The Santander International Competition is looking for the best pianists in the world

The six young finalists of the XX Santander International Piano Competition They assured that winning would mean a lot to everyone. but “a challenge of the competition is not to think about the prizes because it goes against the music”: “The worst thing is to lose concentration, and that’s why we have to eliminate these thoughts from our minds”. Of the 21 participants in one of the most important competitions in the world concerning this instrument from all over the world, only six have reached the final, which takes place this evening.

That’s what he said today Domonkos Csabay, one of the six pianists who will play in the final of a competition that everyone has pointed out is “among the best in the world”, and underlines its particular character, since the finals of this type of competition are usually played between three pianists. For someone like Matya Novakto be in the last round of the contest is “a dream come true”, while Xiaolu Zang he is “surprised” to have been chosen, and everyone agrees that “you have to have fun on stage”. They also highlighted the atmosphere of camaraderie between them. “We discuss, we help each other; It’s very beautiful,” Zang said.

They also agreed on the “very high level” of this edition –“six are not enough to reflect the high quality of the competition”, according to Zang–, and that it was difficult to overcome the different sleeves. , while “very inspiring to listen to yourself”, in the words of Jaeden Izik-Dzurko.

The President: Paloma O’Shea

The level was also highlighted by the founding president of the Santander International Piano Competition, Paloma O’Sheaand the principal conductor of the Spanish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra (RTVE), Paul Gonzalezwho will accompany the finalists in their performance at the Palacio de Festivales, during the press conference to present the young hopefuls.

O’Shea stressed that “whatever happens”, Yu Nitahara (Japan, 31), Marcel Tadokoro (France/Japan, 28), Matyá Novák (Czech Republic, 23), Xiaolu Zang (China, 22 years), Domonkos Csabay (Hungary, 31 years old) and Jaeden Izik-Dzurko (Canada, 22 years old) “have achieved something very important: to be finalists, in addition to They gave great musical moments during the qualifying phases.

Along the way, he said that the 20 pianists who arrived in Santander are “magnificent” and invited the public to attend the two finals at the Palacio de Festivales to enjoy “jewels on the piano”. “Two exciting musical evenings await us which also take place within the framework of the Santander International Festival, which is a real privilege for us. And even more now, when the FIS has been able to position itself among the most prestigious festivals in Europe”, underlined O’Shea, who also praised the “great musician” that is González and the Casals Quartet.

Paloma O’Shea recalled the contribution of the event to the world of music in Santander and around the world, and said that she still had a lot of work to do, such as the schedule of concerts for the winner, which is “l ‘one of the most important’ than the competition. “We will see in the future,” he commented.

Brahms, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky…

González highlighted the “impressive level” of this year’s competitors, which you were “impressed by their maturity”, in addition to the fact that four of them have never played with an orchestra the piece with which they compete in the final, which shows “an immense talent”. The maestro invited the public to enjoy “true piano gems, such as the first concerto by Brahms, which will be played twice, the third by Prokofiev, that by Tchaikovsky, the third by Rachmaninoff and the third by Bartók”he said, remembering that the contestants choose the part.

Nitahara, who said he was “very happy” to be in Santander, explained that he chose Brahms for the final because he “loves” him – he was the composer he selected throughout long of the contest – and said he hopes to enjoy the time of the end.

Tadokoro described Prokofiev’s play as “brilliant, funny and sometimes devilish”. you have chosen ; while Novák pointed to the fame of the Santander contest, also in the Czech Republic, and considered it a dream come true to be able to compete in the final. As for his piece, also op. 15 by Brahms, explained that it is “very emotional” for him to be able to play it because he had been practicing it for five years at his grandmother’s house and it was the last one he practiced when she died a year ago. year; an emotion he hopes to “reflect tonight”.

Zang also congratulated himself on having taken part in one of the greatest musical competitions in the world and will do so with Tchaikovsky, with whom he has been “in love” since the age of 15, with a piece of contrasts, with strong and weak elementswhich “starts like a bomb” and becomes vulnerable.

Csabay pointed out that the course’s repertoire is very diverse, unlike others, which he finds “very interesting”, and on Bartók’s piece he underlined its “beauty”; while Izik-Dzurko confessed that he likes the “broadness” of the competition and its variety, while the Rachmaninoff concerto he chose is one of his “favorites”.

a televised gala

The award ceremony will take place today, August 5, at 6:00 p.m., at the Palace of Festivals of Cantabria. The jury will announce the winners in an act that will feature the performances of the winners of the top three prizes and will be led by presenter Eva Sandoval.

Admission is free and can be collected at the Palais des Festivals ticket office, but it will also be broadcast live on the Santander International Piano Competition YouTube, on RTVE Play and on Radio Clásica of Radio Nacional de España. RTVE 2 will broadcast it at 8:00 p.m.

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