The Busoni Competition All the fun of the Circus

All the fun of the Circus -The Busoni Competition
Busoni winner the young Croatian outsider Ivan Krpan ;
second Jaeyeon Won;
third Anna Geniushene ;
fourth Eun Seong Kim;
fifth Xingyu Lu;
sixth Dmytro Choni…………….all of whom received monetary prizes
Anna Geniushene also won the Quartet and audience prize.
All the fun of the Circus at the 61st Busoni Competition in Bolzano.
On tenterhooks right until the last moment the enlightened jury led us to a result that is of fairy story proportions.
A young Croation that from his first appearance had shown his natural talent but also lack of experience compared to some of his remarkably well trained colleagues.
I followed his progress and was so sorry to hear the muddle he got into in the Chopin Funeral March Sonata.
Very apt title and presumed that that would be the end of him .
Little did I expect to see him accepted to the next round.
But then the surprise here at the Busoni this year is a jury that are not only counting the notes but above all the real talent behind them.
And so it was that this very unassuming young man just made music as he obviously was born to do.
Up against some of the most remarkably well prepared and experienced performers his talent swept the board and was so rightly awarded last night the Busoni prize to the delight of the audience of his fellow competitors and adoring public .
We had lived the dream with him and the Busoni jury too had not let us down.
A competition that shares its wares so generously with the world is indeed an arena to be cherished.
The superb streaming allowed us all to share in every minute of some remarkable performances that for one reason or another did not proceed to the final.
I heard from my own home some very fine things from Julian Trevelyan ,the 18 year old english pianist ,winner to everyone’s astonishment at the age of 16 of the Marguerite Long Competition .
A Haydn sonata that was noted as one of the finest performances in the competition by Maria Tipo from her home in Florence .
Another twenty year old Julius Asal gave some remarkable performances notably a very fine Bach Chaconne and of four Rachmaninov Preludes.Ravishing indeed.
Leonora Armellini already and established artist and a refined stylist gave a beautiful performance of Chopin’s Fourth Ballade and a very subtle quite marvellous account of Beethoven’s very allusive Sonata op 101.
Anna Geniushene gave a magnificent performance of Prokofiev 8th Sonata and was considered by many the favourite to win .
Her Schuman Quintet with the marvellous Cremona Quartet was a highlight and justly awarded the Quartets own prize of a series of future concerts with them.
Anna is now a post graduate student at my old Alma Mater the Royal Academy in London ,guided by Christopher Elton, that very fine musician and trainer of so many fine pianist before the public today.
For me the greatest talent of all was a young Korean boy ( student of the same teacher as the last Busoni Winner Chloe Mun) Eun Seong Kim .
His performance of Beethoven’s last Sonata was memorable for its control and intelligent musicianship as we have come to expect from the school of Dae Jin Kim .
Now studying with Minsoo Sohn, 1999 winner of third prize in Bolzano and sharing his experience at the same University in Corea.
Eun Seong has that God given gift that cannot be taught but can be nurtured and helped to grow as is the case here but it can also so easily be destroyed .
His Scriabin fifth was one of the most intelligent and exciting that I have ever heard.
These are just a few of the performances that will remain in my memory.
That there can only be one winner is the Circus aspect of an International Piano Competition.
But as the amazing Murray MacLachlan said the other day in another competition in Manchester :”all the competitors are winners for the joy of making music at such a level.”
Unfortunately there are prizes to be won and sponsors to be cherished and prize money to be awarded.
Who fell at the first hurdle.
Who survived to the second but was then knocked off the pedestal for one reason or another .
The jury always gets blamed for what the public may consider a lack of consideration for their favourite performance or performer.
That is part of the Circus aspect but it draws people into the fray sometimes unfortunately in the heat of the moment lacking in kind words towards a jury that has a near impossible task.
But do the same people ever consider that the performer too is not always right and can have some good performances mingled with less too?
I had noted Krpan from the beginning but had also noted his youthful inexperience .
Allowing him into the Chamber Music round he came into his own and stood the ground with our favourite charming Russian and a very experienced 29 year old Corean who up until that moment I had not heard .
Our own Eun Seong Kim unfortunately fell at this hurdle to Krpan.
That classical music can generate such excitement and partecipation is the phenomena of the event called International Piano Competition of which there are an abundance these days.
Gone is the passive acceptance so often found in classical music concerts .
Here it is a real almost animal partecipation that can reach the same frenzied following that is so much part of sporting events.
Great day by day – blow by blow – account from a very informed young correspondent from the Amadeus magazine – Alessandro Tommasi and his charming companion Sofia .Two faces designed to light up every day with youthful exuberance and down to earth intelligence .
There are an abundance of competitions because there is so much more talent around that ever before .
Such magnificent teaching and encouragement for the arts at an early age .
The fact that these young people have dedicated their youth in search of beauty is something the mass media never talk about in their pursuit to give us the most detailed accounts of all the disasters and scandals worldwide .
All the competitiors have now been give a stage worldwide by the Busoni Competition Streaming .
The Italian Radio and Television have broadcast the final evening and prize giving .
The world awaits and what an exciting platform it has been and will be in the future for many of these young musicians.
Hats off to Peter Paul Kainrath and his dedicated colleagues who have shown just what it means and what responsability it is to be called the BUSONI Competition.
They have risen magnificently to the challenge and I know that it has not been an easy path to follow.
Looking through the very interesting programme I notice the following that puts the Circus aspect of a competition into perspective:
1949 Alfred Brendel 4th prize;
1952 Ingrid Habler and Walter Klien 4th prize ex aequo;
1956 Bruno Canino and Michael Ponti 4th prize ex aequo ;
1960 John Ogdon 5th prize etc etc
No more words are needed

3 risposte a "The Busoni Competition All the fun of the Circus"

  1. Dear Christopher,

    Thank you very much for bringing the Busoni Competition into our homes and for the photographs of the most wonderful couple in the world, John and Noretta Leech.

    See you soon,

    "Mi piace"

  2. We owe a great deal to Christopher Axworthy for bringing to life a wonderful competition that some of us have not managed to attend. Congratulations to all those who won a prize and also a great Bravo to all those who took part.

    "Mi piace"


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