Pianist, Patron, and Philanthropist: An Interview with Paloma O'Shea


Paloma O'Shea is a pianist, patron of the arts, and philanthropist. In her presence, one senses a formidable intellect, great passion, and a personal distinction that belongs to the age of aristocracy. She is intense, but affable and her eyes twinkle as she talks about her life and great loves. At eighty-three, she&nbs...

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November/December 2018: Piano News


The 2018 Leeds International Piano Competition winners were announced on September 15, 2018. In April 2018, auditions were held in Singapore, Berlin, and New York. From the preliminary round, twenty-four pianists performed in the second round of competition at the University of Leeds, UK. Following the semi-f...

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Preludes: Musical News & Notes


Park, Zhou win 2017 Gina Bachauer Piano Competition Chaeyoung Park and Yun-Chin Zhou earned gold medals at the 2017 Gina Bachauer Piano Competition at The Juilliard School. Park, a native of South Korea, previously studied piano with Jack Winerock and Scott McBride Smith.She is currently studying with Robert McDonald at Juilliard, where she is...

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Cliburn 2017


Every four years, piano fans gather in Fort Worth, Texas, for one of the piano world's biggest parties: the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. At this year's Cliburn—the fifteenth—Yekwon Sunwoo, 28, earned the Gold Medal. Although a native of South Korea, Sunwoo has degrees from Curtis and Juilliard (and, yes, he played the Rach 3). The S...

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DIGITAL-ONLY CONTENT: A conversation with Pamela Mia Paul, pre-screening jurist for the 2017 Cliburn Competition.

Pamela Mia Paul

During January and February of 2017, five jurors traveled the world to choose the 30 finalists for the Cliburn competition. The initial screeners, Lydia Artymiw, Anton Nel, and Angela Cheng, read applications and listened to online videos from 290 initial applicants! That team pared the list down to 146. The pre-screening jury, consisting of Dmitri...

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Our woman at the Cliburn: Judgment is nigh


"Dies Irae." Judgment Day. In Fort Worth, that day is tomorrow, June 10, when, at the end of the three-week Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, final judgment will be passed on the six finalists. How apt, then, that, in Friday's night concerto round, American Kenneth Broberg performed Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43....

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Writing a great critique

The written critique is the single most important responsibility of an MMTA judge. It provides the student with a tangible record of the audition and it may affect and influence the student's development for years to come.   A great critique is nurturing A great critique is always respectful and kind. Set a positive tone by including positive ...

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Procedures and protocols for hiring an evaluator

In groups as large, active, and diverse as most state and local music teacher organizations, the task of hiring an evaluator is one that circulates among different members. While I'm aware that the terms adjudicator and/or judge are probably used more often than evaluator, they are all one and the same. My personal preference is evaluator, as I bel...

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To judge and be judged

Teachers should always strive to provide positive and successful music experiences for their students. Within the walls of the teaching studio, it is much easier to create these experiences—the environment and people involved are familiar, and the teacher has more control of outcomes. However, this is not the case when students leave the studi...

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Repertoire: West Coast Youth Ragtime Competition

Preparing for the West Coast Youth Ragtime Competition We were languishing in the summer doldrums when Ryan, my fourteen-year-old piano student, reminded me of the upcoming West Coast Youth Ragtime Piano Competition held in November. My initial response was reserved. "You know, Ryan, I'm not sure how many of my students will travel to the Sacrament...

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The drama and desperation of the world's most famous piano competition

Eight years ago, someone in Tel Aviv slid a letter under the hotel room door of Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky. A professor in the piano department at Juilliard, Kaplinsky was in Tel Aviv as a juror for the Rubinstein International Piano Competition. The other jurors received the same letter. When she opened the envelope, she was horrified. The letter attac...

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Diverse and above suspicion: Creative juror selection for the future

It's a good thing I wasn't planning a leisurely Sunday coffee and croissant. June 9 was the last day of the quadrennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and, as a visiting critic, my afternoon and evening were packed with activity. The last finals round finished around 5:30 p.m. I hotfooted it ten blocks to my hotel room, wrote a blog p...

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The 2013 laureates: A Cliburn Wrap-up

The Fourteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition ended with the results many observers had predicted, with the gold medal going to a self-assured Vadym Kholodenko, 26, of Ukraine. He delivered a series of impressive performances throughout the seventeen-day contest, several of which had the audience whooping in appreciation, including me....

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Competitions: Pinnacles and Pitfalls - An interview with Daniel Pollack


A prizewinner in the first Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition (1958), Daniel Pollack was invited, following the competition, for a two-month concert tour throughout the Soviet Union, becoming the first American to record on the Soviet Melodya label. Over the next several decades many recordings followed, all of which sold in the millions a...

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Preparing for competitions

Piano instruction in France I grew up in France, where the system of piano instruction is totally different from that of the United States. It is virtually free to the student, costing about three hundred dollars a year. To continue lessons, however, students must pass rigid examinations in piano performance; these include twelve progressive levels...

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The state of international piano competitions: A "frenzy for attention"

Against considerable odds, serious piano study appears to be thriving worldwide. Talented youngsters from East and West continue to crowd into conservatories and study standard repertoire, despite the temptations of popular culture to pursue alternate paths. Many in the piano world worry, however, that this glut of new artists gathering in the mark...

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Views: How Do You Counsel a Student Who Receives an Adjudication Report that Conflicts with Your Teaching?

from the series:The World Around Us: News and Views Helen Smith Tarchalski, Editor Serendipity? Just as I prepared for this issue of Keyboard Companion, one of my high school students received an adjudication report that stopped me in my tracks: "... Although it was an excellent performance I would have liked to hear more focused sound at time...

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How Do You Use Technology in Student Recitals and Competitions?

from the series: Tomorrow Today: Technology George Litterst, Editor Last January, I spent several days in the middle of the month listening to the screening auditions of the 2nd Internal Piano-e-Competition. The auditions were held at Sundin Hall at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. They were attended by a distinguished jury and mu...

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What Competition Pieces Do You Use With Early-Level Students and Why?

Any question that includes the word "competition" will immediately trigger hot flashes of emotional response among piano teachers. With the additional phrase "early-level students," the heat level rises considerably. The sheer number of competitive events available across the country can be overwhelming for both teachers and students. One teac...

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Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

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