Saturday, November 7, 2009

Russian pianists triumph in Honens Competition

Russian pianists won the day in the final round of Canada's Honens International Piano Competition, nabbing the top two laureate positions.

Georgy Tchaidze, 21, and Evgeny Starodubtsev, 27, both from Russia were bestowed the First and Second Laureate positions after five pianists performed in the final rounds of the competition Thursday and Friday nights at Calgary's EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts.

Tchaidze and Starodubtsev will get $35,000 and $25,000 respectively.

"It's just incredible … I'm in complete shock," Tchaidze said after he was crowned the winner.

Gilles Vonsattel of Switzerland captured the title of Third Laureate and receives $17,500.

The laureates will also benefit from a career development program.

Rounding out the finalists were Natacha Kudritskaya and Kirill Zwegintsov, both from Ukraine. They will receive $10,000 each.

The competition began with recitals in cities around the world, with 90 contenders under the age of 30.

The top 21 continued on to the quarter-finals in Calgary.

Established in 1991 through a gift of $5 million from the late Calgary philanthropist Esther Honens, the competition seeks to celebrate and help shape the world's most promising young pianists.

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