January 9, 2019, Portland, Ore – SOLO / Portland Piano International has announced the Finalists for the 2019 Youth Piano Concerto Competition. For the last 90+ years, Portland Youth Philharmonic (PYP) has held a biennial piano concerto competition, with the top prize of performing with Portland Youth Philharmonic. Last spring PYP asked Portland Piano International / SOLO to take on the running of the Competition and increase public awareness and involvement in the Competition.
Here are details on our finalists:
Zayan Akmal, 16, Scriabin: Piano Concerto, Op. 20; Teacher: Linda Barker
Minwoo Cho, 17, Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5; Teacher: SungJung Kim
Trinity Goff, 17, Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5; Teacher: Jean-David Coen
Joshua Ji, 14, Gershwin: Piano Concerto in F Major; Teacher: Kelli Stephens
Jacob Nenow, 14, Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37; Teacher: Renato Fabbro
Jesse Nieman, 15, Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18; Teacher: Pauline Eidemiller
Micah Ng, 17, Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18; Teacher: Kelli Stephens
Jenna Tu, 16, Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18; Teacher: Renato Fabbro
The public is invited to attend the Competition Finals at Lincoln Hall on Friday, January 25, 2019 at 7pm. Christa Wessel, on-air host from All Classical radio, will emcee the event. Three distinguished judges from across the country will make up the jury: Stanislav Ioudenitch (2001 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist), Inna Faliks (Head of Piano at UCLA), and Alexander Kobrin (2005 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist). Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students. Lincoln Hall is located at 1620 SW Park in Portland.
“We have a very strong group of Finalists for our first concerto competition with Portland Youth Philharmonic!” exclaimed executive director Ellen Bergstone Wasil. “We have exceptional panel of jurors as well. It should be a lot of fun to hear these young musicians play a movement of their chosen concerti. We’ll also be asking the attendees to vote for the Audience Award.”
Two prizes will be awarded. The First Prize includes a full concert performance with PYP at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall during the 2019 / 2020 season; a $1,000 scholarship; a professional photo shoot; and two SOLO Piano Series subscriptions for 2019 / 2020. The Second Prize includes a performance of a movement of a concerto with PYP’s Portland Youth Conservatory Orchestra during the 2019 / 2020 season; a $500 scholarship; and two SOLO Piano Series subscriptions for 2019 / 2020.
For read more about the competition and to purchase tickets, head to http://portlandpiano.org/concertocompetition/
About Portland Youth Philharmonic
Astonishing audiences since 1925, Portland Youth Philharmonic (PYP) will soon be the first U.S. organization for young musicians to reach its 100th anniversary. For 95 years, PYP has inspired and trained young musicians throughout the Pacific Northwest. Founded by pioneer violin teacher Mary V. Dodge as the Portland Junior Symphony, the orchestra captured the hearts of radio listeners all across the country.
Renamed the Portland Youth Philharmonic in 1978, PYP is known for fearless artistry, adventurous programming, and astonishing performances at affordable prices. Today, there are more than 300 musicians from over 100 schools in four ensembles. Under the direction of Musical Director David Hattner, PYP performs its ticketed Schnitzer Series in the historic Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. All four PYP ensembles perform outreach concerts each year throughout the state of Oregon and southern Washington. These vary from performances for school-aged children during the day to concerts for the community-at-large during the evenings or on weekends.
About Stanislav Ioudenich
Born in Uzbekistan, Stanislav Ioudenitch earned widespread recognition in 2001 when he won the gold medal at the XI Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The victory served as a springboard that has resulted in engagements in premier venues around the world. Since then, he has collaborated with countless esteemed orchestras and musicians, including the Munich Philharmonic, the Mariinsky Orchestra, and the National Symphony in Washington, D.C.; the Takács, Prazák, and Borromeo string quartets; and conductors including James Conlon, Valery Gergiev, and Mikhail Pletnev, among others.
Ioudenitch is a former student of the prestigious International Piano Academy Lake Como in Italy, and he later became the youngest teacher ever to present a master class there. He now serves as vice president of Lake Como, which, since 2015 has enjoyed a partnership with Oberlin Conservatory that brings elite student pianists to the Ohio campus for advanced study.
