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The festival's Prodigies and Masters of Tomorrow series presented the astounding thirteen-year-old pianist Ji-Yong in a virtuosic performance of Beethoven's Sonata No 17 in D minor Op 31 No 2. Both the mystery and the fiery brilliance of this music found expression in this young pianist's riveting performance. That a thirteen-year-old could play Beethoven with such accuracy and brilliance astonished the senses! He also offered lovely Chopin and a rousing display piece by England's York Bowen. Ji-Yong is an incredible talent! Fourteen-year-old violinist Eugene Ugorski (a student of Vesna Gruppman) displayed a large, rich tone and virtuoso fireworks in Paganini's Caprice No 24 and Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy. He also was the master of the noble line in Bach's Chaconne in D minor. Ugorski is a new violin star in the making! Seventeen-year-old jazz pianist Eldar Djangirov displayed breezy imagination, tremendous virtuosity, and rousing improvisational fluency in classic tunes by Duke Ellington, Art Blakely, Charlie ('Bird') Parker, and Wynton Marsalis (with a tremendous rhythm section -- Duffy Jackson on drums and Rick Doll on bass). Djangirov may already be a genius!

A plethora of wonderfully talented young musicians dominated this 'Discovery Series'. (Goerner and Giltburg were terrific discoveries indeed!) With brilliant musicians from around the globe and gifted stars of tomorrow, the festival was a celebration of the piano and the joy of music!

Copyright © 15 June 2004 Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA




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