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#1704311 - 06/29/11 01:57 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Mark_C]
Tim Adrianson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1074
Mark, I think you're correct in stating that limited repertoire has not in fact been a problem in these Competitions to date. I guess I'm more antsy about the threat of this happening more in future Competitions. I tend to agree with RonaldS that to advance to a Final round now, one must program a "big Crash" piece to prove one's mettle, and this of course has to programmed in a Preliminary or SemiFinal round -- thus indirectly limiting the literature choices. And the judges in general haven't helped -- as you indicated, and I agree, programming Scarlatti, Bach, and Schubert is just the kiss of death for potential advancement. So I continue to plump for some enrichment of "non-virtuosic" incentives.

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#1704360 - 06/29/11 03:22 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: RonaldSteinway]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: liszt85
I'm surprised this person is considered an amateur:



Don't be surprised though, because this is the official definition of amateur according to VC Amateur Piano competition organizer:

The Van Cliburn Foundation will host its sixth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs™ May 23–29, 2011 in Fort Worth, TX. Our definition of an "amateur" is one who says he or she is an amateur...

So basically, anybody can join.


What I meant was, I'm surprised that they came up with a definition that allows people like these to participate in amateur competitions. The term "amateur" is a redefined term when it comes to piano competitions. It isn't used in the usual sense of the word.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1704388 - 06/29/11 04:01 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: liszt85]
Lingyis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 832
Originally Posted By: liszt85
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: liszt85
I'm surprised this person is considered an amateur:



Don't be surprised though, because this is the official definition of amateur according to VC Amateur Piano competition organizer:

The Van Cliburn Foundation will host its sixth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs™ May 23–29, 2011 in Fort Worth, TX. Our definition of an "amateur" is one who says he or she is an amateur...

So basically, anybody can join.


What I meant was, I'm surprised that they came up with a definition that allows people like these to participate in amateur competitions. The term "amateur" is a redefined term when it comes to piano competitions. It isn't used in the usual sense of the word.


Well, for many dozens of years, the Olympics are reserved for "amateurs", not professionals.

Which obviously translates into many medals for countries like Soviet Union and East Germany.

Even today, many athletes are technically "amateurs", not professionals.

And surely, they are world-class.

So no, I don't think it's reserved for just piano.

You can be an amateur and still be the best in the world at something.

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#1704437 - 06/29/11 05:14 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Cinnamonbear]
DaleC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 41
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Dale, forgive my joke, but are your friends like my wife so that you need to pry them, or do you perhaps mean that you "ply" them with food and drink? wink


Good catch!! Definitely "ply". "Pry" conjures up all sorts of awkward images. smile

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#1704447 - 06/29/11 05:35 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Mark_C]
DaleC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 41
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: Mark_C


Dale: Golly, I remember that we met at the competition but (sorry!) I was so preoccupied at the time that I don't remember who you are! May I beg for a little hint.... smile


We met in the aisle of the auditorium, I think just before they announced the finalists. I introduced myself to you and your wife. I mentioned your thread re. two wonderful measures in the 4th Ballade and our brief exchange here on PW. Does that help? There was a lot going on that evening, so no worries that you don't remember. I also think I remember you from a Leschetizky student-artist recital at Klavierhaus in NYC in Feb 2008 (or 2007). Did you play Scriabin in that event?

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#1704521 - 06/29/11 07:41 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: DaleC]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Yes, I did play the Scriabin at that thing (it was Jan. '08). And actually I did remember all that you just added about when and how we met at the Cliburn -- I remembered it vividly. But I was begging for an extra hint, however tiny it might be....I think that's all that it would take. smile
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1704577 - 06/29/11 09:24 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Mark_C]
DaleC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 41
Loc: US
Apologies .... I thought you didn't remember the conversation. I'm Martha.

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#1704581 - 06/29/11 09:29 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: DaleC]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
THANK YOU!!!! thumb

I absolutely did remember having met you (I mean the actual person that you are) but, what threw me off from realizing that you were "Dale" is that I wrongly assumed Dale must be a male! (You don't have to tell me that Dale is also a woman's name, nor that user names don't necessarily have anything to do with who the person is.)

BTW: You extremely underrated your playing in the earlier post! You are terrific.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1704610 - 06/29/11 10:14 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Mark_C]
DaleC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 41
Loc: US
You're kind. Thanks.

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#1704611 - 06/29/11 10:14 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Tim Adrianson]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Tim Adrianson
....I tend to agree with RonaldS that to advance to a Final round now, one must program a "big Crash" piece to prove one's mettle....

I don't agree at all.

I can see how the impression came about: those are the pieces that are played by MOST of the people who do advance furthest. But IMO it's not because you have to; it's that the more subtle pieces require more subtle ability -- which is rarer. For example, Clark Griffith has advanced very nicely in two Cliburn competitions without "big crash" pieces.

