classique

CMIM – Piano 2024 | Finalists announced

by Alexandre Villemaire

And now it’s done. After three intense days, the ten MIMC semi-finalists have completed their program presentations to the audience at Salle Bourgie and to the members of the international jury. The four pianists who performed on Sunday were: Jaeden Izik-Dzurko (Canada), Arisa Onoda (Japan), Jakub Kuszlik (Poland) and Antonio Chen Guang (China).

This final day of semi-finals was once again marked by a high level of playing, making it difficult for the judges to decide who will advance to the final stage of the competition, and which of the ten will be awarded one of the three special prizes for Best Sonata Performance, Best Canadian Compulsory Performance and Best Chamber Music Performance;In this Sunday Final Four, the competitors offered contrasting performances, most of which had a significant program construction. Jaeden Izik-Dzurko stood out with a dramatic Sonata no 1 E minor by Rachmaninov and Arisa Onoda with a sensitive interpretation of Sonata no 3 by Chopin. 

In the second half of the afternoon, programs and performances by Jakub Kuszlik and Antonio Chen Guang were exhilarating and marked by moments of great emotional intensity. Kuszlik, already a recipient of the Prix de la relève, delivered a program that gave way to great interiority and profound lyricism, with Brahms’s Sonata no 3 in F minor as its centerpiece. 

Antonio Chen Guang, for his part, offered a veritable epic of style with a program of thoughtful musical narrative, moving from the world of nature with Reflets sur l’eau by Debussy and Barbara Assiginaak to the inner world yearning for contemplation with Beethoven’s Sonata in A-flat major and Busoni’s arrangement of the chorale Ich ruf’ zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ by J.S Bach to finish deep down in the Earth an infernal dance, Liszt’s first Mephisto-Valse . Both received thunderous applause and standing ovations from the audience.

But, as in all competitions, the choice rests with the jury, and the intensity of the applause meter is not always a decisive factor. Speaking through its president, Zarin Mehta, the names of those advancing to the final round were announced around 6:30pm. They are Elias Ackerley (UK; South Korea), Jaeden Izik-Dzurko (Canada), Jakub Kuszlik (Poland), Anthony Ratinov (USA), Gabriele Strata (Italy) and Derek Wang (USA).

Gabriele Stata is the winner of the Prix Musique de chambre, a $2,500 prize donated by Dixi Lambert. The prize also includes participation in a concert at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, valued at $3,500. Canada’s Jaeden Izik-Dzurko completes a double, winning the $3,000 prize for the best interpretation of a sonata in the semi-finals, offered in partnership with Ann Stevens, as well as the $2,500 André Bachand Prize for the best interpretation of the imposed Canadian work, offered in partnership with Claudette Hould;

The next date is May 15 and 16 at the Maison symphonique, where the finalists will present a complete concerto accompanied by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, in an evening that promises to be under the auspices of Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Brahms and Rachmaninov.

crédit photo: Tam Photograpy

For ticket info, it’s HERE

The public is also invited to vote online for the Prix du public ICI Musique. Voting will close 15 minutes after the final on May 16.

To vote, it’s HERE

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