25 January 2019
By Erica Worth
A jazz Chopin arrangement takes the prize
Congratulations go to Bob Rose from Huddersfield, England, who has won a Kawai CA-98 digital piano!
Rose wowed the judges with a hypnotic, free jazz-style 25-bar Jazz Prelude Op 28 No 4. The opus number belongs to Chopin's own set of 24 Preludes: No 4 is among the simplest (though is Chopin ever simple?) yet most profound of them. Rose made it his own with experimental jazz sequences, yet he retained both the melody line and the sublime desolation of the piece - even keeping to the same number of bars as the original.
A regular reader of Pianist, Rose fell in love with the Kawai model when trying out pianos in a music store. 'I knew I had to enter. I wanted that piano!' he tells us. 'I started on a harder arrangement at first, but I entered with this simpler one, even if I wasn't sure it would be a success. I love super-complicated arrangements!'
Rose studied music from an early age and returned to it recently. 'I'm really developing my classical piano at the moment,' he says. 'I'm learning the original version of Rachmaninov's Second Sonata in preparation for my diploma and I learnt Chopin's "Winter Wind" Etude last month. I made a jazz arrangement of the F minor Nocturne, too.' No shrinking violet! 'I love Pianist,' says Rose, 'and I'm a big fan of Graham Fitch's lessons - he's an amazing resource.' Check out Graham's latest lesson below.
Jazz Prelude Op 28 No 4 will be published in Pianist 108. Thanks to all who entered who ensured a high standard and a tough day of decisions. Our 2020 composing competition (of an original piece) will be launched later in the year.