11 December 2017
The winners were announced of one of Europe’s premier duo competitions, held in Bucharest over 10 days in late Autumn
It’s a happy coincidence that just as this special duet issue of Pianist recently hit the shelves, the winners were announced of one of Europe’s premier duo competitions, held in Bucharest over 10 days at the end of October.
The Suzana Szörenyi International Duo Competition began in 2016 and is named after the pianist who, born in the city in 1929, returned there to join the newly founded conservatoire as a student after a childhood spent in Hungary. Szörenyi was a member of the piano faculty until her retirement in 2010; she died three years later at the age of 84. She specialised in teaching the art of accompaniment and duo playing: ‘Between the two partners of a duo,’ she remarked, ‘it is impossible for life not to exist, because in a duo, the partners are equal in importance. A competition is the desire of the two artists to always make real art.’
The second year of the competition attracted 56 applications; it is one of the worldwide piano competitions recognised by the Alink-Argerich foundation. An elimination round leads directly into the final, where competitors present a 15-minute recital including one Classical-era piece. The main jury included Chenyin Li, who (we are proud to say) records the covermount CD for Pianist.
In the four-hands section of the competition, third prize went to the Chinese duo of Zhang Tianran and Chen Chaoi. First prize was shared between another Chinese duo, Yujie Kang/Yuxin Jiao, and the Japanese duo of Mika Yamamoto/Mimoe Todo.
In the two pianos section, Ekaterina Berezan/Alina Sherniakova took third prize, second prize went to the German siblings Ada Aria and Ead Anner Rückschloss; first prize of 4000 Euros was won by the Romanian pair of Florian Mitrea and Alexandra Văduva (pictured), who have both been resident in the UK for several years; they formed their duet while both students at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
A third category in the competition was dedicated to ‘lyric-dramatic’ duos: the prize-winners were Florina Ilie/Daniel Dascălu (Third), Michael Rakotoarivony/Teodora Oproşor (Second) and the winners were George Ion Vîrban/Mirian Elena Draşovean, another Romanian duo. A section of the competition is also dedicated to amateurs, and the Audience Prize went to Rakotoarivony/Oproşor.
If you love duets, pick up a copy of issue No 99 today! Lots of articles about piano duets and FIVE duet scores inside!