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We asked for details a bit late, but wanted our readers to know that WCLV, 104.9 FM, will be re-broadcasting the concerto performances of the Final Four this week on the station’s Big Work at One series. Here’s the schedule:

Tuesday, August 11 at 1 pm: fourth-place winner Evgeny Brakhman in Rachmaninoff’s third concerto.

Wednesday, August 12 at 1 pm: third-place winner William Youn in Brahms’ first concerto.

Thursday, August 13 at 1 pm: second place winner Dmitri Levkovich in Rachmaninoff’s second concerto.

Friday, August 14 at 1 pm: first-place winner Martina Filjak in Rachmaninoff’s second concerto.

Any remaining time before two p.m. each day will feature Martina Filjak in solo performances from earlier rounds of the competition.


SH2903Inevitable comparisons: in a competition, you want to listen to every performance as if you’re hearing both the piece and the performer for the first time, but with two versions of Rachmaninoff’s second concerto scheduled on two adjacent nights, what’s a listener to do but think about each of them in relation to the other. Both are still ringing in the ears.

Croatian pianist Martina Filjak made an immediate impression with her carefully wrought crescendo and intensifying coloration of the famous opening chords and bass punctuation that begin Rach 2. Same conductor, same orchestra, but when the other hundred or so musicians on the stage joined Filjak in her musical odessey through this engaging score, it was clear that the soloist was seeing it through a different lens.

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The winners of the 2009 Cleveland International Piano Competition:

Fourth Prize – Evgeny Brakhman

Third Prize – William Youn

Second Prize – Dmitri Levkovich

First Prize – Martina Filjak

Other prizes will be announced at the ceremony on Sunday afternoon.

UPDATED 8/9/09

Junior Jury Prize –  Martina Filjak

Audience Prize – Dmitri Levkovich

Baroque Prize – Hoang Pham

Beethoven Prize – Martina Filjak

Cairns Family American Prize – Sean Chen

Chopin Prize – Soo Yeon Ham

Contemporary Prizes – Evgeny Brakhman and Martina Filjak

Mozart Prize – Evgeny Brakhman

Finalists Martina Filjak and William Youn - Photo Sam Hubish

Finalists Martina Filjak and William Youn - photo Sam Hubish

You’ll find Dan Hathaway’s interview with tonight’s finalists, Martina Filjak and William Youn on Cleveland


It’s a dream come true for Rachmaninoff fans: three concertos (well, two different ones) performed on two adjacent evenings at Severance Hall — followed by a Brahms chaser.

Dmitri Levkovich (30, Canada) and Evgeny Brakhman (28, Russia) both speak Russian not only linguistically but musically. The first round of the CIPC Finals gave these fine young pianists the opportunity to show off their interpretive skills in collaboration with Jahja Ling and the Cleveland Orchestra.

In the orchestral hierarchy, concertos don’t get much rehearsal time compared to symphonic works. In this case, there was even less time to be had: each of the two soloists spent about an hour with the orchestra earlier in the day, after a seance with Maestro Ling on Thursday to talk things through. Every detail can’t have been worked out under those circumstances, but there are hundreds of recordings in circulation that have nothing on what we heard from these two pianists, who were obviously pumped for the occasion. It was quite an evening.

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William Youn and Soo-Yeon Ham played the last notes in the Semi-finals on Wednesday evening — lots of them — and contrasts abounded.

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The pause between rounds today gives us a moment to reflect on a week of extraordinary talent, and speculate on the excitement to come.

After the 8 semi-finalists were announced last night, was surprised to be mostly in accord with the jury’s choices. We’re taken with Dmitri Levkovich, fresh off the heels of winning the Iturbi (Los Angeles), he’s pumped for a second win this year in a major competition. Four of the eight semi-finalists came from group 3–no surprise there. This group was a happy coincidence of the draw for listeners, a real treat! We’ll admit surprise that Japanese contestant Kyoko Soejima did not advance, and that Korean William Youn did, though we’re eager to hear him perform (and prove us wrong) in the next round.

Share your thoughts: Surprises? Disappointments? Who’s moved you so far? What will you be listening for this week? Do tell, let’s use this thread for discussion.

UPDATED Here’s a little more food for thought… Daniel Hathaway’s round up of CIPC Rounds 1 & 2 on

cipcTuesday, August 4

Session 1
1:00 pm – Dmitri Levkovich

Haydn: Sonata in C Major, Hob. XVI: 48
Debussy: Pour le piano
Rachmaninoff:  Preludes, Op. 32, (Nos. 4, 13, 5); Sonata No. 2 in B flat Minor, Op. 36 (with elements from 1913 and 1931)
2:15 pm – Evgeny Brakhman
Messiaen: Cloches d’angoisse et larmes d’adieu (Préludes, No. 6) lle de feu I (Quatre études de rythme, No. 1)
Debussy: Pour les arpèges composés (Douze études, Book II: 11) L’Isle joyeuse
Rachmaninoff: Études-tableaux, Op. 33, Nos. 8, 2, 3; Op. 39, Nos. 1, 2, 9; Sonata No. 2 in B flat Minor, Op. 36 (1931)

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The first and last of the final five competitors to be heard for the second time on Sunday evening thoughtfully chose very interesting repertory, a boon for ears that were about to get a bit weary.

Marina Radiushina (USA) began with a bravura performance of Leighton’s impassioned ‘Fantasia Contrappuntistica (Homage to Bach)’, went on to a beautiful and shamelessly pianistic reading of Handel’s Chaconne in G and ended with a finely paced version of Schumann’s austere Variations on a Theme of Clara Wieck. Elegant, graceful and demonstrating an excellent sense of style and technique, Radiushina made a fine impression.

