Following the 2015 Honens Piano Competition Finalists’ performances with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra on Friday night, 22-year-old Italian pianist Luca Buratto has won first place.
After the Buratto closed with a performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.3 in C major, Op.26, he was asked if he would continue to compete. With a sense of relief, he responded that winning the Honens means he probably won’t need to.
The Honens Piano Competition is the world’s largest piano prize and represents a career development program worth over a half-million dollars, and $100,000 in cash.
Buratto narrowly beat out finalist Henry Kramer (United States ) and Artem Yasynskyy (Ukraine) who will each receive a Raeburn Prize, valued at $10,000.
The first place award includes worldwide general management by Honens, a possible recording contract with the Hyperion label, and a residency at The Banff Centre.
Buratto is expected to embark on a recital tour this season with unconfirmed stops in Berlin, London, Munich, New York, Paris and Toronto. Past winners have also received mentorships with piano luminaries Emanuel Ax, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Jeremy Denk, Angela Hewitt, Stephen Hough, Hélène Mercier, and Lars Vogt.
“All of us on the jury, as well as the audiences at Jack Singer Concert Hall, have experienced two weeks of exhilarating, world-class pianism,” Jury Chairman Charles Hamlen said in a press release statement. “We offer our sincerest congratulations to all of the pianists, with a special nod to 2015 Honens Laureate, Luca Buratto.”
Luca Buratto first caught the public’s attention in 2003, after performing music by his great grandfather Renzo Massarani on Holocaust Remembrance Day, at the Sala Verdi of the Conservatory of Milan. He went on to win third prize in the 2012 International Robert Schumann Competition and the ‘Acerbi’ prize at Milan’s Shura Cherkassky International Piano Competition. In 2013-14, he competed in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and the Gina Bachauer International Artists Competition in Salt Lake City.
During the competition, Buratto would start each day by watching the U.S. Open tennis tournament on television for inspiration. After witnessing the coup of Italian tennis player Roberta Vinci’s upset over Serena Williams just before his final performance on Friday, the timing could not have been better.
As he told the Calgary Herald last night, “Today, is maybe Italian day.”
The seven-member jury included Alessandra Ammara, Janina Fialkowska, Pedja Muzijevic, Jeremy Geffen, Charles Hamlen, Paul Hughes, and Costa Pilavachi.