CCM Partners with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and World Piano Competition
Cincinnatis World Piano Competition, an annual classical piano competition featuring top international performers since 1956, is expanding with two exciting new collaborations and instituting changes aimed at enhancing the event's quality and making Cincinnati a truly world-class destination for classical piano performance.
Primary among the changes at the re-imagined competition, already a highly respected event, are partnerships with two of the citys cultural cornerstones the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO). Beginning with the July 2013 competition, finalists in the Artist Division will have the distinct honor of performing with the world-renowned CSO, made up of some of the worlds finest musicians and an ensemble that regularly collaborates with classical musics premier performing artists. The performances featuring the finalists will be led by CSO Associate Conductor Robert Treviño. The event will also move to CCM, one of the nations top performing and media-arts conservatories, where the acclaimed faculty will oversee upgrades to the competitions jury system.
Our association with the CSO and CCM is really a game-changer for the competition, said Mark Ernster, the organizations interim executive director, who has served in that capacity since last fall's the retirement of founder and executive director Gloria Ackerman. Ernster explained that having CSO musicians backing the finalists is expected to result in an uptick in both the number and quality of applicants, as well as in audience numbers. CCMs review and improvement of the jury system will enhance the organizations credibility, a critical success element in the world of classical piano competition. Both partnerships will allow the competition more efficiently to leverage administrative economies of scale and artistic expertise.
Were talking about one of the worlds best orchestras and one of the most respected conservatories, he said; thats pretty good company to keep.
The Artist Division winner will also have the rare opportunity to record a solo piano album using CCMs state of the art recording facilities and engineers in the schools Division of Electronic Media. The recording will be released on the CSOs Fanfare Cincinnati label, globally distributed by Naxos.
CSO offers competitors a chance of a lifetime
CSO President Trey Devey said the partnership with the World Piano Competition fits in well with this organizations strategic vision, which includes raising Cincinnatis global profile and enhancing the quality of life through great musical performances. With this important collaboration and the unique assets of these three partners, the World Piano Competition is poised to join the ranks of the worlds most respected piano competitions, he said.
The CSO, which also performs as the Cincinnati Pops, is the official orchestra for the May Festival, the oldest continuous choral festival in the Western Hemisphere, as well as Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet. The World Piano Competition will be the fourth in a series of strategic partnerships that, according to Mr. Devey, elevate the cultural offerings in our region. Having additional performances for the CSO also helps to ensure that Cincinnati can sustain a world-class orchestra.
The CSO will also provide support to the competition by way of administration, ticketing, data systems, stage management and the extensive orchestra library.
The CSOs participation as the official orchestra for the competition was made possible by generous support from Anne and George H. Musekamp, Sue and Bill Friedlander, Christine and Tom Neyer Sr., Trish and Rick Bryan, and Vicky and Rick Reynolds.
UC's CCM hosts international performers and master teachers
CCM Dean Peter Landgren sees similar advantages, including added exposure for the college during the summer season when students are largely off campus. We have taken this opportunity to align CCMs existing piano activities including our Art of the Piano Summer Program and our Preparatory Summer Piano Institute with two weeks of World Piano Competition activities, he said. This new collaboration will make Cincinnati and CCM a premiere destination for world-class piano programs and activities. Bringing the CSO to CCM is also an imperative for our college, so this partnership was a great fit in many ways.
Members of CCMs faculty, under the leadership of Associate Professor of Piano and Artist-in-Residence Awadagin Pratt, have developed repertoire lists and refined the competition rules. Competitors will also have a greatly enhanced experience in Cincinnati by virtue of both CCMs state-of-the-art facilities and the University of Cincinnatis general services and amenities, including a campus hailed as one of the worlds most beautiful college campuses by
. Within CCM Village, this also includes access to practice rooms outfitted with Steinway pianos (CCM is an All-Steinway School) and master classes held in conjunction with the Art of the Piano Program.
CCMs visually striking and acoustically fine Corbett Auditorium, which received the United States Institute for Theatre Technologys Meritorious Achievement Award for Outstanding New Theatre upon its opening, will host the competitions main performances. Along with the practice, rehearsal, competition and performance venues and pianos, CCM will also provide tuning, technical and logistical support.
(July 1326) and
(July 1519) will run concurrently with the competition, effectively bringing the worlds most sought-after piano teachers and artists together with up-and-coming international performers.
Re-imagined World Piano Competition
The two new partnerships are only a part of many changes under way at the competition, which was founded in 1956. The organization has created and begun implementing a multi-year strategic plan and has recruited new board members. It is moving into the CSOs office space at Music Hall and has developed a new logo and redesigned website. It is also ramping up a more aggressive communications and outreach effort.
The World Piano Competition has always attracted top-tier competitors from around the world but, frankly, we need to grow our base, both in terms of supporters and audience, said Ernster. By doing so, we will not only ensure the competitions future growth and success but also build Cincinnatis reputation as a world-class music destination.
The World Piano Competition supports the development and enjoyment of the art of classical piano through promotion and education. In addition to cash prizes, winners are afforded a variety of exposure opportunities through performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, as well as locally. The competition also helps foster appreciation for classical piano through community outreach with its Bach/Beethoven/Brahms program for school children and dinner performances featuring past and present competition winners.
This year marks the World Piano Competitions 57th season. The 2013 event dates for the Artist Division (for ages 18 to 32) are July 813. The three finalists will perform with the CSO under the direction of Associate Conductor Robert Treviño on July 13. The Young Artist (ages five to 17) dates are July 2227. Both competitions take place at CCM, and online registration (
) is now open. The application deadline is March 15. More information is available at 513-421-5342.
Tickets for 2013 World Piano Competition performances will be available at the Music Hall Box Office, or by calling 513-381-3300, starting March 4 at 10 a.m. Ticket prices start at $15 for the Artist Division and $10 for the Young Artist Division.
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