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XV Competition diary: 25 June

Cello, Jury, Piano, Violin, Voice
XV Competition diary: 25 June 

Piano auditions for Round II concluded on June 25th and the names of the six finalists were announced.

The jury selected Russians Sergey Redkin, Daniel Kharitonov, Dmitry Masleev, and Lukas Geniušas (who also represents Lithuania), Lucas Debargue (France), and George Li (USA).

Jury member Martin Engstöm announced these results in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.  He thanked all the participants in the semi-finals for excellent, deeply felt performances, and he expressed his anticipation of a final round that would be no less interesting.  He then read out the list.  To judge by the reaction of the audience, their opinion for the most part matched the jurors’.

The announcement of results came after the day’s competition in which the second six semi-finalists played a Mozart concerto.  As on the previous day there were two orchestras.  In the first session (with Lukas Geniušas, Daniel Kharitonov, and Julia Kociuban) the orchestra was the Moscow Soloists Chamber Ensemble conducted by Ayrton Desimpelaer, and in the second session (with Mikhail Turpanov, Nikolay Medvedev, and Dmitry Masleev) it was Moscow Chamber Orchestra (State Chamber Orchestra of Russia) under the baton of Alexey Utkin.

The repertoire was less varied than on the first day.  Three competitors chose the Concerto No. 20 in D minor.  Lukas Geniušas and Nikolay Medvedev used Beethoven’s cadenzas, while Dmitri Masleev chose Alfred Brendel’s.  Two of the three who played this concerto went on to the finals.

Daniel Kharitonov played Mozart’s Concerto No. 9 in E-flat major (with Mozart’s cadenzas). The 16-year old musician showed good self-control and ability deliver on stage in front of a huge audience everything that he had  prepared during practice.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the two more senior competitors, Julia Kociuban (playing Concerto No. 23) and Mikhail Turpanov (Concerto No. 21).  The Polish pianist’s anxiety about the competition led to many slips and mistakes, while Mikhail Turpanov at the very beginning of the first movement forgot the score and lost his place after which he never recovered the right mood.

The competition schedule for the next two days has the participants in Round III rehearsing with the orchestra.  The concluding performances with orchestra will take place from June 28th to June 30th in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory accompanied by the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Evgeny Svetlanov” (conducted by Alexei Bogorad).

(Text by Elena Chishovskaya)

The results of Round II in the violin discipline were announced on June 25th in the Small Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.

The Round III competitors will be Pavel Milyukov (Russia), Alexandra Conunova (Moldova), Bomsori Kim (South Korea), Clara-Jumi Kang (Germany), Yu-Chien Tseng (Taiwan), and Haik Kazazyan (Russia).  The results were announced by Boris Kuschnir.  No longer in the running are Mayu Kishima (Japan), Younguk Kim (South Korea), Stepan Starikov (Russia), Sergei Pospelov (Russia), Yoo Jin Jang (South Korea), and Christopher Tun Andersen (Norway).

For the Stage II of Round II the semi-finalists are to play either Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3, Concerto No. 4, or Concerto No. 5 which proved the most popular choice.  On both days in Round II Concerto No. 5 was played three times and Concerto No. 3 twice, while Concerto No. 4 was performed just once, and Christopher Tun Andersen’s performance of it was the concluding one for the last day of Round II.  Before that came Concerto No. 3 interpreted by both Haik Kazazyan and Sergei Pospelov.  In the first portion of the evening Concerto No. 5 was performed three times.  We must give due recognition to the artistry of conductor Valentin Uryupin and the Musica Viva Moscow Chamber Orchestra.  There was not a trace of the routine in their performance even though they had to play the same concerto three times in a row.  It was played by Yu-Chien Tseng, Clara-Jumi Kang, and Yoo Jin Jang.

Round III auditions start on June 28th in the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall at 6:00 pm.  Pavel Milyukov and Alexandra Conunova will perform.  In addition to Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, there will be Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and Sibelius’s Violin Concerto.  On June 29th Yu-Chien Tseng, and Bomsori Kim will be on stage, with Clara-Jumi Kang and Haik Kazazyan the day after.  The accompanying orchestra for Round III will be the Moscow Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yuri Simonov.

(Text by Ilya Ovchinnikov)

The International Tchaikovsky Competition cello finalists were announced in the Small Hall of the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic.

They are:

1.  Pablo Ferrández (Spain)

2.  Andrea Ioniță (Romania)

3.  Alexander Buzlov (Russia)

4.  Seung Min Kang (South Korea)

5.  Jonathan Roozeman (Netherlands)

6.  Alexander Ramm (Russia)


The results of Round II were announced from the stage by Mischa Maisky, who was sitting on the panel of Competition jurors for the first time.  This famous cellist said that it had been difficult for the jurors to choose between such very accomplished musicians and that he was hardly less nervous than the participants seated in the hall.  He also wished good fortune and more artistic success to all who had been in the Competition.


