The late Patric Standford may have written these short pieces deliberately to provoke our feedback. If so, his success is reflected in the rich range of readers' comments appearing at the foot of most of the pages.
The Paloma O’Shea Santander International Piano Competition was founded in 1972 and is one of the most important competitions in the international arena.
All those interested in participating still have until 18 October 2021 to register for the twentieth competition. All pianists born from 1 January 1990 onwards have the chance of signing up and being accepted for audition.
Those interested can apply via the competition website. To apply, complete the online registration form in English or Spanish and attach digital copies of all requested documents. An audiovisual recording must be provided as specified in the competition rules, plus at least one letter of recommendation and proof of payment of the non-refundable registration charge of 70 euros. The steps outlined in the competition rules must be followed in order for applications to be admitted.
The pre-selection stage will take place between March and April 2022 in the cities of Madrid, Moscow, New York and Paris. The twenty candidates will be selected from there, and they will meet in Santander on 24 July 2022. They will all decide on the works to be performed in compliance with the competition rules and will perform according to the order of a draw held on the morning of 25 July 2022.
The twentieth competition has a jury composed of professionals of ten different nationalities: Joaquín Achúcarro, Spanish pianist recognised by UNESCO for his artistic work, as president; as vice presidents: Claudio Martínez-Mehner, German-Spanish soloist and piano teacher; Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra, and Rena Shereshevskaya, pianist and professor at the École Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot.
The rest of the jury comprises conductor Péter Csaba (France), and pianists Barry Douglas (United Kingdom), Akiko Ebi (Japan), Hüseyin Sermet (Turkey) and Márta Gulyás (Hungary). Gulyás will also preside over the pre-selection jury which, at the same time, will include pianists Alexander Kandelaki from Georgia and Luis Fernando Pérez from Spain.
In this edition, the guest artists at the different stages of the competition are the Casals Quartet and the RTVE Symphony Orchestra conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado.
Aside from significant cash prizes and the recording of a CD on the Naxos label for the winner, the competition offers the winners of the most notable prizes performances in halls on international circuits, providing a firm launching of their professional careers. In addition to the prizes granted by the jury, for the first time, there will be a Special Award to the Best Chamber Music Performer – awarded financially and artistically with a concert with the Casals Quartet, and the Audience Award, voted by the audience in the final.
The six contestants who make it to the final round, held over two days, will perform accompanied by the RTVE Symphony Orchestra and Pablo Heras-Casado. Both concerts will be part of the programme for the 71st Santander International Festival.
Further information: www.santanderpianocompetition.com
Posted 3 October 2021 by Keith Bramich