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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world. To listen to KPAC 88.3 FM, simply open the player in the gray ribbon at the top of this page and choose KPAC: Classical Music.

A Tsunami Of Talent At The International Piano Competition

Johann Sebastian Bach.jpg

A wave of great young pianists crashes into the Alamo City every three years to compete in the San Antonio International Piano Competition. Last October 11, aspiring artists arrived and prepared themselves to impress the judges at the usual venue - the Ruth Taylor recital hall. Luckily for all of us it was all recorded by John Coker.

There is something thrilling about witnessing those with such talent and opportunity before them. Like the appeal of prodigies going back to Wolfgang Mozart, the combination of great ability and youth inspires something in those of us who recognize the talent and understand, wistfully, that our chance for sudden acclaim is now far behind us.

But don't despair! That is the exact reason for the need of the talented and beautiful young, they are vessels where we can place our hopes and dreams -- albeit only for the length of the competition. Audience members quickly find a favorite to cheer for.

The connection isn't something grand or mystical - it could be as simple as a shared country of origin or gender. Maybe the toss of their head in the playing of a chord or quiet and modest approach across the stage to the piano reminds us of ourselves and there the link is forged.

Whatever the case, every three years San Antonio has the opportunity to see and hear up and coming musical talent during the SAIPC and listeners of KPAC can experience some of the electricity that was generated at Ruth Taylor recital hall.

In the preliminary rounds, the repertoire was restricted to music from the baroque and romantic periods, so to start off our coverage of the event I've chosen just some of the many performances of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach - a BACH-anale if you will, and it all starts this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC & KTXI.

Randy was Texas Public Radio's Classical Music Director until 2013 and the longest-serving employee in Texas Public Radio's history. He hosted the very first airshift on KPAC when the station went on the air at 90.9 FM in San Antonio back in November, 1982.