Rising young pianists from Russia, Italy, South Korea and the U.S. are advancing to the final round of the 2012 Honens International Piano Competition in Calgary.
Organizers of the prestigious classical music competition announced the contenders on Monday, following five days of recital performances by 10 semi-finalists.
The musicians still in contention for the $100,000 cash prize and the Honens artistic and career development program (valued at $500,000) are:
- Lorenzo Cossi, 30, from Italy.
- Pavel Kolesnikov, 23, from Russia.
- Maria Mazo, 30, from Russia.
- Jong-Hai Park, 22, from South Korea.
- Eric Zuber, 27, from the United States.
Mazo, the sole female competitor, previously competed in the 2006 edition of the Honens contest. The lone pianist from Canada, 25-year-old Avan Yu, failed to make the cut.
"The jury praised the extraordinary level of musicianship displayed over the past five days," Honens president and artistic director Stephen McHolm said in a statement issued Monday.
"The level was so consistently high that it was a very tough decision to choose only five finalists."
Each of the remaining musicians will perform with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Roberto Minczuk, during the two-day finals on Oct. 25 and Oct. 26.
A jury — which includes pianists Jon Kimura Parker, conductor Julian Kuerti, Lucerne Festival executive director Michael Haefliger and Hyperion Records executive Michael Spring — will choose the 2012 Honens laureate as well as recipients of special prizes at an awards ceremony following the finals on Oct. 26.
As with the semi-final round, the finals will be webcast live via the Honens site.