by Daniel Hathaway
Given relatively spacious blank canvases to work with, Friday evening’s pianists took different approaches to curating and performing their 40-minute solo programs in the Second Session of the Semifinal Round in Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
22-year-old Jiarui Cheng, born in Nanjing, China and now pursuing a degree with Kathryn Brown at the Cleveland Institute of Music after studies at the Shanghai Conservatory’s Middle School, crafted an engaging playlist with a built-in crescendo of musical intensity.
He began by quietly capturing our attention with an introspective Scarlatti Sonata, then took us on an eventful boat ride via a Chopin Barcarolle, and ended (almost — there was more to come) with Rachmaninoff’s kaleidoscopic Corelli Variations. [Read more…]