In the memories of all those who attended this year’s annual Piano Competition Final on Tuesday 7th November, the standard of performance in this competition has never been higher. Not only were so many of the works performed this year exceptionally challenging for the performers, among them Ballades 1 and 3 by Chopin, Schubert’s Impromptu in E flat and Polichinelo by Villa-Lobos, many more were played with remarkable musicianship, technical control and accuracy. The fifteen finalists were chosen from a very strong field of nearly forty competitors, many of whose preliminary round performances would have been worthy of the final in another year. For this alone, the pupils selected for the final should be very proud.
Five performances were heard in each of the three categories of Junior (Y7-10, up to grade 5), Intermediate (Y7-10, grades 6 and above) and Senior (Y11-13, grades 6 and above). The competition final was adjudicated by Professor John Irving, fortepiano recitalist and professor of music at the universities of Bristol and London. Before the very challenging task of selecting three winners, Professor Irving discussed the importance of the player’s imagination in realising both the expressive and technical possibilities within each piece. He went on to select Jack (8HB, Junior), Joseph (8RXH, Intermediate) and Borimir (12LMO, Senior) as the winners of their respective categories. Congratulations to them all.