September 17th: Eric Lu wins Leeds Piano competition and the ARD competition comes to a close

Monday 17th September 2018

Classical Music – News Round-Up

US pianist Eric Lu wins top prize at Leeds competition

The 19th Leeds piano competition was won on Saturday night by Eric Lu, a 20-year-old from Boston in the United States, whose sparkling and supremely confident performance of Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto secured him the top place, and also the Hallé orchestra prize.

The rebooted competition, held every three years, was co-founded 55 years old ago by Dame Fanny Waterman, and rapidly established itself as one of the world’s foremost piano events.

Twenty-four finalists aged between 20 and 29 were chosen from first rounds held in April in Berlin, New York and Singapore.

The second round, in Leeds in early September, whittled that number down to 10, from which five finalists were selected, who each performed a concerto with the Hallé orchestra and conductor Edward Gardner in concerts in Leeds town hall on Friday and Saturday night.

(via The Guardian)

Brains of jazz and classical musicians work differently, study reveals

A study published by the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) in January found that musicians who work in the two fields demonstrate substantially different brain activity, even when they’re playing the same music.

The research could help explain why musicians seem to excel in one or other style, and not usually in both.

The study outlines two steps in playing the piano: what the pianist is going to play – meaning the keys they press – and how they are going to play – which fingers they should use.

Classical pianists tend to focus on the second step – the ‘how’. This means their focus is on technique and the personal expression they add to the piece.

Jazz pianists on the other hand focus on the ‘what’, meaning they are always prepared to improvise and adapt the notes they’re playing.

(via ClassicFM)

Internationaler Musikwettbewerb der ARD

Seit 1952 beim BR stattfindender Klassik-Wettbewerb, inzwischen eine der renommiertesten und größten Veranstaltungen dieser Art. Teilnahmeberechtigt sind Musiker aller Nationen. Das Höchstalter richtet sich nach der Kategorie und liegt zumeist zwischen 29 und 32 Jahren.

Jedes Jahr Ende August/ Anfang September kommen zahlreiche Nachwuchsmusiker nach München, um in einer der jeweils vier  Wettbewerbskategorien ihr Können unter Beweis zu stellen. Mit insgesamt 21 Fächern, die jährlich wechseln, ist er der weltweit größte Musikwettbewerb.

The ARD International Music Competition (Internationaler Musikwettbewerb der ARD), held once a year in Munich, came to a close this weekend after running for two weeks. 

This year’s competition saw the first instance of a female winning the 1st trumpet prize, and a slight uproar in the piano trio category. 

All performances over the past two weeks are available to stream here