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Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: SiFi] #2552066
06/25/16 07:57 PM
06/25/16 07:57 PM
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Kreisler Offline
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And the "Creative Programming Award" goes to someone who programmed Beethoven, Liszt, Chopin, and Gershwin?

I don't understand that at all. smirk


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: SiFi] #2552068
06/25/16 07:59 PM
06/25/16 07:59 PM
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Berkeley, California
Andrys Offline
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I haven't been able to follow/watch/listen to 98% of this but saw
some of the solo clips while waiting for the awards with friends
who did watch.

From the clips I saw, the level was very high. I was also glad
that Matthais Fischer got an award for Romantic work despite using
the score (for me, it's HOW they play, not what a great memory
feat they can do) and that Ken got an award for Classical work.

I saw the first day a bit and thoroughly enjoyed Simon and
Jeanne's during an On-Demand listen. But that's all I heard until
today. I'll be listening now to many of the others based on
reviews and clips I was able to hear today.




- Andrys, hobbyist, intermediate level
Hobbyist mp3 site
Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: SiFi] #2552069
06/25/16 08:16 PM
06/25/16 08:16 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
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Northern VA, U.S.
ClsscLib Offline

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Many wonderful pianists in this competition, but (my wife as my witness) I predicted Yu would win it from his opening round rendition of that fascinating "Butterflies and Bobcats" piece. There just doesn't seem to be anything he doesn't do beautifully.

Congrats to all who participated and made this such a glorious event!


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"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins
Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: SiFi] #2552075
06/25/16 08:35 PM
06/25/16 08:35 PM
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Delaware (slower/lower)
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All I can say is I'm glad I picked a different line of work. The talent level out there is very high. It's very tough being a professional concert pianist when the amateur world holds so many talented people as I heard in this competition. I'm not good enough to be a page turner.


Do or do not. There is no try.
Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: Kreisler] #2552084
06/25/16 09:38 PM
06/25/16 09:38 PM
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Phoenix, Arizona
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
And the "Creative Programming Award" goes to someone who programmed Beethoven, Liszt, Chopin, and Gershwin?

I don't understand that at all. smirk
I assume they felt that they had to give "something" to Mr. Knight since the other five finalists received prizes.

Does "creative programming" as a category have anything to do with how well the programmed pieces were played??



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Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: SiFi] #2552087
06/25/16 09:44 PM
06/25/16 09:44 PM
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Phoenix, Arizona
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Originally Posted by SiFi
Absolutely terrible way to announce the awards. We knew the top three before they even got to them. I feel so bad for Ken and the others. They need to fix this.
Absolutely. They could have solved it by NOT explicitly stating that the winners of the lesser prizes weren't eligible for the top three awards.



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Kawai K-500 Upright
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Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: Carey] #2552094
06/25/16 10:19 PM
06/25/16 10:19 PM
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New York
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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by SiFi
Absolutely terrible way to announce the awards. We knew the top three before they even got to them. I feel so bad for Ken and the others. They need to fix this.
Absolutely. They could have solved it by NOT explicitly stating that the winners of the lesser prizes weren't eligible for the top three awards.

YES -- to both of you.
My wife and I were saying all of that during the announcements. (I heard them on the iPhone during dinner.)

Actually I would suggest a variation on what Carey said: Don't have anyone be ineligible for anything. Maybe give preference to people other than the top 3 for the extra prizes (I'd rather call them 'extra' than 'lesser') but don't make the top 3 ineligible -- so, winning one of the extra prizes doesn't mean you're not in the top 3. (I don't think they had this restriction in the past; I know for sure that they didn't have it for at least some of their prior competitions, if not all.)

I've been aware of Thomas Yu for quite some time, more than a decade. He has always done well in the amateur competitions -- always made the finals without exception, as far as I know -- but he has gotten even better. He was very very good; now he's (dare I use the word?) great.

About Ken: Some of the people discussing the performances online felt he took too fast a tempo in the Mozart to do all that he could have done. That's what I thought too, but I did nevertheless like his performance very much and I thought he was well in the running to get 1st prize and that he had an excellent chance to be at least in the top 3.

