Young Piano Wizards on Parade
Piano Arts presents a weekend competition of top young (aged 10-16) pianists. Who will be the stars of the future?
Piano Arts may be best known for their biennial North American Piano Competition for young artists just moving towards a professional career. Less appreciated may be the group’s round-the-calendar nurturing of competition winners to support their careers and to involve them in local music education opportunities. In the off years, Piano Arts organizes a smaller scale, Wisconsin Youth Piano Competition for younger artists (ages 10-16). That competition will be held from June 12 to 15.
Eight semi-finalists will perform the first movements of piano concertos accompanied by professional pianists playing the orchestral parts in intriguingly transcribed renditions of concertos by Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart and Mendelssohn. The concerto competition will begin Sunday, June 14 at 1:00 P.M.. On Monday, June 15 at 2:00 P.M., the finalists will perform chamber music with a quintet that includes musicians from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
Few people other than family, friends and board members tend to attend the free competition performances, but they can be entertaining – if mildly redundant. Hearing young artists struggle to master these great works will restore faith in the emerging talents of the next generation as well as ensure a greater appreciation for the challenges these works offer the performer. In the mix, expect to hear an extraordinary emerging talent, whom you will recall with pleasure after they have emerged into the limelight.
As a part of the competition schedule, Piano Arts will sponsor a professional concert Friday evening June 12 at 7:00 P.M. Themed “Music in Vienna,” the concert will showcase a piano four hands with pianists Stefanie Jacob and competition judge Tyler Wottrich playing Mozart’s Sonata in C and a selection of Mozart arias from The Magic Flute by Opera on Tap co-founders Kirstin Roble and Henry Hammond. Continuing the nurturing tradition, Julian Rhee, a young local virtuoso violinist with many competition wins behind him at only age 14, will perform a Beethoven sonata. True to the Piano Arts education agenda, local favorite Steve Bassoon will share his perspectives on the Viennese musical tradition.
All events will take place at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, 1584 North Prospect Avenue, Milwaukee. Tickets for the Friday evening concert ($25-$40 general or $12-20 students) may be purchased at the door or at 414-962-3055.