Six Pianists Make the Finals of NTD’s International Piano Competition

Six contestants have qualified for NTD’s 5th International Piano Competition final:

  • Olena Miso from Austria
  • Shih-Yeh Lu from Taiwan
  • Sanghie Lee from South Korea
  • Vladimir Petrov from Mexico
  • Nicolas Giacomelli from Italy
  • Maxim Snukushin from New York

Eighty-six contestants from 28 countries signed up for the 5th NTD International Piano Competition, and 15 pianists made it to the semi-finals which took place on Friday, Sept. 27.

Sounds of Beethoven sonatas trickled out of Manhattan’s Baruch Performing Arts Center all day Friday, coupled with the unusual pairing of a Chinese tune performed on piano.

That piece was “Triumph of Goodness,” a piano piece commissioned especially for the NTD International Piano Competition, written by the world-renowned Shen Yun Performing Arts artistic director D.F.

“I love it, because of the beautiful colors,” said pianist Maxim Anukushin, describing the orchestral quality of the music. “I feel it has some kind of story … at the beginning, you feel something triumphant, in the middle you hear something tragic, dramatic. And in the end, you overcome the dramatic and again you are in triumph. I feel there’s a story there.”

“There’s something so pure and original and something from the earth about it,” said pianist Zachary Hughes. “It comes directly from the people. It’s not kind of stilted in the way that some conservatory composers can make their music.”

In fact, it pairs perfectly with Beethoven, Anukushin added, as his music was all about tragedy and triumph.

The competition is unique in that its mission is to preserve and promote the 250 years of classical piano literature, focusing exclusively on the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods. There is no music written past 1900, save for the uniquely commissioned piece, which blends Chinese melodies with classical piano arrangement techniques.

“[Many] people just don’t know classical music very well,” said pianist Nicolas Giacomelli. “So it’s important to try to get them back because it’s good for the health and culture of our people.”

The final will be held in the Baruch Performing Arts Center in New York City.

You can watch the semi-finals below:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Epoch Times reporter Catherine Yang contributed to this report.