It was expected that this news will appear earlier, after the end of the qualifying round, which was scheduled to be completed by April 30th. But the difficult international situation, of course, could not but affect the organizational and logistical processes of the competition, and the composition of its jury and participants. Meanwhile, the approved competition regulations have been preserved and, despite all the circumstances, the competition will be held in a full-fledged international format.
It should be reminded that on April 1, the birthday of Sergei Rachmaninov, the acceptance of applications for participation in the competition in three nominations was completed: pianists, composers and conductors. The total number of applications is 529 (musicians from 33 countries). The largest number of applications was in the nomination “conducting” – 210, “piano” – 167 applications, “composition” – 152 applications.
The qualifying round lasted a month: the jury members listened to the videos sent by the candidates for the contestants. Pianists on this tour performed a free program (from 20 to 30 minutes), conductors – a half-hour program recorded with an orchestra, composers sent notes of two or three of their works (for piano, for piano and orchestra, orchestral composition).
As a result, the participants of the first round included musicians from Russia, Belarus, Great Britain, Italy, France, Germany, Slovenia, China, Singapore and Brazil. But, as is usually the case at competitions headed by Denis Matsuev (and he is the artistic director of the Sergei Rachmaninoff competition), the regulations on the number of participants or laureates in his projects are regulated flexibly. The same thing happened this time: instead of 24 pianists, 25 were selected to participate in the competition.
As Denis Matsuev himself explained: There were so many excellent, strong applications that the selection process turned out to be more difficult than ever. As a result, we could not come to an unambiguous opinion among the pianists and unanimously decided to increase the number of participants to 25 people. I am grateful to my colleagues for this great work done. We congratulate all the participants and look forward to seeing them in June in Moscow.
Among those who will take part in the competition, many are already laureates of international competitions. On June 15, they will begin their performances in the first round. For pianists, it will be a solo program for 30-35 minutes on the stage of the Great Hall of the Conservatory, including works by Rachmaninov (from 1887 to 1943), as well as works by Russian and foreign composers written in the same period of time.
The conductors will perform on the stage of the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall with a 40-minute program (rehearsal) with the orchestra: the obligatory Symphonic Fantasy by Rachmaninov “The Rock” will sound and, at the choice of the contestant, one of the parts of the Mozart symphony (39, 40, 41) or Beethoven (1-7 ).
The composers who will present their compositions in the Rachmaninov Hall of the New Philharmonic will have two face-to-face tours, not three, as in other categories. More precisely, there will be one face-to-face round, but it will take place in two stages. At the first stage, 12 composers will present their compositions for solo piano, and at the second – compositions for ensemble with orchestra. By the way, according to the regulations, there are no age restrictions in the competition of composers, therefore, such a venerable Russian composer as Vladimir Kobekin (74 years old) was among its competitors. The age limit for conductors at this competition is 45 years old, for pianists – from 16 to 32 years old.
According to the regulations, 12 musicians will advance to the second round of the pianists and conductors, and six contestants will advance to the final. Here, too, there will be some intrigue: the pianists will come out in two stages of the third round. First, they will act as accompanists with vocalists – in Rachmaninov’s romances. And at the second stage, two piano concertos will be played (as at the Tchaikovsky competition) – one by Rachmaninov, the second – written in the period from 1887 to 1943 (Scriabin, Bartok, Ravel, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, etc.)
Based on the results of all rounds, the winners of the competition will be announced, who will perform in two gala concerts, and the finalists will then take part in tours along with the winners in Russia and abroad. What tour routes will become possible for the laureates in the current situation is still difficult to predict. But everyone who performs in the final will have Russian tours.
The composition of the international jury in each nomination has also become known.
In the “Piano” nomination, the jury under the direction of Denis Matsuev will include world-famous pianists and teachers: Boris Berezovsky, Vladimir Viardot, Frederic Kempf, Liu Shi Kun, Maxim Mogilevsky, Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Valery Pyasetsky, Ta Kuan Dong, Vladimir Tropp.
The jury in “Conducting” was headed by Valery Gergiev, who will evaluate the contestants together with his colleagues: Cesar Alvarez, Christian Knapp, Tao Lin, Fabio Mastrangelo, Valery Polyansky, George Pehlivanyan, Alexander Sladkovsky, Vladimir Fedoseev, Christopher Chen.
Composers will be judged by a jury headed by Alexander Tchaikovsky. This jury includes: Yuri Bashmet, Valery Voronov, Atsuhiko Gondai, Kuan Do Hong, Mikhail Kokzhaev, Alexander Radvilovich, Alexei Rybnikov.
Those who will not be able to attend face-to-face tours in Moscow halls will have the opportunity to follow the performances of the contestants and all the events of the Rachmaninov Competition in online broadcasts on the official website of the Competition, on VKontakte, on the Kultura.rf portal and on the website of the Moscow Philharmonic. Broadcasts will begin on June 14th.
Participants of the International Rachmaninov Competition:
Pianists: Bessonov Ivan, Wang Qizhen, Vergara Yatsekiv Estefan, Gevorgyan Eva, Glazova Lyubov, Klyuchko Alexander, Lu Yao, Lynov Philip, Malinin Valentin, Mao Xuanyi, Maslov Viktor, Orlov Fedor, Papoyan Ilya, Romanchukevich Gleb-Joseph, Rudenko Philip, Xie Lingfei, Xing Dmitry, Xu Qianyi, Tarasevich-Nikolaev Arseny, Trushechkin Alexey, Khachikyan Konstantin, Hou Yixiang, Zhang Boao, Zhu Yuanheng, Yashkin Anton.
Conductors: Amos Chiya, Yury Demidovich, Dessy Filippo, Ilya Derbilov, Vladimir Thielen Draxler, Vladimir Zavodilenko, Benedict Sauer, Andrey Kolyasnikov, Mikhail Leontiev, Li Haoran, Alexei Morgunov, Mikhail Mosenkov, Sergey Neller, Ivan Nikiforchin, Clement Noncieu, Alexei Rubin, Selivanov Philip, Sun Yifan, Walker Jeremy Nathan, Hu Xiaobo, Khudyakov-Vedenyapin Ivan, Tsingman Nikolay, Zhou Dan, Shuplyakov Arseniy.
Composers: Pyotr Dyatlov, Eduard Kipsky, Vladimir Kobekin, Lo Maisho, Alexander Makarov, Kristina Oganesyan, Andrey Pospelov, Alexey Sergunin, Xiao Jinhan, Alexander Tleuov, Mikhail Fuksman, Yang Yuanfang.
The Rachmaninov Competition will be held in Moscow from 14 to 27 June.