by Daniel Hathaway
Citing a particularly strong set of applicants, the Cleveland International Piano Competition has invited two extra contestants to compete in the 2013 contest, which will begin at Gartner Auditorium of the Cleveland Museum of Art on July 30 and move to Severance Hall for the final round with The Cleveland Orchestra under Stefan Sanderling on August 9 & 10, with the award ceremony on August 11.
The thirty-two pianists come from seventeen different countries. The largest group is from China (6 contestants), followed by Russia (5) and the United States (4). Poland and Taiwan are represented by two contestants each, and the rest hail from Australia, Belarus, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Ukraine and Vietnam.
Contestants’ ages run from 18 to 30 (the whole range of eligibility), with twelve between 18 and 25, eight between 26 and 27, and another dozen between 28 and 30. This year, men are in the ascendency (twenty-four to eight women). To view photos and learn more about the individual participants, visit CIPC’s contestants page.
Under its new executive director, Pierre van der Westhuizen, the 2013 Competition will become part of a piano festival, including “Play Me, I’m Yours”, an installation of decorated street pianos in cooperation with Case Western Reserve University from mid-July through mid-August, and a range of conversations, roundtables and films, a CIPC Young Artists Showcase Recital, masterclasses, and other pianocentric activities during the competition itself. 2011 gold medalist Alexander Schimpf will play Mozart’s thirteenth concerto with Joel Smirnoff and CityMusic Cleveland at the opening ceremony on July 30. The CIPC Bravo Piano Gala will be held at Severance Hall on August 10.