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Friday, June 20, 2008

Talented Teens

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PianoArts of Wisconsin has come a long way in the eight years since its first competition.With the 2008 National Biennial Piano Competition and Music Festival running this week June 20-24 in the Milwaukee area, PianoArts has attracted some serious young talent.The 10 finalists hail from six states, including homelands of China, Singapore and Japan to compete for over $18,000 in prize money including scholarships.

But as stiff as the competition is to make the Top Ten, so are the requirements, which this year include raising the contestants’ ages to 15-19 to allow for college students to compete. In addition, the Competition’s three finalists will perform a full concerto by Mozart or Beethoven with Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and PianoArts Music Director Andrews Sill.Other new changes in 2008 will see each contestant performing a 45-minute semifinal recital that includes duos and the first movement of a concerto with a second pianist as well as a 30-minute semifinal solo recital.Unique to the PianoArts competition is having each contestant speak about the choice of musical works.

The top prize winner now receives $8,000 and a debut recital at the WilsonCenter for the Arts in Brookfield among other performance opportunities which include recitals at the Artist Series of Sarasota, the Green Lake Festival of Music as well as performances as a PianoArtist-in-Residence.

Judges for the Preliminary DVD Round include three Wisconsin-based academicians: Eugene Alcalay, UW-Platteville; Eun-Joo Kwak, CardinalStritchUniversity and Renato Premezzi, BeloitCollege.Judges for the Semifinals and Finals are Victor Rosenbaum, professor of piano at Mannes College of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music; Nelita True, professor of Piano at Eastman School and Diane Walsh, professor of piano at Mannes College of Music.

For tickets and information on the recital schedule call PianoArts at (414) 962-3055, visit www.PianoArts.org, or call the Wisconsin Lutheran College box office, 414) 443-8802.

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