-professionals still can play at professional level (unless they got stroke). They will not lose their musicality. They may a bit rusty technically, but after practicing a year or two, they should be able to regain most of their technical ability, and play way above the level of non-professionals.

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