Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition

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Stephen Beus performs in the 2006 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition
Stephen Beus performs in the 2006 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition

The Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition is based in Salt Lake City, Utah and is the second largest piano competition in the United States.[1]

The competition has four age categories: the International Artists Competition for pianists aged 19–32, the Young Artist Competition ages 14–18, the Junior Competition ages 11–13, and the Tots Competition ages 2–10. A Pre-Tots division is planned for 2014.

The competition is managed by the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation, a non-profit organization. The Foundation hosts regular piano competitions, concerts, and festivals on a four-year cycle.[2]

History[edit]

Dr. Paul Pollei speaks at the Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition
Dr. Paul Pollei speaks at the Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition

The Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition was founded in 1976 by Dr. Paul Pollei. It was hosted by Brigham Young University as part of the Summer Piano Festival from 1976 to 1980. In 1978 Gina Bachauer's widower, Alec Sherman, announced that the name of Gina Bachauer was to be given to the Competition in honor of his wife, the celebrated Greek pianist who was popular in Utah, having appeared with Maurice Abravanel and the Utah Symphony.[3]

The Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition became part of the Utah Symphony in 1982 and relocated to SLC. The competition was held every other year during the month of June and the Gold Medalist received a Steinway grand piano and a recital debut in New York City. In 1983, the Foundation was admitted as a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions based in Geneva, Switzerland. Candidates from more than 40 countries have participated as contestants in the Foundation’s competitions.[4]

More than 1,000 pianists have competed in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competitions and cash prizes totaling more than $300,000 have been awarded. The competition is renowned for launching the careers of duo-pianists Gail Niwa and Lori Sims.

Winners[edit]

Laureates of the 2006 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition
Laureates of the 2006 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition

The Gold Medal winners of the International Artists Competitions are:

Other notable laureates include Armen Babakhanian (1991), Mehmet Okonsar (1991), Violetta Egorova (1991), Kevin Kenner (1988), Vassily Primakov (2002), Lev Vinocour (2002), Luiza Borac (1998), and Junior competitors Nareh Arghamanyan (2000), Colleen Lee (1993), Rachel Cheung (2004), Aristo Sham (2008), Leonardo Colafelice (2012), Aimi Kobayashi (2012), Tony Yike Yang (2012), and Josh Wright[5] (2010).

Critical response[edit]

Several members of the press have noted the high caliber of talent of Bachauer competitors. The Deseret News said "only the best try out for the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition."[6] CBC News said "those chosen are considered the cream of the young virtuoso world. Finalists often end up being offered scholarships to music academies, moving on to classical music careers."[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]