June 29, 2004

Contact: Becca Ramspott, School of Fine Arts, (785) 864-5567.

Talented young pianists to perform at KU in international competition July 5-7

LAWRENCE -- The University of Kansas will welcome some of the best young pianists in the world when the Department of Music and Dance hosts the First Kansas International Piano Competition July 5 through 7 at the Lied Center of Kansas.

The competition will be in conjunction with the International Institute for Young Musicians (IIYM), an annual summer festival for talented piano students, and will include a variety of free performances featuring a select group of 15 pianists ages 12 through 17.

Jack Winerock, KU professor of piano, institute coordinator and artistic director of the competition, says the event will offer an exciting opportunity to witness piano virtuosos in the making.

"These participants will be the future artists that we will hear on the regular Lied Center Series 10 years from now," he said, noting that institute alumni often go on to receive prizes in the most prestigious competitions in the world, including the Van Cliburn, the Chopin, the Gina Bachauer and the Music Teachers National Association. "It is also an opportunity to support young people who are working hard to achieve excellence."

KU alumnus Scott Smith, executive director of the institute, selected the 15 young performers from more than 40 audition tapes from countries across the globe. The talented young pianists represent everywhere from New York and California to Toronto and Hong Kong. They will compete for $7,750 in prizes, including a $3,500 honor for first prize.

The competition begins July 5 and 6 with a round of semifinal performances, followed by a special performance July 7 featuring six finalists. All concerts are free and open to the public and will be performed at the Lied Center.

SEMIFINALS
 • 3:30-5:30 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Monday, July 5
 • 3:30-5:30 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, July 6

FINALS
 • 3-5:15 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, July 7

During the final concert July 7, audience members are invited to vote for their favorite pianist for a special audience prize.

The competition participants then will stay on at KU for the institute's Summer Academy, which includes taking master and studio classes and courses in sight reading, music theory and accompanying. The classes will be taught by KU faculty and visiting musicians from around the world. Stanislav Ioudenitch, a 2001 Gold Medal Van Cliburn winner, is among the noted artists who will help the students improve their performance by leading them in a master class, Winerock said.

The institute performers will end their summer at KU with two additional free concerts at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 14, and 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 21, at the Lied Center.

For more information on the performances, please contact Winerock at (785) 864-9644 or winerock@ku.edu. For general information on the institute and the competition, visit http://www.iiym.com.

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