One of the hazards of picking a piece like the Mozart, where you start all by yourself, is that you're totally at your own mercy on picking a tempo. Of course ideally the soloist is the one who does choose the tempo, and he/she usually does, even when the conductor doesn't necessarily agree with it (as in the famous Glenn Gould/Leonard Bernstein instance with Brahms' 1st). grin
But y'know how it is.....sometimes we launch into something differently than how we intended. Conductors and orchestras can do that too, but I think in general they're more likely to start a piece or movement with a poised tempo than is a soloist, especially when it's an amateur soloist -- even, I think, when it's an amateur who's on the level of the superb amateurs who reach the finals of such a competition.

I'll be interested to find out if Ken's tempo was pretty much what he had planned and intended. I imagine some of us will hear about it. Maybe Ken will talk about it on here, or if he doesn't and if I hear about it, I'll ask him if it's OK for us to talk about it here.

Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: Mark_C] #2552106
06/25/16 11:12 PM
06/25/16 11:12 PM
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Posts: 1,817
Washington, DC
SiFi Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
One of the hazards of picking a piece like the Mozart, where you start all by yourself, is that you're totally at your own mercy on picking a tempo.

I'll be interested to find out if Ken's tempo was pretty much what he had planned and intended.

I played Mozart's K.459 when I was a youth (that would be yute to you, Mark). The entire wind section had conniptions when I started the last movement around 25% faster than we'd rehearsed it. But hey, I was 13 going on 14 so I had an excuse.

That was not the case with Ken. I remember him, or someone who'd recently talked to him, saying that he was going to take it at a good clip. The finalists all had two rehearsals with the orchestra and Ken is way too disciplined a musician to get carried away and start too fast. So I don't think anyone involved was surprised. I thought it was a bit fast, but he could clearly play it at that speed and, frankly, a professional orchestra should be able to keep up!

I'm still haunted by Ken's Op.111 in the semis. I honestly thought he was on track to win, with a possible challenge from Michael Slavin, who was also, IMO, spectacular throughout and a thoroughly nice chap to boot. BTW, he and I talked about you behind your back Midlife. JK, it was nice talk.


SRF
Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: SiFi] #2552111
06/26/16 01:55 AM
06/26/16 01:55 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,102
New York
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trigalg693 Offline
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New York
Op. 111 is really not a piece that I "get" because I don't really understand or like the 2nd movement, but Ken playing the 2nd movement has almost convinced me that I might come around. That frankly is quite amazing.

Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: ClsscLib] #2552158
06/26/16 07:55 AM
06/26/16 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ClsscLib
I predicted Yu would win it from his opening round rendition of that fascinating "Butterflies and Bobcats" piece.


I knew it would be Yu since his Widmüng.

Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: Mark_C] #2552171
06/26/16 09:56 AM
06/26/16 09:56 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 3,052
Northern VA, U.S.
ClsscLib Offline

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Originally Posted by Mark_C
...But y'know how it is.....sometimes we launch into something differently than how we intended. Conductors and orchestras can do that too....


As someone who has played in many orchestras, I'll echo that, especially about conductors. (Orchestras rush from time to time, but the conductor always holds the stick.)

One of my favorite conductors, and the last for whom I seriously played, is a huge fan of George Szell, who was known for taking fast tempi. My conductor also has an unfortunate habit of letting her adrenaline take over in concerts.

The result is that the concert tempi of pieces we were already playing very fast in rehearsals would invariably jump 5-10 bpms in concert.

Now 5-10bpms may not sound like much, but when you were already at the edge of reason for rehearsal tempi, it can be a lot.

An unfortunate experience with a performance of the Beethoven Ninth actually was one of the reasons I put down my rosin and took up piano for the first time at age 60.


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"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins
Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: Damon] #2552173
06/26/16 10:00 AM
06/26/16 10:00 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
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Northern VA, U.S.
ClsscLib Offline

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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by ClsscLib
I predicted Yu would win it from his opening round rendition of that fascinating "Butterflies and Bobcats" piece.


