Honens International Piano Competition announces its ten semi-finalists

18 May 2022
By Ellie Palmer
The competition will take place in Calgary from 20-28 October 2022

Ten exceptional pianists aged 21-31 have advanced to the semi-finals of the Honens International Piano Competition.

The competitors will represent seven countries: Austria, Hungary, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Ukraine, and the United States. Only one pianist will be named the 2022 Honens Prize Laureate and win one of the world’s largest awards of its kind—$100,000 (CAD) and a comprehensive, three-year artistic and career development programme.

The ten semi-finalists are:

  • Ádám Balogh (Hungary)
  • Rachel Breen (United States)
  • Ɓukasz Byrdy (Poland)
  • Sae Yoon Chon (South Korea)
  • Dmytro Choni (Ukraine)
  • George Fu (United States)
  • Simon Karakulidi (Russia)
  • Aleksandra Kasman (United States)
  • Illia Ovcharenko (Ukraine)
  • Philipp Scheucher (Austria)

Honens Artistic Director Jon Kimura Parker comments, "We’re thrilled to welcome these ten outstanding semi-finalists to our Calgary and online audiences this October. The First Jury had a difficult task in selecting just ten pianists to advance from our 50 chosen quarter-finalists, but each juror offered unique expertise based on their diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.”

The First Jury, comprised of Louise Bessette, Loie Fallis, Roman Rabinovich, and Gilles Vonsattel, reviewed the quarter final recitals and interviews that were recorded in Frankfurt and New York in March. 

At the finals in October, each semi-finalist will perform two recitals (20-24 October): a 65-minute, self-programmed, solo recital including a newly commissioned eight-minute work by Canadian pianist/composer Stewart Goodyear and a 60-minute solo/ollaborative recital with violinist Martin Beaver.

Three pianists will advance to the finals (27-28 October) for a performance of a Mozart concerto with the Viano String Quartet, a set of Schubert lieder with mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó, a 30-minute interview with an arts journalist, and a concerto of their choosing with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Jeffrey Kahane. The 2022 Honens Prize Laureate will be announced following the conclusion of the finals on 28 October.

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Tickets for the competition can be found here. The competition will also be livestreamed for free via IDAGIO.

About Honens

The Honens International Piano Competition takes place every three years in Calgary, Canada. It was founded by philanthropist Esther Honens in1991. She made a gift of $5 million to endow The Esther Honens International Piano Competition Foundation. The inaugural Honens Competition took place in 1992. Esther Honens passed away at age 89 – five days after seeing her dream come true.