Calgary piano ‘phenomenon’ Kevin Chen wins high prize at Arthur Rubinstein competitors in Tel Aviv


Calgary pianist Kevin Chen picked up one other main win within the classical music world, taking high prize Thursday on the Arthur Rubinstein Worldwide Piano Grasp Competitors in Tel Aviv.

The win comes 5 months after Chen, 18, took residence the

high prize on the Concours de Geneve competitors in Geneva

, Switzerland. In September 2021, he additionally grew to become the

youngest musician in historical past to win the distinguished Frank Liszt Worldwide Competitors

in Budapest.

“It’s fantastic,” says Marilyn Engle, Chen’s piano trainer for the previous six years and a professor on the College of Calgary.

“I feel he deserved to win and that’s at all times a great feeling. Generally these belongings you by no means know what’s going to occur as a result of they’ve very excessive requirements. Geneva was the identical factor, it’s very excessive requirements. It’s simply fantastic how he is ready to focus. When he left Calgary, he was a little bit bit sick, he wasn’t feeling nicely. Progressively, he obtained higher. Even when he wasn’t feeling 100 per cent, he was giving 200 per cent. He’s a tremendous boy. Nonetheless solely 18 years previous.”

In Tel Aviv, the finals had been made up of three classes. Chen carried out Mozart’s Concerto No. 27 in B-Flat Main for the classical concerto, Brahms’ Trio in A Minor for Piano, Clarinet and Cello for the Chamber Music class and Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat Minor for the grand concerto.

This was utterly completely different materials from what he performed in Geneva, which Engle says “is remarkable.”

“It’s a whole lot of work to arrange stuff and the Geneva competitors ended in the beginning of November,” Engle says. “We by no means had quite a lot of months to get all these things prepared. He occurs to have an unbelievably giant repertoire. I don’t assume anyone would ever consider how a lot music he’s really discovered. However you possibly can be taught music, it’s one other factor to arrange it to the extent that that you must for one thing like this. So how he did it … that’s the phrase, phenomenon.”

Named after the Polish-American composer and pianist, the Arthur Rubinstein Worldwide competitors was based in 1974 and runs each three years. In line with the Jerusalem Put up, this 12 months’s version featured 36 contestants, aged 18 to 32, from 18 nations. One in all this 12 months’s jurors was

Canadian pianist Janina Fialkowska, who positioned third within the inaugural competitors again in 1974.

She shared the information of Chen’s win on

social media.

Chen has been

successful competitions and incomes consideration since he was only a boy when he was awarded a high prize on the Canadian Music Competitors within the seven-year-old class.

The CBC named him among the many “Prime 30 Scorching Canadian Classical Musicians Below 30” in 2013 when he was 10. In 2019, he took residence the win on the e-Piano Junior Competitors, a world occasion held in Minneapolis for classical pianists aged 17 and beneath.

Engle spoke to Chen on Thursday after his win and stated the younger pianist was shocked and delighted.

“He actually wished to go,” says Engle. “He wished the expertise. He wished to see what it was like. He’s very courageous. He’ll go on the market and check out. I requested him ‘did you count on to win first place’ and he stated ‘No, I didn’t know what to anticipate.’

“I don’t assume going there to win was his aim. It was concerning the expertise of taking part in and making music with completely different orchestras and completely different audiences. This was very compelling to him. Frankly, I’m simply in awe of his groundedness in all of this.”

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