I knew it would be Yu since his Widmüng.


It had to be Yu.

Sorry.


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"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins
Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: ClsscLib] #2552184
06/26/16 10:51 AM
06/26/16 10:51 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 414
Western PA
doctor S Offline
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Originally Posted by ClsscLib

...
It had to be Yu....



As I was waiting to play my Scherzo #3 in the preliminary, I heard a brilliant Scherzo #3 pealing through the staircases, apparently coming from a warm-up room. No one else was to play that Scherzo in the Prelim except me. Other than enraptured awe, I felt a distinct wave of flop-sweat terror...

Last edited by doctor S; 06/26/16 12:53 PM.

"I will hear in Heaven." Beethoven
Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: doctor S] #2552189
06/26/16 11:04 AM
06/26/16 11:04 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
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ClsscLib Offline

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Originally Posted by doctor S
[quote=ClsscLib
...
It had to be Yu....



As I was waiting to play my Scherzo #3 in the preliminary, I heard a brilliant Scherzo #3 pealing through the staircases, apparently coming from a warm-up room. No one else was to play that Scherzo in the Prelim except me. Other than enraptured awe, I felt a distinct wave of flop-sweat terror... [/quote]

That must violate the Geneva Conventions on Piano Competition!!??


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"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins
Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: Carey] #2552205
06/26/16 12:30 PM
06/26/16 12:30 PM
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Tim Adrianson Offline
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Hi, Carey! I agree with your assessment that Knight received the Most Creative Programming award only because the Cliburn virtually HAD to give him something -- but IMO that's the result of a lousy way to set up things. ALL of the six finalists should be financially remunerated, on some type of graded scale: that in turn would allow other award categories to be distributed among those who didn't finish in the top six. As well known as the Cliburn is, I'm quite frankly surprised that they didn't spring for more money to permit this flexibility.

Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: Damon] #2552234
06/26/16 04:44 PM
06/26/16 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Damon
.....since his Widmüng.

[Linked Image]


Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
....received the Most Creative Programming award only because the Cliburn virtually HAD to give him something -- but IMO that's the result of a lousy way to set up things. ALL of the six finalists should be financially remunerated, on some type of graded scale: that in turn would allow other award categories to be distributed among those who didn't finish in the top six. As well known as the Cliburn is, I'm quite frankly surprised that they didn't spring for more money to permit this flexibility.

Yes, although I doubt it was due to anything about money. I think they just didn't think it through well enough.
(And if they did think it through pretty well, they didn't do a great job of it.) grin

Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: SiFi] #2552244
06/26/16 06:33 PM
06/26/16 06:33 PM
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Nathan M., RPT Offline
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I really enjoyed the Mozart at the quick tempo. Personal preference I guess, but I thought the added sense of danger and energy suited the music better than a slower tempo and more precision would have.


Nathan Monteleone
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Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: SiFi] #2552272
06/26/16 08:49 PM
06/26/16 08:49 PM
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Questions for people who were there (competitors or otherwise):

How well were the various rounds attended?
How much did people seem to be loving it?

Did there seem to be any particular criticisms or different ideas for the competition that audience members were bandying about?

Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: Mark_C] #2552274
06/26/16 09:00 PM
06/26/16 09:00 PM
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.....I would offer just two suggestions:

-- Consider revising the system for the awards, along the lines of what we've been saying.

-- Bring back Steve Cumming to do the emcee-ing!!
I really missed him.

I'd guess that just about everyone who's been there before missed him too.

Re: Van Cliburn "Amateur" Competition 2016 [Re: SiFi] #2552275
06/26/16 09:02 PM
06/26/16 09:02 PM
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It's amazing as a physician that there is almost a thirty year difference in age between first and second place? As an aside I would love to know how many competitors were using Xanax, Ativan, Inderal? Also should we be drug tested for them? Otherwise the competition had me mesmerized my entire week in clinic. My iPad was in constant use.


Serge P. Marinkovic, MD

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