A few years ago, there was a somewhat-well-known instance (I'm going to try to avoid saying who) where someone who played a Mozart sonata in the semi-final of one of the "major" amateur competitions bitched about how maybe it was a mistake to play the piece because you can't make it with that -- obviously thinking/assuming that there was nothing wrong with the performance and that in fact it was excellent. IMO (and in the view of at least some others who were there) the person was very mistaken -- but often such stories get around whether they're true or not. If the performance of the Mozart sonata had been excellent, the person would have had as good a chance as anyone to advance further.

Maybe another way of putting this is that stuff like Mozart is just HARDER. This is often said, and is perhaps viewed by many as being silly. But IMO it's completely true. The music requires a finer and more subtle ability, and it exposes flaws more starkly.

Oh.....in case you're wondering, what about non-"big-crash" pieces by Romantic or modern composers? Maybe I don't know exactly what y'all mean by "big-crash".....I assume you mean pieces that are technically impressive. So, what about Romantic pieces that aren't technically impressive (like, for example, Schumann's Arabesque)? For the most part, those just don't give as much opportunity to show what one can do -- and that would be the problem with them.

But a non "big crash" piece by Mozart?? Play it, nail it, and I can just about promise that you'll do great in these competitions. (Chris Shih did -- Mozart's Sonata in D, K. 311, was what got him into the finals in his first amateur competition.)

P.S. I also ought to mention.....people who play big-crash pieces with nothing but "big-crash" don't fare well in the competitions, except in events that have a weak field, which is becoming rarer and rarer.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1704647 - 06/29/11 11:33 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: jazzyprof]
musica71 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/08
Posts: 424
Loc: Bend, Or.
We can also point out Jane Gibson King at the Cliburn. What lovely playing of non-show off pieces!
_________________________
Musica 71

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#1704651 - 06/29/11 11:45 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: jazzyprof]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Among the pieces that I am learning currently, the Brahms Intermezzo Op 118 No 2 is what I have most difficulty with. That melody line is just so beautiful and I cannot play it as beautifully as I hear it in my head. Its just so very hard to me. The faster pieces on my current list seem so much easier to play (and match with what I hear in my head). So somehow I think Mark is right about this..I don't know how judges view this issue as ultimately it is up to them. I would also judge someone more critically if they were playing a Bach Prelude and Fugue than if they were playing a Chopin Nocturne or a Prelude (say one of the more difficult ones). I don't know why, but there's something about Bach that immediately makes you feel right (if its played right) and turns you right off (if its not played right). A Chopin Prelude on the other hand seems like it could be played in so many ways that could all be pleasing in their own ways..

Similarly a Mozart Sonata seems to have a more restricted number of "right" ways to play it.. I can't explain it though and I don't know if this is perceived by other people as well.

So I imagine an equivalent amount of technique is involved in playing a Bach Prelude and Fugue and a Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody. Technique for me encompasses musicality too. I'm not saying you need to be less musical to be able to play a Hungarian Rhapsody well but that you need a very large amount of it to be able to play a Bach Prelude and Fugue and impress people with it. That is actually probably why people don't do very well with these choices in competitions. It might not be due to a bias on the part of the judges. They simply might not be good enough to pull off a Bach or a Mozart to advance to the next stage. They might stand a better chance if they played some Chopin instead (not that Chopin's easy :D).
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1704665 - 06/30/11 12:02 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: jazzyprof]
Lingyis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 832
Everybody should play to their strengths; but if the discussion is all about "big crash" pieces and "musically interesting" pieces, why not play a "big crash + musically interesting" piece? It's not like they're mutually exclusive.

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#1704670 - 06/30/11 12:08 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: liszt85]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: liszt85
Among the pieces that I am learning currently, the Brahms Intermezzo Op 118 No 2 is what I have most difficulty with. That melody line is just so beautiful and I cannot play it as beautifully as I hear it in my head. Its just so very hard to me. The faster pieces on my current list seem so much easier to play (and match with what I hear in my head)....I don't know how judges view this issue as ultimately it is up to them. I would also judge someone more critically if they were playing a Bach Prelude and Fugue than if they were playing a Chopin Nocturne or a Prelude (say one of the more difficult ones). I don't know why, but there's something about Bach that immediately makes you feel right (if its played right) and turns you right off (if its not played right). A Chopin Prelude on the other hand seems like it could be played in so many ways that could all be pleasing in their own ways..

Similarly a Mozart Sonata seems to have a more restricted number of "right" ways to play it.. I can't explain it though and I don't know if this is perceived by other people as well.

So I imagine an equivalent amount of technique is involved in playing a Bach Prelude and Fugue and a Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody. Technique for me encompasses musicality too. I'm not saying you need to be less musical to be able to play a Hungarian Rhapsody well but that you need a very large amount of it to be able to play a Bach Prelude and Fugue and impress people with it. That is actually probably why people don't do very well with these choices in competitions. It might not be due to a bias on the part of the judges. They simply might not be good enough to pull off a Bach or a Mozart to advance to the next stage. They might stand a better chance if they played some Chopin instead (not that Chopin's easy :D).

^^ nailed it ^^
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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