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Estonia Pianos
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Stage III results are in!

Ms Leonora Armellini, Italy
Mr J J Jun Li Bui, Canada
Mr Alexander Gadjiev , Italy/Slovenia
Mr Martin Garcia Garcia, Spain
Ms Eva Gevorgyan, Russia/Armenia
Ms Aimi Kobayashi, Japan
Mr Jakub Kuszlik, Poland
Mr Hyuk Lee, South Korea
Mr Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu, Canada
Mr Kamil Pacholec, Poland
Mr Hao Rao, China
Mr Kyohei Sorita, Japan

Very reasonable to expand the number of qualified candidates to 12, to be honest. A record-breaking pool of brilliant young pianists this edition. I agree with the decisions except for Garcia Garcia -- would replace him with Sumino. All in all an incredible result and the finals are now set to be among the most intense in the history of the competition.

Last edited by Spaetensonaten; 10/16/21 04:04 PM.
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Fair enough.

Two additional places added so that there would be Polish competitors at the final, otherwise there would not be any.

Garcia Garcia played the final movement of the 3rd Sonata well and he earned the final with that performance, IMO.

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12 as predicted! At this point, I'm seeing it as either Gadjiev or Armellini for the gold. Hoping for Sorita to win a top prize.

Edit:

Other observations - Nehring out, Khozyahnov out (didn't have a good day), a little sad for Cateen but he got immense exposure with this and will sell out a ton of concerts in Japan and elsewhere. Furumi was great and I was hoping to see her in the finals. Also, the two youngest competitors are still in. This should be an interesting final.

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It's worth pointing out that there is a record-breaking number of 3 (!) seventeen-year-old pianists in the Final this edition. They are, in order from "oldest" to youngest by birth month: Hao Rao, Eva Gevorgyan, and J J Jun Li Bui.

Last edited by Spaetensonaten; 10/16/21 04:26 PM.
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Fair enough.

Two additional places added so that there would be Polish competitors at the final, otherwise there would not be any.

Let's wait for the published score cards for who were the two added on top of the highest scoring ten, shall we?

Otherwise, I have 9 names on the list from my own shortlist. Needless to say I'm happy with the results and I'm looking forward to the concerti.

Last edited by Mati; 10/16/21 04:29 PM.

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Originally Posted by Numerian
I think teachers should discourage them, and they can do so at these competitions, since most of the jurors are eminent teachers. The phenomenon is, without doubt, relatively new, and it's not that close-up camera shots are new. There is plenty of television video coverage of recitals to show what performance standards were like in the previous century. You can find any number of television broadcasts of Artur Rubenstein to compare. I had first row seats on stage for a Horowitz recital, and sat about 20 feet away from him. His expressions were perfectly normal - no pursing of lips, furrowing of the brows, bulging eyes, sideway glances off to the distance, or staring at the ceiling. No four to five minute delays before performing pieces while he fiddled with his handkerchief, calmed his nerves, focused his attention, and communed with St. Cecilia for inspiration. All of these behaviors are learned affectations that are indulged in by the teachers or even taught by them.

Here's Georgy Cziffra warming up for a televised recital, and then the full recital, in 1962. He didn't need any artificial body or facial movements to establish his virtuosity or the high quality of his musical standards.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTAfCTcsZq8&ab_channel=ClassicalPianoRarities%F0%9F%8E%B9
The very eminent pianists on the jury don't seem to think Shindo's facial expressions or body movements are a big negative since she was advanced to Stage 3.

As far as facial expressions are concerned, if one views performances of Uchida, Watts, or Trifonov to name just a few, one can see making faces is not new or something that indicates a poor performance.

I don't personally like Shindo's movements, but I think your scathing commentary was mean spirited and uncalled for.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 10/16/21 04:42 PM.
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I wonder if all of the Finalists would be sticking with their chosen pianos? I recall from the 2015 edition that most (if not all) Finalists who chose the CFX left it for the Model D--presumably to be able to leverage Steinway's signature powerful sound for the concertos. If they were to stick with their selections, this would be the first final in history where we'd get to see Steinway, Fazioli and Shigeru Kawai all being included.

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Why not if they can find room for 4 pianos on the stage along with the orchestra.

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Originally Posted by Hakki
Why not if they can find room for 4 pianos on the stage along with the orchestra.
I don't think more than one piano has to be on stage at a time.

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Steinway 300 is out, so they only need to fit 3 pianos on the stage.

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Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
I wonder if all of the Finalists would be sticking with their chosen pianos? I recall from the 2015 edition that most (if not all) Finalists who chose the CFX left it for the Model D--presumably to be able to leverage Steinway's signature powerful sound for the concertos. If they were to stick with their selections, this would be the first final in history where we'd get to see Steinway, Fazioli and Shigeru Kawai all being included.

In 2010 they used Steinway, Fazioli and Yamaha.

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Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
It's worth pointing out that there is a record-breaking number of 3 (!) seventeen-year-old pianists in the Final this edition. They are, in order from "oldest" to youngest by birth month: Hao Rao, Eva Gevorgyan, and J J Jun Li Bui.

