Accomplished young pianists from Canada, Russia, Italy and China will travel to Calgary to compete for the Honens International Piano Competition this fall.
Organizers unveiled the list of 10 semi-finalists slated to make the trip to Canada for the prestigious classical music contest.
Canada's representative Avan Yu is a prime example of a young artist rapidly rising on the international scene.
Born in Hong Kong, raised in Vancouver and now studying in Berlin, Yu began piano lessons at the age of five. Now 25 and seeking a master's degree in music, he has performed at home with the Vancouver Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Symphony Nova Scotia as well as abroad in Germany, China and Morocco.
He draws inspiration from a range of musicians, from fellow Canadians Oscar Peterson and Nikki Yanofsky to German pianist Wilhelm Kempff and American Murray Perahia.
"It's something that I'm very excited about," Yu said of the upcoming contest. "It's a very prestigious competition."
The 10 contenders, hailing from seven countries, are:
- Federico Colli, 24, from Italy.
- Lorenzo Cossi, 30, from Italy.
- David Fung, 29, from Australia.
- Sasha Grynyuk, 29, from Ukraine.
- Pavel Kolesnikov, 23, from Russia.
- Maria Mazo, 30, from Russia.
- Jong-hai Park, 22, from South Korea.
- Konstantin Shamray, 27, from Russia.
- Avan Yu, 25, from Canada.
- Zenan Yu, 25, from China.
Mazo, the sole female competitor, was previously a contender at the 2006 edition. The ten were chosen from the original 125 musicians who applied for the 2012 contest.
The semi-finalists will perform two recitals in Calgary — one solo, one accompanied by professional musicians — between Oct. 17-21. Judges will chose the five pianists who will advance to the two-day finals, where they must perform with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
The overall prize-winner, who receives $100,000 and enrolment in a career development program, and recipients of specific category awards will be announced at a gala following the finals on Oct. 26.
Held every three years, the Honens celebrates young concert pianists and helps launch their careers.