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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The birth of a Grand Piano: “Matsuev has done a great thing”

…”It was beautiful” — usually piano competitions describe completely, in other words, after all their conflicts, secret currents, scandals, the battle for life and death. But first Moscow competition of young pianists, Grand Piano, founded by Denis Matsuev, left behind a sense of enchantment and magic: Yes, the essence of competition has not disappeared, but since no first and second places there, and the winners were as many as seven people, the competition has become more of a celebration of youth and music, where there is no place Hippodrome syndrome — what horse to bet. This was the first and won back in the day when only were selected for the Grand Piano competition.

It is always very important in this moment to properly position the action. In this sense, the Grand Piano was, indeed, a miracle, which other organizers in other times and could not dream. Everything is on the highest level IMMEDIATELY, not in five years of existence. The founders — the Ministry of culture, Rosconcert, Moscow Conservatory… the Concerts of opening and closing are at the hall No. 1 in the country — on stage, the UPC; the boys play together with the state orchestra of a name of Svetlanova; conducted live broadcasts of relevant TV; as premiums musicians receive invitations from prestigious international festivals. Here and advertising is not any need — capital music fans almost took the Conservatory by storm: no joke, play the best of the best, those who are in three or four years will reach the level of an adult “Tchaikovsky”.

…According to the regulations can be limited to five finalists, but in the end, the winners were seven musicians: Ivan Bessonov (Russia), Varvara Kutuzova (Russia), Tinhan Liao (China), Alexander Malofeev (Russia), Sandro Nebieridze (Georgia), Okui Shio (Japan), George Harline (UK). By the way, at the control of the state orchestra of them. Svetlanov during the second round was Alexander Sladkovsky, recently received the title of people’s artist of Russia.

Denis Matsuev, conceiving the competition of young pianists, initially tried to iron out all subtle psychological acuity because it was about the tender vulnerable age. So on the Grand Piano there are no traditional steps of the podium, instead it is a 32 special prize, i.e., every participant, one way or another, will have their reward.

The results of the competition for the “MK” commented well-known pianist and teacher, Director of the CMS, Professor Valery Pyasetsky.

Valery Pyasetsky

— Valery Vladimirovich, how did you like the overall level, and that gave the boys part in Grand Piano?

— The level is very high. Unprecedented. I’m sitting in the jury on almost all major competitions, but what I heard here — it was not, with all due respect, neither youth competition. Tchaikovsky, nor in Astana at the same Denis, anywhere… And what are the conditions! Moscow, Great hall of the Conservatory, and the orchestra is wonderful, is all, apparently, attracted a large number of people had already taken over a hundred applications. Of them, of course, chose the best (a lot of good just didn’t hit the coveted number 15), so that the level is fantastic. And, best of all, you guys almost have nothing to lose on stage: no failures or breakdowns.

— Despite the extinguished light…

Is a tragicomic case. In the Rachmaninov hall completely off the light, and the pianist in this moment played a virtuoso piece, “Dreaming” by Schumann. But she continued the game like nothing happened. Then the side lights come on, then, after some time, gave and main. So kids have already experienced, very well-trained. What they got in the end? I think that playing with the state orchestra on the stage BZK, — it is incredibly much. It will never be forgotten, moreover, that many played there for the first time in my life. And the program was good: the first solo tour, the guys played for half an hour, then great works in the second round… and all this with full halls. So it’s a great thing that Dennis did.

— In your opinion, to what extent Grand Piano is a stepping stone to the competition. Tchaikovsky?

— I don’t think he is a guaranteed stepping stone to “Tchaikovsky”. In this sense, any competition is a stepping stone to the more difficult competition. Because the victory inspires, gives incentive to do more. The winners get a huge practice (as it is now, say, they receive invitations to festivals Matsuev, Bashmet, Spivakov’s festival in Verbier, unprecedented conditions for creative growth). As for the steps… Yes, both of the competition held in the AFC, it certainly helps a lot. And if the kids are 15-16, then after three years they will be 18-19 and they have a chance to play at the Tchaikovsky competition. But still they need to work, work and work.

— Last question: it is clear that over time we will see “records,” more and more young pianists, but I would like to throw mostcheck to Mature pianism, after all, interested in becoming an artist, interested in his way of thinking after 30, 40 years…

— You know, I’m thirty years engaged in children’s education. And I can say from experience. When I started, I had a desire to give something a little harder, a little faster so the kids showed what they’re capable of”. That is, at the head was purely sports passion. Not going to tell you how I have transformed my views, but now I hold a very different position: generally don’t need to do the bias on an insanely virtuosic program at this age, because, often, the speed of pressing the keys becomes an end in itself. To play faster than anyone, but just do not understand WHAT and WHY. And then the question — who needs it? Today children 15-16 years of playing almost any essay piano repertoire flawless, but flawless fingers. But not very meaningful — I don’t know what they are doing and why this music is generally written. Unfortunately, there is a part of the audience who likes that speed, the audience shout “Bravo!” and applaud; while others, on the contrary, I sit in disbelief of what is happening… So I don’t tend to ship their students an incredibly complex programs. Everything should come naturally.

— And you were once taught…

— Of course. Children need to understand the surrounding world, to understand painting, theater, Opera and ballet… it is necessary to go to concerts with string players — violinists and cellists. You study, say, XIX century, so must understand what music was written in this time we have, and what is in the West. It is necessary to accumulate huge baggage of knowledge, which then will be, pardon the expression, “Sanchez” to make meaningful. Otherwise, all this “virtuosity” has no right to exist.

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