The words “Competition” and “music” may not intuitively go together as art and aesthetic pleasures are not meant to develop under pressure. However there is an important consideration in that the impact of artists in society is determined by their capacity to communicate with the audience. It then follows that, ultimately, it is the audience that determines the artists’ overall success and career.
The process of learning to communicate is long and arduous and it is here that Competitions may act as “aesthetic filters” and may offer a head start to, mostly young, musicians by giving them a platform to perform in front of a knowledgeable jury and an attentive audience. Winning a prize in a Competition simply means that the focus of attention is turned on for while on the winner, but with a subsequent successful career far from guaranteed.
It is at that point where this, the 5th Competition, parts way from the usual competition format and, indeed, from our last four Competitions. Throughout all the events, and with the full integration of the Joy of Music Festival, the emphasis focuses and stays on music-making and not on “music race to a winner”. Uniquely the semi-finalists in this Competition are given completely free choice in their repertory, bar two compulsory commissioned pieces, and are required to produce a full solo piano recital for which they will be paid separately! Our talented 15 semi-finalists will treat the audience in Hong Kong to 15 recitals. And this does not stop here. The six candidates chosen for the finals will play a chamber performance also from pieces of their own free choice plus a compulsory commissioned duo for guitar and piano. Last but not least the six finalists will play a piano concerto from a set list with the Competition Orchestra. Thus the semi-final and final stages of the Competition have been turned into fully music-making events with the candidates, bar the piano concertos and commissioned pieces, being totally free to choose what they will play in a “public performance” environment, exactly what they will be doing for the rest of their performing careers.
The Competition also adds our now trademark event, that of five jurors who, after having finished judging, take to the stage to share their music with the audience and the candidates alike. More music is added by specially invited artists such as guitarists Alvaro Pierri and Dusan Bogdanovic, plus first prize winners from major international music competitions including our Club of Winners of the past four first prize winners of our Competition.
The Competition and Festival include an extensive education program consisting of scores of hours of master classes on piano, guitar, and of special presentations. Breaking new ground in our efforts to reach out to the public, the Competition will take all the 15 semi-finalists to play over a four day period to invited pupils from more than 180 schools in Hong Kong. Listening to beautiful music played by truly talented musicians is an essential part of the emotional and cultural development and education of any person with ears and a heart!
The Society is delighted and honored to present this music event to our friends and audience in Hong Kong, and not just a “competition”, and wishes you an enjoyable and “educational” experience in the fullest meaning of the word!
|Dr Andrew Freris
|The Chopin Society of Hong Kong Ltd.