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piano

Ari Magg

In the arts, an age is usually known by a great artist—Rembrandt, for example. Sometimes there are artists used as bookends to mark an age. In classical music, the English have Henry Purcell, and in the 1950s, Benjamin Britten was hailed as the greatest English composer since Purcell. That’s quite a compliment, encompassing three centuries.

© Marco Borggreve

Anton Diabelli may not have been a very prolific composer, but as a music publisher by trade, he turned out to be a savvy businessman. In 1819, he wrote a short 32-bar waltz and invited composers far and wide to write variations on his little melody. Fifty-one responded, and Diabelli eventually published two anthologies of variations under the title Vaterländischer Künstlerverein (“Patriotic Association of Artists”).

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The final check-in video with this year’s Gurwitz International Piano Competition winners visits Jiale Li, whose performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the San Antonio Symphony helped him earn the gold medal, and $25,000.

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Famed pianist Martha Argerich remarked in 2013 that Leonardo Colafelice is a “fabulous pianist and musician," so it's no wonder he advanced to the finals of the Gurwitz International Piano Competition when it was held in San Antonio earlier this year.

Nathan Cone / TPR

Musical Bridges Around the World, whose piano competition The Gurwitz 2020 dazzled San Antonio in January and February with amazing performances by pianists from around the globe, will be rebroadcasting the first three rounds of the competition starting Monday, March 30 on their Facebook and YouTube channels.

When Víkingur Ólafsson was about 5 years old, he already knew what he wanted to be. "It sounds crazy, but I always saw myself as a concert pianist," he says. "Even if I wasn't a good pianist."

Sometimes old recipes, newly tweaked, can yield astonishing results. Consider the concerto: It might be a 400-year-old formula, calling for a soloist to perform with — and often battle against — an orchestra. But occasionally, a brand new concerto arrives that offers old-fashioned thrills.

Peter Serkin, a pianist who navigated a distinctive course through classical music with thoughtful interpretations of both standard repertoire and bracing new compositions, died Saturday morning at his home in Red Hook, N.Y. at age 72.

The cause of death, announced by his family, was pancreatic cancer.

Serkin came from a prestigious family of musicians. His father, the celebrated pianist Rudolf Serkin, and his maternal grandfather, the violinist and conductor Adolf Busch, embodied old-world traditions — to reverential acclaim.

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Round Two of The Gurwitz 2020 International Piano Competition began on Wednesday morning at Ruth Taylor Recital Hall on the Trinity University campus. Six competitors were chosen on Tuesday night to continue performing. They were:

Nathan Cone / TPR

On the second morning of competition at The Gurwitz International Piano Competition, judges and spectators were treated to the artistry of three talented musicians, two of whom brought the audience to their feet.

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