Gevorgyan could possibly get in the top 3 or 4.

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Originally Posted by Hakki
Two additional places added so that there would be Polish competitors at the final, otherwise there would not be any.
Were the individual marks for all the competitors in the final revealed? If not, this is pure speculation on your part.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 10/16/21 07:47 PM.
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Originally Posted by FarmGirl
I love Shindo’s music. I don’t know where she learned the body movement. One of her teachers from her childhood is the same one as Kobayashi had when she was a child. Their teacher lived in US for a long time and known to discourage students from unnecessary body movements. Shindo went to Russia at the tender age of 15. Speaking of determination, I admire her. For that matter everyone else in the competition too. Thinking of sacrifice they made on top of hours of practice, I wish I could give prizes to all the contestants.

I find that Shindo has real musical and expressive skills, nice touch and the capability to shape and articulate phrases. Better than several other candidates that qualified for the finals. It works well in small pieces. In larger ones, she still need to find a better balance with the fluidity and architecture of the mouvement. She tends to isolate sections to the expense of the continuity. She definitely has a lot of potential, and can be a wonderful pianist if she can combine both demands.

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From Sumino's FB Page:

"Finally I didn't make it to the finals of the Chopin Competition, but it was a really valuable experience to have made it this far.
Chopin is my idol, not just I love his works and want to study. I love him as an artist with good sense of beauty to music, and a strong soul.
As a "popular" pianist on social media, I had a responsibility.
I always tried to be Chopin and be natural with music because my performance could be someone's “first” Chopin. It would be a great honor if I could bring the charm of Chopin's music to people all over the world.
I just go my own way. I will continue to make music the way I want it to be, the way it should be.
Someday I want to be the kind of person that when I could meet Chopin, he'll be interested in me 🙂
Thank you as always for your kind support!
いつも僕の音楽を好きでいてくれてありがとうございます!
#Chopin"

Very humble guy, wish the jury would have passed him.

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The thing I wonder about Sumino(Cateen) is how much he loves classical music vs. the kind of music he plays on his YouTube site which is quite heavily non classical. Do you think someone can love classical and non classical equally? My guess is for the style of music he plays on his site he is among the best in the world, but I wonder if he plays that style mostly because he can(I think?) make a significant amount of money from the site since it is popular with so many viewers. Or maybe he actually prefers the music he plays on his site to Chopin?

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3 finalists will play the F minor: Gadjiev, Garcia Garcia, and Lee.

I thought I read somewhere that Liu would change from Fazioli to Kawai? I think that would be good if true. Maybe it sounded different in the hall, but I was hearing some harsh sounds from his Fazioli in round 3. As compared with, e.g. Armellini, who was getting very mellow tones.

I can't love (or respect) classical and non-classical equally but I have to think some people can. Khatia Buniatishvili is always being quoted saying things like there are no bad genres of music, there's just good music and bad music in general. And you hear lots of people say this. I'm always surprised to find out that at her level of playing there are classical musicians who listen devotedly to pop, rock, rap, etc. I'm going to guess I'm in a minority on this viewpoint though.

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Does anyone have any insights as to why Nikolay K. didn't advance? He was one of my favorites, and I was always very impressed with his performances.

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I for one, am satisfied that Cateen did NOT make the Final. I've listened to his YouTube channel way before he was even a participant in this year's Chopin competition, and although very talented and deserving, his playing always left me cold. His live performances tended to confirm that for me. But then Lang Lang also does that for me as well.
Sumino has a huge following in the YouTube universe already, and a rabid fan base in Japan, much akin to figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu. He did bring his followers to this competition via the Chopin Youtube channel, and many of them got a chance to hear other pianists, so that's a silver lining.


That said, am looking forward to hearing Gadjiev and Bruce Liu's concertos.


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Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
3 finalists will play the F minor: Gadjiev, Garcia Garcia, and Lee.

I thought I read somewhere that Liu would change from Fazioli to Kawai? I think that would be good if true. Maybe it sounded different in the hall, but I was hearing some harsh sounds from his Fazioli in round 3. As compared with, e.g. Armellini, who was getting very mellow tones.

I can't love (or respect) classical and non-classical equally but I have to think some people can. Khatia Buniatishvili is always being quoted saying things like there are no bad genres of music, there's just good music and bad music in general. And you hear lots of people say this. I'm always surprised to find out that at her level of playing there are classical musicians who listen devotedly to pop, rock, rap, etc. I'm going to guess I'm in a minority on this viewpoint though.

Part of me says that Gadjiev can win it with the F minor concerto based on his personality alone (I'm expecting that he totally reimagined the piece like he did the Second Sonata in the semis, and it's to his benefit that he's the first person playing F minor). Expecting a very harsh, driven E minor from Gevorgyan and a thoughtful performance from Sorita (who I hope wins a top prize). Armellini has a great sound and confidence in spades, and she has the best spot on the first program (last), so she's in a position to distinguish herself.

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