Thirty-five contestants have been invited to participate in the 2016 Cleveland International Piano Competition & Festival this summer. They were selected from among more than 320 applicants, the largest number in the history of the event.
The 35 contestants range in age from 19 to 30. Yuanfan Yang, who won the 2015 CIPC Young Artists Competition, is the youngest contestant at age 19. Thirty-year-old Shen Lu and Ronaldo Rolim are the oldest. There are five women and 30 men, representing a total of 15 countries, including Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Georgia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Many of the contestants have begun performing professionally; others are attending top-rated music conservatories such as the Moscow P. I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory (Russia); the Royal Academy of Music (London); The Royal College of Music (South Kensington, London); The Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Cleveland Institute of Music (United States); and the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover (Germany). They also have been laureates at other prestigious competitions, including the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the Honens International Piano Competition, and the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition.
The contestants were selected by a five-member selection jury consisting of Kathryn Brown, Head of the Piano Department and Keyboard Division at the Cleveland Institute of Music; Caroline Oltmanns, Professor of Piano at Youngstown State University; Paul Schenly, Professor and Artist in Residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music; Lei Weng, Keyboard Area Head and Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Colorado; and Pierre van der Westhuizen, President and CEO of the Cleveland International Piano Competition.
“The selection jury began with the goal of accepting 30 candidates,” said Dr. van der Westhuizen. “The level of skill was so high we collectively decided to open our doors just a little wider to invite as many of these incredibly talented young pianists as we could. Everyone will benefit – the pianists who come to Cleveland, and the audiences who will enjoy their beautiful performances.”
Click HERE for contestant details
The competition will be held from July 24 through August 7. The first three rounds, during which contestants perform solo recitals, are held in Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art. An international jury of renowned pianists votes to advance a diminishing number of contestants until four finalists remain. These four finalists perform two more times: once in a chamber music collaboration with the Escher String Quartet at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and again in a concerto performance with The Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall. Immediately after the concerto performances the finalists are ranked and the prizes are announced. The winner receives the Mixon First Prize of $75,000, a New York debut, a recording contract on the Steinway & Sons label, and professional concert management.
The concurrent CIPC Festival offers a variety of activities designed to entertain, engage, and expand the knowledge of everyone who wants to take a step or two beyond the competition performances. The Festival includes an opening ceremony performance by 2013 Mixon First Prize winner Stanislav Khristenko, an evening concert series featuring internationally renowned guest artists, films, concert talks, discussions, master classes, and workshops.
View a complete schedule and buy tickets HERE or call 216-707-5397.