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Litmus Tests

MALCOLM MILLER at the fifteenth
BPSE Beethoven Intercollegiate Piano Competition


One of the reasons Gina Bachauer performed so much, according to Murray McLachlan, was that she never knew how her performances would turn out. Reflecting on the spontaneity of music in the preamble to the awards announcement at the recent 15th annual Beethoven Intercollegiate Piano Competition, McLachlan reflected that competitions are unpredictable -- were the same competitors to play again the results might well be different. For that reason it was necessary for participants in competitions never to lose sight of the main goal, despite the necessary disappointments that accompany such events, namely the joy of music itself, and the privilege of performing some of the greatest works of musical art. Certainly the joy and inspiration of Beethoven's music formed the thrilling core of this annual competition, presented on 2 December 2007 at the Blüthner Piano Centre, 1 Davies St, London W1, UK, by the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe, which has become one of the significant events of the competition calendar of Colleges and Conservatoires across the UK.

The competitors were talented young pianists drawn from eight of the nine UK conservatoires, each nominated by their institution after having won their internal Beethoven competition; only the London College of Music and Media was not represented on this occasion. Each participant performed the compulsory Beethoven Bagatelle Op 119 No 3 and a sonata of their choice, to the jury comprising Murray McLachlan (Chairman, EPTA UK), Dejan Sinadinovic (President, EPTA Serbia) and the pianist Steven Savage, and regaled a sizeable audience in the salubrious surrounds of the Blüthner piano showroom, adorned with an array of sparkling pianos.

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Copyright © 5 December 2007 Malcolm Miller, London UK


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