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#2107305 - 06/24/13 04:20 PM Re: Seventh Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: ec]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2629
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
I'd like to add my congratulations to Tim for doing well in Boston. I wasn't following the competition but Mark's comments about Tim's repertoire hit especially close to home for me. Again congratulations to Tim!

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#2107483 - 06/24/13 09:54 PM Re: Seventh Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Mark_C]
Tim Adrianson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 975
A few additional comments, as promised:

1 I've been to Boston now four times, and the juries have been exceptionally generous to me, bumping me to the Finals three times and the SemiFinals once. And it is because they have been especially appreciative of my programming efforts, placing rarely-heard works under a thematic umbrella of my choosing.

2 I see no need to apologize for this, or feel the need to prove that I can play "standard" literature. Most of the others already do that, and a lot of them better than me. Why not introduce stuff that others have very likely not heard -- and that storehouse is just enormous!

3 Just speaking for myself, I really don't care whether other competitors have had extensive previous formal training or not; i.e., that we need to identify the degree of amateur "purity". If they received it, but are doing something else as their primary income source, then more power to them. Personally, I love hearing the excellence that degreed candidates typically possess.

4 Having said that, a few of us feel that there need to be some enrichment of acknowledgement for those who are not so technically virtuosic but still deliver musically excellent presentations. I've been amply rewarded for my sheer audacity, but I would also like to see an award for "most moving", or "most poetic" or "best performance of an intermediate difficulty piece", or some such thing -- so that not-so-virtuosic people have a shot at some special recognition.

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#2107572 - 06/25/13 01:00 AM Re: Seventh Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Tim Adrianson]
MarkH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 828
Loc: Seattle, WA
Your creative programming is quite appreciated Tim, as a much-needed foil against the next version of Gaspard. Keep those unknown pieces coming!
_________________________
Currently Studying: Bach - English Suite No. 5; Beethoven - Op. 27 No. 1; Chopin - Op. 27 No. 1; Chopin - 3rd Scherzo

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#2107737 - 06/25/13 10:58 AM Re: Seventh Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Tim Adrianson]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3724
Loc: Rockford, IL
Tim: Points 2 and 4--Here! Here!

I think "virtuoso" repertoire is largely over-rated, often just so much sound and fury, signifying nothing more than lots of active, well-trained twitchy nerve cells. (I do have my favorite war-horses and go-tos to listen to, however. smile )

Having had the pleasure of hearing you play live on several occasions, you do what you do SO WELL (poised, intelligent, respectful and electric are descriptors that come immediately to mind) that, in my opinion, the fact that you advance in these competitions is evidence that the juries can be aurally defibrillated to acknowledge their appreciation of music, after perhaps fogging the mirror in the morning to make sure they are still alive and rubbing two ear hairs together on the way to the jury box. If I were on a jury, I'd be eagerly looking forward to see and hear what you were going to do next. grin ("Hey, Rocky! Watch me pull a calico Angora out of my hat!")

Congratulations, Tim!
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2107784 - 06/25/13 12:27 PM Re: Seventh Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: ec]
Midlife_Piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/11
Posts: 127
Loc: USA-East Coast
I was there for both Semi-final and Final round, and I very much enjoyed the experience. Talking to some of the competitors was very inspiring. I even said hello to Mark! (but I can't send him PM here for whatever reason).

To enhance the entire experience, my friend and I were taking notes on each performance - from their dress, hand movements, music selections, performing style and all. One of the board members came to me and asked if I was a reporter or reviewer. I am simply a follower and music supporter. I had 4 out of 6 finalists correctly, and I guessed all top 3 correctly - although not in exactly the right order.

Congratulations to all.

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#2107821 - 06/25/13 01:24 PM Re: Seventh Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Midlife_Piano]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3724
Loc: Rockford, IL
That is very cool, Midlife! That must be very validating to you, the judges, and, I would think, any competitors that might peek into this thread! thumb Wouldn't it be fun to compare notes with the judges? grin
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2107842 - 06/25/13 02:02 PM Re: Seventh Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5067
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Yet, adults who can play, say, Mephisto Waltz well cannot be a real amateur. They must have fallen into one of the categories above.

I didn't get a chance to read through the entire thread yet, but I must vehemently disagree with this statement.

I did see that several members made it to the semi-finals (at the least), so congratulations! smile
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2108083 - 06/25/13 08:02 PM Re: Seventh Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Midlife_Piano]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19292
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Midlife_Piano
I was there for both Semi-final and Final round, and I very much enjoyed the experience. Talking to some of the competitors was very inspiring. I even said hello to Mark!....

