Saturday, June 26, 2004
6 Bachauer Junior finalists emerge
By Edward Reichel
Deseret Morning News
Six finalists emerged from competition in the Gina Bachauer Junior Piano Competition Friday as the prestigious contest neared its end. They will continue in the last round today in the Assembly Hall, beginning at 5 p.m. Performances are free and open to the public.
After four days and two rounds of competition for each of the 37 participants, the six chosen to make the finals include: Karsten Gimre, of Banks, Ore., the only American in the finals. The others are: SiJing Ye, China; Quizhen He, China; Rachel Cheung, China; Hyun Jung Kim, Korea;
Sara Vujadinovic, Serbia-Montenegro.
All six grabbed the judges' attention with their impressive playing. They rose above the rest of the field with performances that showed maturity beyond their years.
Judging the competition is a seven-member panel, chaired by former Bachauer first-prize winner Douglas Humpherys. Others on the panel are Seymour Bernstein, Gennady Dzubenko, Massimiliano Frani, Thomas Hecht, Yang Ming and Logan Skelton.
Judges faced a difficult task in selecting the six finalists, since there were others among the 37 participants who displayed as much maturity and talent as those who were selected. Each of the young pianists who participated in this year's competition could be proud of his or her performance.
Competitors range in age from 11 to 15, coming from 13 countries, including nine from the United States. Of these nine, Bethany Richards, is the only one from Utah, hailing from Pleasant Grove.
This year's competition is somewhat unusual in that none of the participants canceled at the last minute. In past competitions, some foreign pianists had problems in obtaining visas and were precluded from taking part. But this year all 37 who were accepted to compete made it here and gave those in attendance a week to remember.