Sunday, December 17th, 2017

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Cleveland International Piano Competition “Encore”

 

 

Encore! The benefit for the Cleveland International Piano Competition (CIPC) truly was an encore, as the performers at the fundraiser were past medalists from recent competitions. Stanislav Khristenko was first place in 2013, Nikita Mndoyants, Leonardo Colafelice and Dinara Klinton were first, second and third in the 2016 competition. These talented pianists in the early stage of their professional careers are headliners in the classical music realm; they accompany orchestras and perform at music festivals all over the world.

The stage was set for 270 guests, with four stunning grand pianos set in the center of the InterContinental’s dining room. The performers were surrounded by their audience, and just a few yards from them as well. The intimate setting was conducive to attentive listening. Before dinner, guests were treated to four solo pieces, one by each performer, pieces that ranged from playful to haunting, and all completely moving and technically proficient.

Dinner was beef tenderloin and Faroe Island salmon at tables subtly decorated in black and white with just a touch of red. The performers seated with guests for the meal reflected the real affection between musicians and audience members. After dinner, the performers doubled up to perform two duets, then doubled up again to perform Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice on all four pianos. As a special treat, the four pianists then squeezed together to play a piece for one keyboard and eight hands. One sour note late in the piece ignited a fit of giggles among the players just as the performance ended.

The organization presents two major piano competitions: The Cleveland International Piano Competition and Festival for artists ages 18 to 30 and the CIPC Young Artists for 12 to 17 year olds. The events are held once every four years, alternating every two years. The next event will be the CIPC Young Artists in May/June, 2018. Since CIPC’s inception over 40 years ago, the competition, in 21 editions has hosted more than 1,000 pianists here in Cleveland, and awarded 84 medalists from across the globe. The competition has developed a devoted fan base that follows the competitors through webcasts and traditional broadcasting on WCLV/Ideastream.

Encore! Raised more than $60,000 for the Cleveland International Piano Competition, but also left its audience looking forward to more excellent piano music in the coming years.

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY RITA KUEBER

 

 

 

 

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