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Tonight, following the conclusion of Round 2, the CIPC jury will vote, selecting 8 contestants to advance to the semi-final round. The announcement is expected around 11:00 pm Eastern. Check back later for the decision and the semi-final round schedule.

UPDATED The Semi-Finalists in performance order:

Dmitri Levkovich
Evgeny Brakhman
Pallavi Mahidhara
Martina Filjak
Yunqing Zhou
Kuok-Wai Lio
William Youn
Soo-Yeon Ham

cipcSunday, August 2

1:00 pm – Sangyoung Kim (Korea): Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in F sharp Minor, WTC II: 14, Schumann’s Carnaval, Op. 9. 1:40 pm – Kristhyan Benitez (Venezuela): Schumann’s  Kreisleriana, Op. 16, Ruiz’s Merengue (1994). 2:20 pm – Martin Labazevitch (USA): Scarlatti’s Sonatas: K. 162 in E Major, K. 87 in B Minor, K. 125 in G Major, Chopin’s Nocturne in E flat Major, Op. 55, No. 2 Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 52. 3:15 pm – Anna Bulkina (Russia): Gubaydulina’s Chaconne, Beethoven’s Sonata in E flat Major, Op. 81a (Les Adieux), Chopin’s Etude in A minor, Op. 25, No. 11 (“Winter Wind”). 3:55 pm – Edward Neeman (USA/Australia): Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in F sharp Minor, WTC II: 14, Brahms’s Sonata No. 1 in C Major, Op. 1.

7:00 pm – Marina Radiushina (USA): Leighton’s Fantasia Contrappuntistica (Homage to Bach), Op. 24, Handel’s Chaconne in G Major, HWV 435, Schumann’s Variations on a Theme of Clara Wieck from Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 14. 7:40 pm – Ju-Eun Lee (Korea): Scarlatti ‘s Sonatas: K. 119 in D Major, K. 96 in D Major, K. 394 in E Minor, Chopin’s Sonata No. 2 in B flat Minor, Op. 35. 8:20 pm – Alexander Osminin (Russia): Scarlatti’s Sonatas: K. 247 in C sharp Minor, K.118 in D, Karamanov’s Rondo in E Minor, Schumann’s Carnaval, Op. 9. 9:15 pm – William Youn (Korea): Scarlatti’s Sonatas: K. 87 in B Minor, K. 436 in D Major, Brahms’s  Sonata No. 2 in F sharp Minor, Op. 2. 9:55 pm – Soo-Yeon Ham (Korea): Chopin’s 12 Etudes, Op. 25.


2009 CIPC Contestants. Photo: Sam Hubish

As of Thursday evening, all thirty-two contestants have had their first thirty minutes to introduce themselves musically to the two juries, the audience at the Bolton Theatre and, through WCLV broadcasts and CIPC webcasts, to thousands more listeners and viewers in Northeast Ohio and around the world. And we’re happy to note that as of midnight Thursday, more than 2000 people have read this blog’s CIPC coverage.

The last five to be heard in the first round were Marina Radiushina (USA), Ju-Eun Lee (Korea), Alexander Osminin (Russia), William Youn (Korea) and Soo-Yeon Ham (Korea), and their playlists last night gave us two chances to hear Chopin’s ‘Winter Wind’ Etude and Yun’s 5 Klavierstücke in the same session.

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cipcThursday, July 30

1:00 pm — Sangyoung Kim (Korea): Haydn’s Sonata in c, Hob. VXI:20, Chopin’s Etude in g sharp, op. 25, no. 6 & Dutilleux’s Choral & Variations (Sonata). 1:35 pm — Kristhyan Benitez (Venezuela): J.S. Bach’s Toccata in e, BWV 914, Chopin’s Etude in C, op. 10, no. 1 & Beethoven’s Sonata in E-flat, op. 81a (Les Adieux). 2:10 pm — Martin Labazevitch (USA): Haydn’s Sonata in C, Hob. XVI:50, Radzynski’s Mazurka (2008) & Chopin’s Etude in b, op. 25, no. 10. 3:00 pm — Anna Bulkina (Russia): Scarlatti’s Sonatas K. 11 in d and K. 239 in F & Brahms’s Paganini Variations, op. 35. 3:35 pm — Edward Neeman (USA/Australia): Beethoven’s Sonata in C, op. 2, no. 3, Babbitt’s It Takes Twelve to Tango & Chopin’s Etude in b, op. 25, no. 10.

7:00 pm — Marina Radiushina (USA) Beethoven’s Sonata in a-flat, op. 110 & Chopin’s Etude in a, op. 25, no. 11 (‘Winter Wind’). 7:35 pm — Jun-Eun Lee (Korea): Yun’s 5 Klavierstücke, Chopin’s Etude in A-flat, op. 10, no. 10 & Beethoven’s Sonata in E, op. 109. 8:10 pm — Alexander Osminin (Russia): Beethoven’s Sonata in C, op. 2, no. 3 & Chopin’s Etude in a, op. 25, no. 11 (‘Winter Wind’). 8:55 pm — William Youn (Korea): Haydn’s Sonata in C, Hob. XVI:50, Chopin’s Etude in b, op. 25, no. 10 & Yun’s 5 Klavierstücke. 9:30 pm — Soo-Yeon Ham (Korea): Scarlatti’s Sonatas K. 208 in A & K. 209 in A, Haydn’s Sonata in C, Hob. XVI:50 & Ligeti’s Etude No. 6, Book I (Automne a Varsovie).

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