News N. 1/121   08/11/2018

Sensational Yuanfan YANG Wins 2018 Grand Chopin Prize

Yuanfan YANG playing Beethoven at the Teatro Quirino - Rome, November5, 2018

Rome, November 5, 2018. During the latter part of the evening, when the storm rumbled on the Eternal City, the curtain fell on the 28th edition of Roma International Piano Competition amid an even bigger thunderous applause. At the Teatro Quirino, located in Rome's historic district, only a few steps from the Trevi Fountain, all was set for a fitting finale for the 10-day long competition founded by Maestro Marcella Crudeli. The contest had seen the participation of 104 young pianists representing 25 countries, came to perform at the pittoresque Cloister San Giovanni Battista Dei Genevesi, nested among the narrow streets of Trastevere. Quite fittingly, at the concert’s culminating point, the show was stolen by the most accomplished pianist the international piano competition had seen for the last 10 days. It was as if the 3-hour long preamble of supporting acts by the other winners were only meant to set the stage for one final coronation—that of the young Sino-British pianist Yuanfan Yang, the true revelation of a 2018 Roman season, full of promises.

In addition to a fiery performance of Beethoven’s Concerto No. 3 in C minor op. 37 who had assured Mr Yang that very morning the highest distinction of the contest, the native of Edinburgh feasted the audience with a fearless reading of his own of Paganini's Great Studies, S.141 "La Campanella" and an improvisation rich in twists around the theme of "The ci darem la mano" (Don Giovanni) Maestro Marcella Crudeli had suggested him a few hours earlier behind the scenes...

Once again, the value of the competition founded 28 years ago by Maestro Crudeli proved its point for the quality of the young pianists who took the floor with breathtaking performances was outstanding. As if boosted by the invaluable platform which represents this prestigious competition to the budding artists, the pianists stormed the Roman scene with contagious enthusiasm, thus laying the foundations for their promising futures—as many bright stars that now enlighten our musical horizon…

As every year, Maria Elena Cuomo was there for this great evening, to encourage these young talents that the Foundation she chairs supports year after year. Her presence was all the more expected in Rome this year because she was also the patron of the annual meeting of the International Federation of Chopin Societies. The meeting, organised by the Associazione Culturale "Fryderyk Chopin"—also founded by Maestro Crudeli—was held in Rome from November 2 to 5. The Cuomo Foundation contributed to both these events as their principle partner.

Winners List

Emerging pianist (soloist born after 1993)

  • Kasparas MIKUŽIS (2001- Lituania)

Emerging pianist (soloist born after 1999)

  • Kasparas MIKUŽIS (2001- Lituania)

4 Hands recital (duo born after 1984)

  • Giuseppe Carmine ATORINO (1996 - Italy)
  • Armando SABBARESE (1993 - Italy)

2 Pianos recital (duet born after 1984)

  • Kyungchan BAHK (1994 - South Korea)
  • Jonghwa PARK (1995 - South Korea)

Grand 'Chopin' Prize (soloist born after 1984)

  • 3rd - Gen Li (1991 - China)
  • 2nd - Soo Jin CHA (1985 - South Korea)
  • 1st - Yuanfan YANG (1997 - UK)

Jury Members

  • Enrica Ciccarelli (Italy)
  • Enrico Camerini (Italy)
  • Carles Lama (Spain)
  • Kathryn Page (UK)
  • Martin Münch (Germany)
  • Arturo Stàlteri (Italy)
  • Frank Wasser (Germany)
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