Prior to his appointment at Oberlin in 2017, Ioudenitch had performed recitals and led master classes on campus and was a longtime fixture on jury panels for the Cooper International Competition for young pianists as well as its predecessor, the Oberlin International Piano Competition.
Ioudenitch helped create the International Center for Music and the Youth Conservatory of Music at Park University near Kansas City, Mo. His former teachers include Natalia Vasinkina, Dmitri Bashkirov, Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Rosalyn Tureck, William Grant Naboré, and Leon Fleisher.
He has recorded for the Harmonia Mundi and Academy labels.
About Inna Faliks
“Adventurous and passionate” (The New Yorker) Ukrainian-born American pianist Inna Faliks has established herself as one of the most exciting, committed, communicative and poetic artists of her generation. Faliks has made a name for herself through her commanding performances of standard piano repertoire, as well genre-bending interdisciplinary projects, and inquisitive work with contemporary composers. After her acclaimed teenage debuts at the Gilmore Festival and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, she has performed on many of the world’s great stages, with numerous orchestras, in solo appearances, and with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin and Keith Lockhart. Faliks is currently Professor of Piano and Head of Piano at UCLA. Critics praise her “courage to take risks, expressive intensity and technical perfection” (General Anzeiger, Bonn), “remarkable insight” (Audiophile Audition) “poetry and panoramic vision” (Washington Post), “riveting passion, playfulness” (Baltimore Sun) and “signature blend of lithe grace and raw power” (Lucid Culture). Her October 2014 all-Beethoven CD release on MSR classics drew rave reviews: the disc’s preview on WTTW called Faliks “High priestess of the piano, concert pianist of the highest order, as dramatic and subtle as a great stage actor.”
Ms. Faliks’s distinguished career has taken her to thousands of recitals and concerti throughout the U.S., Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Highlights of the recent seasons include performances in Ravinia Festival and the National Gallery in D.C., recital tours of China, with appearances in all the major halls such as Beijing Center for Performing Arts, Shanghai Oriental Arts Theater and Tianjin Grand Theater, as well as acclaimed performances at the Festival Internacional de Piano in Mexico, in the Fazioli Series in Italy and in Israel’s Tel Aviv Museum, at Portland Piano Festival and with the Camerata Pacifica, with the modern dance troupe Bodytraffic at the Broad Stage Santa Monica, and Jacaranda Series in Los Angeles, where she performed Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated. Faliks has been featured on WQXR, WNYC, WFMT and many international television broadcasts, and has performed in many other major venues, such as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Concert Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Paris’ Salle Cortot, Chicago’s Symphony Center, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall and in many important festivals such as Verbier, Newport, Portland International, Music in the Mountains, Mondo Musica Cremona, Brevard, Taos, International Keyboard Festival in NYC, Bargemusic, and Chautauqua.
The past season’s concerto appearances include Peninsula Festival, Greensboro Symphony, Miami Symphony. Her chamber music partnerships include work with musicians such as Gilbert Kalish, Ron Leonard, Fred Sherry, Ilya Kaler, Wendy Warner, Clive Greensmith and many others. Faliks is a founding member of the Hollywood Piano Trio, with Roberto Cani and Robert deMaine.
Faliks is the founder and curator of the award-winning poetry-music series Music/Words, creating performances in collaboration with distinguished poets. This has been described as “surreal, impactful, and relevant” (Lucid Culture). Her long-standing relationship with WFMT radio has led to multiple broadcasts of Music/Words, which she had produced alongside some of the nation’s most recognized poets in performances throughout the United States. Faliks is equally at home with standard repertoire, rare and new music, and interdisciplinary performances. She recently co-starred with Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol in “Admission – One Shilling,” a play for pianist and actor about the life of Dame Myra Hess, the great British pianist. Most recently, she is touring with her autobiographical recital-monologue, “Polonaise-Fantasie, the Story of a Pianist” throughout the US and Canada. Constantly in dialogue with today’s composers, she has had works composed for her by Timo Andres, Billy Childs, Richard Danielpour, Paola Prestini, Ljova, Clarice Assad, Peter Golub, and many more.
