Fort Worth may have Van Cliburn’s cattle call for nonprofessional pianists, but in Cambridge this week, 35 lovers of piano playing, also known as amateur pianists, will also converge to compete for gold. At Longy’s Pickman Hall on June 11th, Boston’s own International Piano Competition begins its 8th installment. Ranging in age from the 30’s to the 70’s, and hailing from France, Canada and every region of the U.S, the diverse contingent will compete for a Grand Prize of $1,000 and a fully managed recital concert in Boston. Additional awards will include Best Performance Award for performance of a baroque/classical, romantic, and modern work ($100); Audience Award, selected by ballot ($100); and Best Programming Award, for the most imaginative programming ($100). Preliminary rounds on June 11 and 12 will run from 12 noon to 5:30 p.m; the semi-finals on June 13, from 1:30 to 7 p.m.; and the finals on June 14, from 1:30 to 6 p.m.
Boston Piano Amateurs Association invites the public to join the distinguished judges Michael Lewin, Roberto Poli, Sally Pinkas, Tatiana Dudochinkin, and Max Levinson for preliminary rounds on June 11 and 12 from 12 noon to 5:30 p.m, the semi-finals on June 13, from 1:30 to 7 p.m.; and the finals on June 14, from 1:30 to 6 p.m. Click here for details on ticketing.
BPAA’s president Robert Finley noted that “our contestants hold ‘day jobs’ in a wide variety of interesting and demanding professions, including medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, architecture, software and systems engineering, teaching, accounting, finance, and international business management consulting. There’s even a mystery-novel writer and a top-rated chess master on the roster.
“Other participants,” he continued, “have compelling musically-related personal stories—one whose house was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy, but whose piano survived, delaying but not deterring his musical work; another who founded a special educational and therapeutic approach through music for people with autism; and two others who, each at age four, discovered the piano as the result of critical medical therapies—hearing beautiful music from a neighbor’s piano after receiving a first hearing aid to address profound deafness, and being prescribed piano-playing by a hand surgeon as a form of physiotherapy.”