Launch of the 2024 Classic Piano International Competition
On Sunday 4th February 2024, the 3rd edition of the Classic Piano International Competition opened its doors to the world, marking the launch of a three-week event that itself is the culmination of a two year globe-spanning project that has been put together with the singular aim of finding, and supporting, the best young pianists of our time.
Taking place at the Zabeel Theater in the 5-star Jumeirah Zabeel Saray hotel in Dubai, this latest edition of Classic Piano welcomed dozens of pianists from around the world, all of whom have won their right to participate in this event by ranking amongst the top five in one of 14 international high-level competitions that were held in Austria, the USA, France, Italy, Belgium, Kazakhstan, Poland, the UK, Armenia, South Korea, China, Japan, Israel, and Spain, as part of the '14 Ways to Dubai' initiative.
Now, the first members of this cohort have begun to take to the stage in this ultimate clash of champions, testing themselves against each other as they battle for a total prize fund of €250,000. Analyzing each aspect of their performances, meanwhile, is a jury panel that has been gathered together from all four corners of the globe, representing the finest stars from amongst the contemporary piano world. These include Ashley Wass (UK), Zhe Tang (China), Hüseyin Sermet (Turkey), Marios Papadopoulos (UK), Giuliano Mazzoccante (Italy), Hae-Young Kim (South Korea), Stanislav Ioudenitch (USA), Eleanor Hope (Austria), François-Frédéric Guy (France), Pavel Gililov (Austria), Peter Donohoe (UK), Kirsten Dawes (South Africa/Germany), Epifanio Comis (Italy), Massimiliano Caldi (Italy), and Gisèle Ben- Dor (USA/Israel).
“It's a very unique event, to have so many satellite competitions which all bring us here to Dubai for the finals" Wass remarked. "Of course what it means is that the standard of everyone here is going to be very high; everybody has already proven that they are very capable pianists, very capable musicians, so I have to say that, personally speaking it's a joy to be able to sit there and listen to this very high level of playing. The level so far has been very promising. Inevitably it's still very much about how you perform on the day and how you respond on the day. What we don't know is what the have been doing in the lead-up to this, so maybe some are not always so well prepared as they would like, but generally speaking most of the performers can be very pleased with what they've done.”
Over the course of the next three weeks, each of the successful candidates will be putting the full spectrum of their musical abilities to the test, with the competition's four rounds specifically designed to ensure that all aspects of their skillset are thoroughly challenged. In addition to the varying formats of each round, the competition also boasts a diverse and wide-ranging repertoire, with pianists being asked to perform pieces from across the entire corpus, including contemporary works from the pen of the event's Composer-In-Residence, Alexey Shor, so as to ensure their versatility and roundedness as musicians.
“I feel very lucky and honored to take part here,” participant Martin Nobauer said, adding that “this is a very special project and I try to show my personality and my artistic skills. Having so many other winners of competitions is nice; on the one side it is a challenge, but then again it's another opportunity to showcase my personality and abilities as a pianist"
The First Round of the Classic Piano International Competition will continue until the 6th of February, with the list of participants who will be progressing to the Second Round set to be released later that same day.