WCLV PIANO COMPETITION BLOG
One of the most important cultural events in northeast Ohio is the Cleveland International Piano Competition, which concluded on August 5th. WCLV broadcast live every last note of the competition, and whether you attended the sessions in person, or listened to the competition over WCLV, either here in northeast Ohio or from anywhere in the world on the Internet, we invite your opinions and comments – of the contestants, the Competition in general, and/or the broadcasts – and to record them here on the WCLV Piano Competition Blog. WCLV reserves the right to edit and to quote your blog on the air.
Send your blog to firstname.lastname@example.org. No faxes, please.
The Rach 3 was an awesome choice for the finale of the piano competition. Anyways, I was a little disappointed with the results of the You Be the Judge contest. As a math person I understand that given a uniform distribution of possible winners the probability of picking a correct answer is(without regard for order):
Given 75 entries, the expected number of winners is:
This is the number of winners you had. In other words, your viewers did not need to listen to the actual competition. They only needed to guess winners from the given list. In the future, if you would like to insure a correct answer you need more contestants...how many?....well...assuming your contestants all guess at their answers, like they probably did this time, the probability of correctly winning is:
which implies you need about 1680 entries to expect a winner.....
dave stroup 08/06/07
With all due respect I have seen the selections the finalists at tonights Cleveland Orchestra concert are going to perform. If I could have a made a suggestion I would have had them perform either of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concertos No One or Four since they are frequently heard (sic) and as for Tchaikovsky, I would have had one of the finalist play the original scoring of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto 2 in G also very frequently heard and I think works more interesting and challenging then what they are playing this evening which audiences have heard again and again.
Michael Mendelson, Rockville, MD 08/06/07
Note that the concerto choices were those of the contestants, made from a list compiled by the CIPC. RDC
While I was not at all distressed by Alexander Ghindin as first place finisher in the competition, I’ll admit to a degree of unhappiness that Ran Dank didn’t finish higher than fourth place. Of course, I didn’t attend any of the preliminary rounds, only the two evenings of concertos—and what a treat that was! It’s difficult to realize while it’s happening that the competition is judged by the entirety, not just one round at a time, at least once past the semi-finalist stage.
I was able to chat briefly with the Steinway technician on Saturday evening, and he was unable to answer my most pressing question: how can two very capable pianists get such different sounds from the same piano, in the same hall, on the same evening, with the same orchestra and conductor behind them? This phenomenon happened both evenings: Friday with the New York Steinway and Saturday with the Hamburg piano. (I was seated in the balcony, by choice, in very nearly the same seat for both evenings.)
Although I really like the Rach III, and Mr. Ghindin’s performance was spectacular, I’m still in awe of Ran Dank and the Rach II. I have never, in my long life, heard a performance of this work to equal his on Friday night. He drew such marvelous tonal colors from the piano, it will live in my memory for a very long time.
Congratulations to all the winners, and a very special bravo to Jahja Ling, who really worked very hard keeping everyone together.
Kelly Ferjutz, University Circle 08/06/07
Thanks so much for your coverage of the Cleveland International Piano Competition, it really
brightened my week.
Michael, Lorain 08/05/07
What a Great Competition!! It would be fantastic if in the near future we could
view The International Piano Competition on TV. I like to refer to the competion
as the " Piano Olympics "
Anita - 08/05/07
Thank you for providing the WCLV "You Be the Judge" contest for
listeners of the 2007 Cleveland International Piano Competition. It was a
fun thing to participate in, along with my 88 year old mother (Julia Vlasak)
who lives with us. Several years ago when my dad was alive, my parents
attended one of the preliminary rounds of the Casadesus Competition in Cleveland.
(My dad played the piano in area nursing homes and enjoyed listening to
the high quality performers in the competition.)
This year's competition and our involvement in your contest and live listening on
WCLV brought back good memories for my mom and me. We were both lucky
enough to pick at least one of the top winners, and I even picked Alexander Ghindin
as the first place winner!
I hope that on Monday when you announce the grand prize winner of the contest
online that you include how many people actually were able to choose all four
winners in the correct order. We think that there would be only a few entries
that accurate (or maybe only one!). Anyway we have become new listeners
to WCLV FM from now on, and really admire the quality of your radio
programming. Thanks again.
Carol Lindblom - Parma 08/05/07
That was fabulous tonight! Thank the powers that be that Jahja Ling is @ the helm.
I would have loooved to be at the rehearsals on Thursday. Maestro Ling is and was a
joy to watch and hear. He is the frame around the orchestra and soloist. I think
the amazing Cleveland Orchestra and Ling could make me sound good. (OK, that's
stretching it) It would have been even better had I been at Severance.
Can't wait for Act II on Sat.
L.T in Bedford Posted 08/04/07
Amen and I agree entirely with Bill in Urbana. As one who has listened and attended
the compettion for many, many years it was a joy to see how Andreas had not only
improved, mellowed and grown with his music but also with his personal appearance
as well. I wish him all the best with his concertizing around the world.
Nan in Waite Hill 08/03/07
I grew up with WCLV and am pleased that after all these years, the station has
such great and diverse programming even if some of the advertisments are
repitious (hey, all the promo spots on all the "public radio" stations around the
country are equally so, and I am glad that WCLV is able to secure such loyal
But to the point of the CIPC--when the promotions started for this
back in June, I though ho'hum, but by last weekend, I got so much into this,
even with the repetition of the repertoire, that I had to drag my laptop to the
garage just so I could hear all the contestents. As nothing more than
amateur, but long-time, music listener I started working on "You be the
Judge." My disappointment at not picking the final four was overshadowed by
the surprise that the judges did not select Andreas Zlabys for the finals. His semi-final
round was subtle, precise, romantic, energetic, balanced, and artistic in all the right spots.