On the last day of Round II in the first session that began at 5:00 pm, there were two participants from France, Tristan Cornut and Bruno Philippe, along with the young Romanian musician, Andrei Ioniță.  They were accompanied by the Chamber Ensemble of the Shostakovich State Academic Saint Petersburg Philharmonic under the baton of Vladimir Altschuler.  Tristan Cornut chose to perform Joseph Haydn’s D major cello concerto, and the others chose the Viennese master’s C major concerto.  The audience that was present took an even more active part in the auditions.  In Round I after the programmes had been played there was restrained applause, but closer to the end the listeners were no longer shy about expressing their delight.  Moscow cellist Fedor Amosov began the second session, and after him came Jonathan Roozeman from Helsinki, youngest of the competitors at just 17.  The evening came to a close with the performance of Alexander Ramm.  The cellists in this final heat of the competition were accompanied by the Chamber Ensemble of the Mariinsky Theatre conducted by Alexei Bogorad.  All the competitors in the evening auditions chose Haydn’s C major concerto.

The next two days in the competition are for the finalists to rehearse with an orchestra, and on Sunday, June 28th at 6:00 pm Round III will begin lasting three days in the Grand Hall of the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic.   The Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra will perform in those auditions.

(Text by Egor Kovalevsky)


June 25th, Saint Petersburg:  Round II for voice has concluded in the International Tchaikovsky Competition.

The third day of the competition held a bounty of fine things.  There were discoveries about faces familiar from other competitions and even symphony concerts and operas as well as about the new faces that were certainly in the majority.

The day began with lyric tenor Evgeny Achmedovmov singing Nemorino’s aria, and it ended with Valentin’s aria from Gounod’s “Faust” sung in French by the splendid South Korean baritone Hansung Yoo.  He also made a fine impression with his full vocal production and sensitivity to style in Bach’s “Grosser Herr, o starker König” from the “Christmas Oratorio”.  And there was a storm of applause after he sang Tchaikovsky’s romance “None but the Lonely Heart”.  I would like to say once again that all the non-Russian singers have done extremely well with the Russian language in Tchaikovsky’s songs.  Chinese tenor Chuanyue Wang was greeted by loud calls of “Bravo” such as no one received in Round I.  He began with Tamino’s aria, which was sung more than once on that day, and then sang Tchaikovsky’s “Again, As Before, Alone”.  He closed with an aria from “I Lombardi”, one of Verdi’s earliest operas, Oronte’s aria which no one sang this time because of its significant challenges.

On the third day of Round I soprano Svetlana Moskalenko, a  student of Tamara Novichenko, who had also taught Anna Netrebko and Veronika Dzhioeva at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, gave a glowing performance.  She simply amazed with a virtuosity that always avoided the mechanical and was always subordinate to artistic expressiveness.  It was as if the hall had been transformed by the vocalist into other dimensions—to the seraglio where the abducted Constance refuses to submit to the Turk she didn’t love in the aria, Marten aller Arten, or to a temple in India to hear the young priestess Lakmé tell of a legend in that most virtuosic of arias, the “Bell Song”.  Tchaikovsky’s “Lullaby” was another interpretative masterpiece as interpreted by Maskalenko.  Tatiana Starkova was the only one so far in the Competition to sing Halka’s aria from Stanislaw Moniuszko’s opera of that title.  Alongside that she portrayed the temperamental Fiordiligi from Mozart’s “Così fan tutte” in the aria , Come scoglio, and then Tchaikovsky’s romance “To Forget So Soon”.

It was intriguing to hear Maria Gulik sing two pieces that no one else will offer,  Dido’s aria from Purcell’s “Dido and Aneas” and Leonora’s aria from Donizetti’s “La favorite”.  In the evening session there was Ukrainian bass Yuri Evchuk singing Konchak’s aria from Borodin’s “Prince Igor”, a piece not sung previously by anyone.  He was also bold enough to take on Sarastro’s aria, O Isis und Osiris, from Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” in front of the German bass Thomas Quastoff who understands the secrets of the Mozart style like no one else and who listened with utmost attention.

The large programme in Round II will give its participants a chance to show even more of what they can do—they will present what amounts to one half of a solo recital.  They are to sing another Tchaikovsky romance without repeating one they have already sung in Round I, add a lied or romance in the chamber vocal genre from a list of composers ranging from Schubert and Glinka to Mahler, de Falla, Ravel, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and Sviridov.  And it will be very interesting to hear folk songs, either with piano or a capella, from the participants’ countries of origin.   There will be a major aria chosen by the competitor and an aria from an opera, cantata, or oratorio composed after 1950.

(Text by Vladimir Dudin)