DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

UPDATE | Three Strong Performances But The Cliburn Winner Is TBA

By Arthur Kaptainis on June 10, 2017

Rachel Cheung of Hong Kong performs with the Brentano String Quartet on Thursday in the Final Round of the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition held at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo: Carolyn Cruz)

FORT WORTH, TX – Briefly, because within hours the final results of the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition will be flooding the airwaves: We had a fight on Friday night. Between nations, selections and, inevitably, styles.

First to speak was Yury Favorin, 30, in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Here was industrial strength playing from a faithful exponent of the Moscow Conservatory. No need for the brass and percussion of the Fort Worth Symphony under Leonard Slatkin to hold back. Not with this muscleman at the keyboard. 

It could be argued that the great cadenza of the first movement — in formal point of fact, the development — should have had more ups and downs in intensity. And Favorin has a curious tendency to hang tough where Prokofiev appears to offer (as in the “lullaby” tune of final movement) poetic relief. Still, there is something about his all-business style that commands respect. “He bores me in a good way,” was the explanation I offered a baffled colleague.

Next came Kenneth Broberg, 23, who got a big welcome and bigger ovation for Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Of course, the piece itself is an audience favourite, but this American contestant smartly characterized each variation and captured the gravity of the darker invocations. There was a nice turn in that charmingly understated final measure.

Will either of these worthies withstand Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 as rendered blazingly clear by Yekwon Sunwoo, 28, of South Korea? Hearing all the notes might not be the sine qua non in the more mysterious interludes of the first two movements, which need colour, not crispness. But Sunwoo created a riveting finale. And the applause! There are competitions that do not permit curtain calls. Something tells me this rule would not work in Texas. 

The second and final concerto round starts at 4 p.m. eastern time. If you are in Fort Worth, stroll over to Sundance Square to watch the outdoor simulcast. Elsewhere, tune in http://cliburn2017.medici.tv.

For more CLASSICAL MUSIC NEWS, visit HERE.

#LUDWIGVAN

Arthur Kaptainis

Arthur Kaptainis has been the classical music critic of the Montreal Gazette since 1986 and wrote for the National Post 2010-2016. His articles have appeared in Classical Voice North America and La Scena Musicale as well as Ludwig Van. Arthur holds an MA in musicology from the University of Toronto.

Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

THE SCOOP | Netflix Announces Leonard Bernstein Bio-Pic With Bradley Cooper Directing And Starring

By Anya Wassenberg on January 22, 2020

Netflix has committed to a Leonard Bernstein bio-pic helmed by Bradley Cooper, with producers Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Cooper’s partner in his Joint Effort company, Todd Phillips (who directed Joker), on board.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

THE SCOOP | Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Chilly Gonzales named Honorary Fellows of The Royal Conservatory of Music

By Michael Vincent on January 14, 2020

The Royal Conservatory of Music has named conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, pianist Chilly Gonzales, and arts philanthropists James and Louise Temerty as 2020 Honorary Fellows of The Royal Conservatory of Music.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

THE SCOOP | Canadian Stage Cuts Deficit In Half And Forges Ahead With Ambitious Multi-Year Plan

By Anya Wassenberg on January 8, 2020

Canadian Stage recently released their annual report on the 2018/2019 season, with the venerable stage company announcing that their deficit had been cut in half.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.