Last night (Fri., June 1st) at Le Petit Trianon Theatre in downtown San Jose was opening night for the 2012 International Russian Music Piano Competition
Following the contestant draw was the Gala Concert with performances by 3 of the competition’s jury members: Stephan Moller (Professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria), Namik Sultanov (Professor at San Jose State) and Antonio Pompa-Baldi (President of the Jury and Van Cliburn Silver Medalist), all 3 of whom are world-class concert pianists.
And a great concert it was, as everyone who was fortunate enough to have been in attendance would most assuredly agree. Yet, to my great dismay, the theatre, with a seating capacity of only a little over 300 was perhaps only half full.
And while sitting there listening to this concert, I couldn’t help but think, if only more people in the South Bay area who appreciate classical music knew how good these pianists were, this little theatre would have easily been filled to capacity. And then I thought about the power of the internet and its ability get the word out about something. And hence, my appeal to you now.
Today is the start of the competition itself. More than 100 contestants from 12 different countries (Armenia, Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, Mexico, Mongolia, Russia, S. Korea, Taiwan, and of course the U.S.) and some of the most talented young pianists in the world, will compete in four different age categories, from ages 6 to 32. The daily competition is open to the public and is *FREE*. There are ticketed events as well, but forget those for now.
These young pianists from around the world are the Stephan Mollers, Namik Sultanovs and Antonio Pompa-Baldis of tomorrow. C’mon, let’s show them that we here in the South Bay appreciate classical music, appreciate their extraordinary musical talents and let’s do so by coming out and supporting them. And by telling others you know so they too can come out and support them.
Let’s have these contestants return home and spread the word themselves about what a great experience they had here so more young pianists just like them will also want to come. Let’s help make this, as Van Cliburn Gold Medalist and the Bay Area’s very own John Nakamatsu said, “a cultural capital of Northern California". Together, all of us in the South Bay who appreciate classical music can make that a reality.