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Michael Williams Piano Competition 2019
Eleven performances made the competition one of the biggest of recent years. Sam opened with Chopin’s beautiful Prelude in E Minor and was followed by Christopher with Hartmann’s The little Ballerina. Milo gave an assured Sonatina in A Minor by Benda and Isaac gave us Parry’s Elizabeth. Gwyndaf’s Moderato (by Bruch) had poise and Jason’s Beneath The Mask by Meguro had atmosphere. Jack’s Tugela Rail lightened the mood somewhat and Ned’s Rondo by Clementi had drama. Max’s Metamorphosis III by Philip Glass was an assured performance from memory, Jesús gave us Einaudi’s Nuvole Bianchi and Marco finished with Rachmaninoff’s massive Prelude in G Minor.
Stephen Marshall, our adjudicator and a teacher of much experience, commented on the need to project a performance out in to the audience. He gave second place to Max and first place to Marco for his Rachmaninoff.
Michael Williams Piano Competition 2018
Another keenly fought competition this year, with some big repertoire on show. Milo opened the music with Prokofiev’s The Cat from Peter and the Wolf, played with great humour, and was followed by new-comer Marco who gave us Chopin’s Nocturne Op 9 No 2. Roderick gave us Mozart’s Allegro (Sonata in C, K.279) and Isaac played another Prokofiev work, Ridocolosamente as well as Valse Lente by Oskar Merikanto. Thomas followed with another piece by Chopin, Nocturne in C sharp minor, and Christopher closed proceedings with the rarely-heard Tarantella by Samuel Maykapar.
In his closing remarks our adjudicator, Stephen Marshall, spoke of how important it is to makes lines and melodies sing, and to keep left-hand work light, and gave second-place to Roderick and first place to Marco, asking him to play his piece again.
Michael Williams Piano Competition 2014
The competition this year saw a move back towards larger numbers, and kicked off with a fine rendition of Mozart’s Fantasia KV397 by Fergus. James gave an assured account of Clementi’s Allegro in G, and Matthew tackled a tricky Sarabande and Gavotte by JS Bach. Cameron came next with a finely-wrought account of the JCF Bach Allegretto in F, and Ben followed with the only jazz piece of the evening, Christopher Norton’s Sturdy Build. Jordan followed with Debussy’s Pagodes, and Roderick closed with a fine account of Mozart’s Allegro from the Sonatina in C K297.
The adjudicator, former RAM piano teacher and current Professor of Piano at the RWCMD Michael Young, gave a fascinating account of the genesis of some of the pieces, with demonstrations. He made much of the necessity of giving a true performance (even, sometimes, at the expense of accuracy), and awarded second place to Roderick and first place to Jordan, whom he asked to play again.
Michael Williams Piano Competition 2013
Although smaller than in previous years, with five performances, the standard was higher than ever, and our adjudicator, Simon Taranczuk, was able to give a forensic account of the qualities of each performance.
Zelig opened the evening with his efficient rendition of Mozart’s Fantasia in D minor, followed by William who gave us Schubert’s demanding Impromptu in E flat.. Roderick’s Fugue by Kellner was commendable for its careful articulation and Jordan’s Nocturne in C minor (Op 48 No 1) by Chopin was the only performance of the evening given from memory. Jack closed with Debussy’s exciting Prelude from Suite Pour le Piano.
Mr. Taranczuk, Director of Music at the King’s School, Worcester, congratulated all the players on their ability to communicate their music, and on their satisfying control of the instrument. He gave second place to Jack, whose Debussy really did give the piano a work-out, and first place to Jordan for what was by any standards and extremely impressive account of a very difficult piece.