GINA BACHAUER INTERNATIONAL YOUNG ARTISTS PIANO COMPETITION, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, June 30
The Gina Bachauer Young Artists Competition came to a close Saturday in the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. Six young pianists from five countries and ranging in age from 15 to 18 years competed for honors and cash prizes.
Coming out on top was 16-year-old Leonardo Colafelice from Italy, who in addition to the gold medal walked away with $8,000. The teenager gave a wonderfully expressive and musical account of the first movement of Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto to capture top honors.
Coming in second was 15-year-old Bolai Cao from China; third place went to Aimi Kobayashi, 16, from Japan.
Leading off the bottom three was Jung Eun Kim, 18, from Korea, in fourth place. The two Americans in the final round, 17-year-old Mackenzie Melemed and 18-year-old Fantee Jones, finished fifth and sixth respectively.
Second to sixth place winners were awarded cash prizes ranging from $6,000 to $2,000.
Rachmaninoff proved to be a popular composer for the competitors. Both Melemed and Jones played the opening movement of the composer’s Second Concerto, while Cao played the first movement from Tchaikovsky’s B flat minor Concerto. Kobayashi performed the first movement from Chopin’s Concerto in E minor and Kim played the opening movement from Beethoven’s Concerto No. 4.
Accompanying them was Colette Valentine, who showed remarkable pianism and a refined sense of her role as accompanist throughout the evening.
Judging the competition were Douglas Humpherys, Bernadene Blaha, Justas Dvarionas, Frank Lévy, Ning Lu, Yong Hi Moon, Yoshi Nagai and Uta Weyand.
Final round performances will be aired on Classical 89 from July 16-20 at 9 a.m. and rebroadcast at 3 p.m.
The Bachauer competition returns in June 2014 when it’s going to be the International Artists Competition for pianists between 19 and 32 years of age.