EMTA Concerto Competition
Hosting the first annual Piano Concerto Competition!Martin Buff
On Sunday, April 18th, The Piano Studio hosted the first ever Piano Concerto Competition for the Eastside Music Teacher's Association (EMTA). This exciting event brought together 21 of the best student pianists in Washington State (grades 5-12), their teachers, families, and accompanists for a day filled with beautiful music.
This type of competition features the student playing a movement or two of a classical piano concerto, with the teacher on the second piano playing the orchestra's part (which has been reduced down for a pianist to accompany the soloist). A performance like this can only work in a space with two pianos, and we were happy to accommodate.
Upstairs, in the main tracking room we had the Steinway 9' Concert Grand Model D (for the students) and the Baldwin 7' Studio Grand SF-10 (for the accompanists) side by side. Also in the tracking room, we set up an audience section for the judges and family members with a great view of both performers.An amazing array of wonderful music was played, from Mozart and Beethoven, Bach and Rachmaninoff, to Scriabin and Shostakovich!
Downstairs, we had outfitted the control room as a waiting/prep room for the other performers. They were able to listen to the current performance being broadcast live through our sound system.
The Piano Concertos are among the most difficult in the piano literature, and what made the contestants even more impressive is that most of them also competed in the EMTA solo piano competition the same week, requiring pieces from three different musical periods.
The judges for the event were internationally recognized Canadian pianist Dr. Jacques Couillard Després (Associate Chair of Graduate Studies, University of Alberta) and Dr. Scott McBride Smith (Professor, University of Kansas and President and CEO of the International Institute for Young Musicians).
We recorded each and every concerto, and afterwards sent each student a CD of their performance. Of the 21 competitors, there were six first-place winners selected, you can hear their recordings at our EMTA SoundCloud Set.Share / Comment