by Daniel Hathaway
Why put international piano competition finalists through a chamber music test between their solo and concerto rounds? Because there’s no better indicator of musicianship than one’s ability to function in a team. And since pianists tend to spend long hours all by themselves in practice rooms, collaborating in chamber music with other musicians is a healthy, socializing activity that can produce wonderful results. (Photo: Yaron Kohlberg welcomes the audience on August 3.)
Thus it was that over the course of two evenings, the four finalists in the 2021 Cleveland International Piano Competition joined the Escher String Quartet onstage at Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art to perform their choice of works from a list of five piano quintets.
On Tuesday, Byeol Kim chose César Franck’s Piano Quintet in f. Yedam Kim followed with Robert Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E-flat. On Wednesday, both Lovre Marušić and Martín García García selected Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in g. (Dvořák No. 2 and Brahms, the other possibilities, went unclaimed.)
That made things interesting for the audience and jury on the one hand, and for the Escher on the other. [Read more…]