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#578108 - 08/01/01 02:09 PM Piano Competitions
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
How difficult is it to enter a large piano competition? (International) What are the usual criteria that they judge you by? I know it varies from competition to competition, but what level of profiency at the piano is need to enter or even win a major competition?
Also, in urtext editions, how much, if anything, is changed from the composer's original text? I use the Hans van Bulow edition of Beethoven sonatas, but I would also like to refer to the urtext version; is Henle the best one to look at? Thanks!

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#578109 - 08/02/01 07:57 PM Re: Piano Competitions
netizen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 1926
Loc: New York
Most competitions have requirements within which pianists have options (i.e., two chopin etudes, a Beethoven sonata, etc). Have you heard any of the winners lately? That ought to give you some idea of expected ability. Or, for that matter, have you heard any of the losers lately (Pogorelich, etc)? The process of getting accepted is itself competitive (at least for the dozen or so competitions that truly matter -in terms of career and that sort of thing). The competition is not only artistic, but political in the sense of personal connections among teachers, colleagues, students, and so forth. There are tons of them out there to pick from.

There is also a whole other tier of competitions for amateurs (i.e., the Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs, and the Van Cliburn Competition for Amateurs). These have somewhat looser requirements for repetoire --and, in my view, are a lot more fun.(The drawback being you're likely as not going to hear 100 performances of the Chopin Ballade no 1, Beethoven's "Les adieux" sonata, and the same old gaudy romantic works thrown in for good measure --i.e., whatever the performers were last studying in college/conservatory. Just kidding --well sort of kidding). Make no mistake, many of these folks are highly trained pianists who have drifted into other occupations.

My own view is that competitions --perhaps necessary in some measure--have truly done a great deal of harm to pianism in the last 50 years or so.

[ August 02, 2001: Message edited by: netizen ]
_________________________
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."-- Theodore Roosevelt

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#578110 - 08/03/01 12:08 AM Re: Piano Competitions
Mat D. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Sterling Heights, Michigan
[QUOTE]Originally posted by netizen:
My own view is that competitions --perhaps necessary in some measure--have truly done a great deal of harm to pianism in the last 50 years or so."


Netizen, I tend to agree with you. The only thing that has gotten better is technique, but the music has suffered IMO.

Mat D.

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#578111 - 08/04/01 01:42 PM Re: Piano Competitions
Amy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 433
Loc: Upstate New York
I think that competitions are good for highschool and college students. If you place well, they help to get you a good reputation.
_________________________
-Amy-
*Visit my page! http://www.expage.com/pianopalace

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#578112 - 08/04/01 03:21 PM Re: Piano Competitions
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
Competitions are a kick. I really enjoyed playing in them, and often am sad that those days are behind me. But I should quickly add that I never played any major international competitions, only local and state ones. Major competitions are a whole different level in terms of pressure and amount of music that you must know.

Ryan

[ August 04, 2001: Message edited by: ryan ]

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#578113 - 08/04/01 11:46 PM Re: Piano Competitions
netizen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 1926
Loc: New York
And, of course, there's always the online piano competitions:

Information about it is here: http://www.musicalonline.com/audition/audition2001.htm

and here http://www.webconcerthall.com/

Or skip the links, and read an article from The New Republic about it:
http://www.thenewrepublic.com/cyberspace/baer020101.html
_________________________
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."-- Theodore Roosevelt

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#578114 - 08/05/01 08:03 AM Re: Piano Competitions
Piano World Offline



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5587
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
You might also want to check out this one:

Music Competition Database...
The database features full, brochure-like information on competitions all over the world. More than 80% of the competitions listed have a combination of a website and/or email addresses, as well as indication as to whether a potential contestant can apply right online or not.
Once you are at the site click on Music World, then follow the links to the initial search page.

Access requires creating an account, however it is still free. It only takes a few minutes to open the account. After joining, I checked out the listings for solo piano competitions and found 135 listings. If you are looking for competition information, this one looks worth checking out.

Competitions

By the way, it isn't just for piano.
Also includes:
Pianists
Organists
Harpsichordists
Composers
String Players (including Guitarists)
Brass Players
Woodwind Players (including Recorders)
Percussionists
Opera Singers
Singers/Vocalists
Conductors
Choirs
Instrumentalists
Songwriters

Frank B.
Piano World

[ August 05, 2001: Message edited by: PianoWorld ]
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#578115 - 08/05/01 12:55 PM Re: Piano Competitions
Amy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 433
Loc: Upstate New York
Here is a very good website with tons of piano competitions! http://www.afn.org/~afn39483/index.html
_________________________
-Amy-
*Visit my page! http://www.expage.com/pianopalace

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#578116 - 08/05/01 07:21 PM Re: Piano Competitions
SethW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/01
Posts: 106
It depends on the level of the competition.Large international competitions are not very easy,for the casual piano fan,to get into.In the Van Cliburn for instance, there were literally hundreds of talented,many of them conservatory,pianists who applied.However,out of all these talented pianist, only thirty went to the preliminary.I agree with ryan, piano competitions can be fun for pianist of all levels.There are usually many state and local area competitions that,usually, afford a better chance of entering.
These competitions might not be as exciting as entering a major competition,but they still provide plenty of enjoyment.Anyways,large competitions are often anything but fun.Tight schedules,intense stress,and demanding physically and mentally.Not all pianist,however, began playing and studying at an early age. There was,for instance, one pianist at the Van Cliburn who started playing at 14 and was admitted.One thing I liked about the Cliburn,was the vast choice of repertoire allowed.To sum it all up,Whatever competition it is, wheather it be a local church competition or statewide,it can bring a great sense of achievment and pride ,and these competitions can also just simply be fun.

[ August 05, 2001: Message edited by: SethW ]

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#578117 - 08/05/01 10:51 PM Re: Piano Competitions
netizen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 1926
Loc: New York
As one sagacious wag put it, the law of diminishing returns is clearly at work in the case of the Van Cliburn. Just one dud after another. This past one was such a huge disappointment. I am typically more interested in who loses or at least places third at the Van Cliburn.

While some of these may be fun, I think they have really been quite bad. This isn't to say talented pianists haven't emerged from these competitions (as winner or losers)and that some pianists find them positive experiences. My concern is with the way competitions have slowly over the years redefined pianism (a tendency towards homogenization both in expections about technique and interpretation). They are not so much celebrations of the unique or virtuoso, as they are institutionalized seals of approval for something like pianistic excellence. How else can one explain a dullard like Pedroni (who has an amazing ability to literally empty a recital hall) taking first prize (over Kuleshov or Taylor). I seriously doubt a Cortot or a Rubinstein could win a major competition nowadays.

[ August 05, 2001: Message edited by: netizen ]
_________________________
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."-- Theodore Roosevelt

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#578118 - 08/07/01 11:31 AM Re: Piano Competitions
Hank Drake Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 1659
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
The Cleveland International Piano Competition is currently underway. Next week, the winner will be seen heading nowhere at the speed of light.
_________________________
Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell

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