Faliks is internationally in demand as an Artist Teacher, and frequently adjudicates competitions gives masterclasses and travels to Artist Residencies in major conservatories and universities around the world. Her past teachers included Leon Fleisher, Boris Petrushansky, Gilbert Kalish, Ann Schein, and Emilio del Rosario. Inna Faliks is a Yamaha Artist.
About Alexander Kobrin
Called the “Van Cliburn of today” by the BBC, pianist Alexander Kobrin has placed himself at the forefront of today's performing musicians. His prize-winning performances have been praised for their brilliant technique, musicality, and emotional engagement with the audience. The New York Times has written that Mr. Kobrin was a "fastidious guide" to Schumann’s "otherworldly visions, pointing out hunters, flowers, haunted corners and friendly bowers, all captured in richly characterized vignettes." "This was a performance that will be revered and remembered as a landmark of the regeneration of exceptional classical music in Central New York."-critic wrote after Mr. Kobrin’s performance of Second Piano Concerto by Johannes Brahms with Syracuse Symphony in Syracuse, NY.
In 2005, Mr. Kobrin was awarded the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Gold Medal at the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, TX. His numerous successes in competitions also include top prizes at the Busoni International Piano Competition (First Prize), Hamamatsu International Piano Competition (Top Prize), Scottish International Piano Competition in Glasgow (First Prize)
Mr. Kobrin has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Russian National Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Verdi, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Moscow Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Berliner Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Swedish Radio Symphony, Birmingham Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has collaborated with such conductors as Mikhail Pletnev, Mikhail Jurovsky, Mark Elder, Vassiliy Sinaisky, James Conlon, Claus Peter Flor, Alexander Lazarev, Vassiliy Petrenko and Yuri Bashmet.
He has appeared in recital at major halls worldwide, including the Avery Fisher Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Louvre Auditorium, Salle Gaveau and Salle Cortot in Paris, Munich Herkulesaal and Berliner Filarmonia Hall in Germany, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, Sheung Wan Civic Centre in Hong Kong, as well as Sala Verdi in Milan and many others. Other past performances have included recitals at Bass Hall for the Cliburn Series, the Washington Performing Arts Society, La Roque d'Antheron, the Ravinia Festival, the Beethoven Easter Festival, Busoni Festival, the renowned Klavier-Festival Ruhr, the Festival Musique dans le Grésivaudan, the International Keyboard Institute & Festival, annual concert tours in Japan, China and Taiwan.
Though widely acclaimed as a performer, Mr. Kobrin’s teaching has been an inspiration to many students through his passion for music. From 2003 to 2010 he served on the faculty of the Russian State Gnessin’s Academy of Music. In 2010 Alexander Kobrin was named the L. Rexford Distinguished Chair in Piano at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University, and since 2013 concurrently has been a member of the celebrated Artist Faculty of New York University’s Steinhardt School. In July 2017, Mr. Kobrin will join the faculty of the renowned Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Mr. Kobrin has also given masterclasses in Europe and Asia, the International Piano Series and at the Conservatories of Japan and China.
Mr. Kobrin has been a jury member for many international piano competitions, including the Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano, Hamamatsu International Piano Competition, the Blüthner International Piano Competition in Vienna, E-Competition in Fairbanks, AK and the Neuhaus International Piano Festival in Moscow.
Mr. Kobrin has released recordings on the Harmonia Mundi, Quartz, and Centaur labels, covering a wide swath of the piano literature. His Schumann album released on Centaur Records has been included into top-5 albums of the year in 2015 by Fanfare Magazine. Gramophone Magazine raved about his Cliburn Competition release on Harmonia Mundi, writing that “in [Rachmaninoff’s] Second Sonata (played in the 1931 revision), despite fire-storms of virtuosity, there is always room for everything to tell and Kobrin achieves a hypnotic sense of the music’s dark necromancy.”
Mr. Kobrin was born in 1980 in Moscow. At the age of five, he was enrolled in the world-famous Gnessin Special School of Music after which he attended the prestigious Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire. His teachers have included renowned professors Tatiana Zelikman and Lev Naumov.