32 contestants? Yes. Breathtaking performances? Yes. Drama and excitement? Of course. But wait – there’s more!
This year marks the launch of the CIPC Festival, a series of events running concurrently with the Competition that will entertain, engage, and expand the knowledge of anyone who wants to take a step or two beyond the contestant performances.
The Festival begins with a grand opening ceremony on July 30 at the Cleveland Museum of Art. 2011 first prize winner, Alexander Schimpf, who has been earning rave reviews in the U.S. and Europe for the past two years, will return for a performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 13 with CityMusic Cleveland, Joel Smirnoff, conductor, in Gartner Auditorium. Immediately afterward WCLV’s inimitable Robert Conrad will introduce the contestants with great flair and suitable fanfare. Then it’s party time in the Ames Family Atrium with music by the Marshall Griffith Trio!
“It was important to us to begin this year’s Competition with a major event that recognizes the excitement of our new venue, the artistry of our pianists, and the great programming additions that are in store for patrons,” said CIPC Executive Director Pierre van der Westhuizen. “It’s our way of setting the stage for all of the amazing things that will happen over the next 12 days.”
Additional Festival events include three Competition Conversations led by area musicians, experts, and historians to bring an added dimension to the performances. David Breitman and Webb Wiggins from Oberlin College and Conservatory will demonstrate the history of keyboard music using instruments from the Cleveland Museum of Art collection; Marshall Griffith from the Cleveland Institute of Music will illuminate the improvisational thrills of the classical cadenza; and Peter Takács, also from Oberlin, will delve into the history, craft, and passion of Beethoven’s sublime piano sonatas.
An enlightening independent film paying tribute to the art of Frédéric Chopin, will be another highlight of the Festival. Featuring commentary and performances from pianists such as Garrick Ohlsson and Arthur Rubinstein, The Art of Chopin demonstrates how the master’s compositions laid the groundwork for twentieth century music and the modern piano. Watch this beautiful film and you will understand why every contestant at the CIPC is required to perform a piece by Chopin.
Anyone who wants to get the insider’s view of how a competition works should attend the Jury Roundtable discussion being led by CIPC Executive Director Pierre van der Westhuizen. All eight jurors for the 2013 Competition will participate, sharing insights on what they look for in judging a contestant, how they score, and how competitions can help launch a career.
A Master Class taught by jurors Nelita True and Roberto Plano, and a Showcase Recital featuring prize winners from the 2012 Young Artists Competition will round out the Festival events.
With the exception of the Opening Ceremony, tickets for the Festival range from free to $10 and will be available beginning June 1. Click here for a complete schedule and more information.