Aha! So that was you! grin

It was very nice to meet you -- very glad you came up and said hi. And it's always a nice surprise when a 'stranger' turns out not to be a stranger at all! BTW I didn't notice you taking notes, even though I was sitting right behind you for part of it. You must have been doing it pretty discreetly. And I loved your interest and enthusiasm, also of course your friendliness. thumb

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#2108094 - 06/25/13 08:17 PM Re: Seventh Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Derulux]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19099
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Yet, adults who can play, say, Mephisto Waltz well cannot be a real amateur. They must have fallen into one of the categories above.

I didn't get a chance to read through the entire thread yet, but I must vehemently disagree with this statement.
I think if he said "with few exceptions" cannot be a real amateur it would be correct. From what I've seen of these competitions, most of the competitors who play the most technically difficult pieces with aplomb fall into the "formerly studying to be a professional pianist" category. Some of the real amateurs who attempt the hardest pieces are I think clearly struggling and not always winning the struggle.

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#2108145 - 06/25/13 10:45 PM Re: Seventh Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: pianoloverus]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19292
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think if he said "with few exceptions" cannot be a real amateur it would be correct. From what I've seen of these competitions, most of the competitors who play the most technically difficult pieces with aplomb fall into the "formerly studying to be a professional pianist" category. Some of the real amateurs who attempt the hardest pieces are I think clearly struggling and not always winning the struggle.

I agree, and I'd even say you're probably being a little generous in how you're putting it. Speaking as someone who has sometimes struggled 'perhaps a bit' ha in these competitions with pieces like Chopin's 4th Ballade, I have to say that it was painful to hear a couple of people who attempted the piece in this event. It was perhaps even more painful to hear one of those performances getting a huge ovation. grin
The judges, however, weren't fooled.

Sometimes, though, the struggles may be misleading. For example, I know that at least one of those people from this event is fully capable of playing the piece. I can only assume he hadn't had time to prepare it as he would have wished, and that's probably often a factor in these events.

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#2108188 - 06/26/13 01:19 AM Re: Seventh Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: ec]
Midlife_Piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/11
Posts: 127
Loc: USA-East Coast
Thanks Mark. I recognized you right away. It took me a while to say hello because I was not sure it was appropriate, and I certainly did not want to get the "who the heck are you??" look. Thanks for being so kind and friendly to me.

Some members were talking about "categories with few exceptions". I think the Amateur Piano Competition like this was mostly about "exceptions". No matter someone had a degree or went to conservatory before, if a person is "one of the exceptions", he/she certainly has a chance win or advance to final. Many people with piano degrees do not advance either. Why? Because they are not "exceptional" enough, at least for juries. It only takes 3 exceptions to make top 3. It seems hard but still possible, and it has happened before. During the final round, I was looking around the room, then I realized probably everyone at the audience plays the piano better than I do on my best day. The situation and population sample was already an exception itself.

The solution? Be "an exception" to win or to advance. Be the one when people talk about most amateurs can not play Ballade #4 well (which I agree 100%) and immediately add "except for _____ because he was great"! If not, then just accept the fact that some people are better and wish them the best. Even though people like me are just regular people who enjoy playing the piano (i.e. not the exceptions), we can still try to enjoy the process the get something out of it. (such as good music, friendly people...etc)

I rarely write anything after being a PW member for 2+ years. I am much comfortable just being an observer. Again I would like to thank everyone involved who made this an enjoyable trip for me.

Cheers!

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#2108246 - 06/26/13 07:04 AM Re: Seventh Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: ec]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1454
I agree that being an exception will win the contest regardless in any subject matters. Bill Gates has no degree, dropped out of college, etc, yet he is one of the richest men in the world, and so was Steve Jobs.
But what is the chance of this to happen? If we look at "any" amateur piano competitions, the majority of semifinalists or finalists are people who had gone to music school (regardless whether they got the degree or not, some left because they realized that making money is hard in music industry) or ex-prodigies. Unfortunately, it is very rare to find the Bill Gates of amateur pianists. That is why I really like Houston Chopin Piano Competition that does not allow degree people to compete. It is a pure amateur competition. In addition, it requires the competitors to play certain Chopin selected pieces, nobody can hide by playing non standard repertoires. There is no award for the most innovative program.


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