The range he demonstrated going from the Debussy to the Franck, and
then Prokofiev was remarkable and mature. By contrast at least two of the other
finalists struck me as either overbearing (a bit too heavy on the keys) or too pedestrian.
But, as I say, I am not any more of an expert of piano composition that I would be if I
were trying to judge an Olympic figure skating competition and second guess the
panel there. In any case, kudos to Mr. Zlabys, kudos to the CIPC organization, and
most of all kudos to WCLV
Bill, Urbana, IL 08/02/07
Just a quick note to let you know how much my family and I are enjoying
listening to the piano competition - what talent! In the words of my 5 year old -
that Russian man really rocks!
Paul Bock, Independence 08/02/07
Thank you WCLV for your live coverage of the piano competition every year it is
held here in Cleveland! I always look forward to listening when I can and trying to figure
out who I think will continue to the next round. It must be difficult for the judges to decide
from such a talented group of musicians. I was however surprised that Helene Tysman
was selected in the semi-final rounds after hearing her Chopin in the second round.
I was especially captivated by Nino Cocciarella's second round performance and Daria
Rabotkina's as well. I think that all of the performers must have put all of their time, energy,
and heart into presenting the music to the best of their abilities and it really showed.
I also enjoyed the variety of some of the pianists repertoire, I especially liked the variety of the
20th century selections such as Mayumi Sakamoto's piece by a Japanese composer (can't
remember who it was). How lucky we are in Cleveland to host such an event. I am glad that
I don't have to be the one to judge and eliminate, especially because of the level of
talent that is displayed in the competition, I would want them all to win something for their
effort and performances. Thanks again for broadcasting this wonderful event!
Julie, Cleveland Heights 7/31/07
Even as an amateur music lover, I find the exclusion of Ching-Yun Hu from the
semi-finals to be surprising. I do not mean to take anything away from the jury's
selections, and I assume that the jury had good reasons for excluding Ms. Hu. But
I found Ms. Hu's playing to be astonishingly moving and absorbing. Every note was
thought through and every note seemed to be placed exactly where Ms Hu wanted it.
The result was startling fresh, and unless I am simply projecting my own taste, the
audience was clearly captivated. I suspect that Ms. Hu's interpretations were thought
to be unorthodox, for she brought new meaning to old pieces and a deep meaning to
new pieces. I hope that the jury was not looking for a cookie cutter interpretation that
would hinder them from seeing a pianism that I believe will rejuvenate the concert hall.
Peter Gerhart, Shaker Heights. 07/31/07
I've listened to (most of) the competitions since WCLV has been airing them.
Bravo to both organizations, I say! I rather liked the older pattern of a specific
required piece for all the entrants to perform. It gave those of us who aren't perhaps
overly familiar with the entire piano repertoire a sort of benchmark as to technique
and interpretation. Because of the way contests are judged, it's only logical that
each performer wants to play to his or her own strengths and tastes, as filtered
through those of their teachers.
It was a tad wearing, sometimes, to be sure, but still I really enjoyed the
Casadesus Toccata from the early 90s, and think that would be a great piece for
demonstrating one's ability to handle a certified 'knuckle-buster'. As for interpretation,
how about something 'simple' such as "Liebestraum" (Liszt) or "Claire de Lune"? We all
know these are not really simple pieces to play, they just look that way on the printed
page. After that, it would then be the pianist's choice from a list as provided now.
Then there is the third element of piano artistry--collaborative. The competition already
features solo and concerto rounds. Not all pianists understand the collaborative aspect,
and overpowering the weaker-voiced violin or cello does not prove one's capability. Yet,
young pianists are frequently invited to perform in this capacity, based on having won or
placed highly in various competitions. Perhaps a semi-final round could feature a sonata
for piano and another instrument as an example of this particular art. This is in NO way
meant as a criticism of this piano competition, which is as professionally organized as it
is possible to be. Rather it is merely a suggestion for future years.
Kelly from Cleveland 07/29/07
I always enjoy listening to the Cleveland International Piano Competition on the internet, but I find the required repetoire to be just a bit boring. Most of the composers appear to have been chosen on the basis of their ability to make the aristocrats of the ancien regime feel comfortable in their privileged status at the concert hall or within the walls of their grand chateaux. Personally, I would like to see the repertoire expanded to include music that might amuse those of us who are members of the serving classes. How about requiring every contestant to play their own classical arrangement of a medley that includes La Marseillaise, Le Regiment de Sambre et Meuse (Go, Buckeyes!), and L'Internationale?
I have not been listening on the radio to the piano competition as I have been present
The announcer has a lovely and pleasing voice. At 855 she introduced the selections of Ching-Yun Hu as starting with the
Haydn - opps that was Bach. No biggie. Then after that introduced the Haydn as Bach - he he he he - opps times 2.
Thanks for the chuckle.
However, it was the pianist who didn't stick to the original order of the works. Our announcers don't pretend
to be mind readers. RDC
I'm in love with the announcer who is handling the Piano Competition broadcasts, but she shouldn't try to
second guess the pianists between numbers. More times than not, she has been caught by the pianist's
quick turn-around. She should simply not talk between pieces.
Jack from Cleveland Heights 07/28/07
at the event from the beginning; however, I went to this BLOG to check out what radio
listeners have been saying. I can't understand the negative comments. We in Cleveland
are more than fortunate to have a 24 hour classical station with pros at the helm, ready,
willing and able to bring this marvelous event that people around the world would give an
arm and a leg to hear. I personally would like to thank WCLV for all they are doing, no matter
how they are doing it. And to Bill, your silly comment is one coming from someone
incapable of playing this challenging and brilliant music. These young artists
are thrilling to watch and to appreciate for their years and years and hours and hours of
Linda from Shaker Hts. 07/29/07