San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

International Piano Contest Kicks Off Monday

About 50 young pianists from all over Latin America will arrive in San José this week to compete in the fifth annual María Clara Cullell International Piano Competition. The musicians will face a prestigious group of judges as they compete in one of two levels in two rounds.

The intermediate-level competition, for pianists 14 to 20 years old, begins Oct. 20, while the superior level, for pianists up to27, holds its first round the following day.

The finals for each round are set for Oct. 22 and 23. On Oct. 25 at 7 p.m., the winners will hold a concert at the National Auditorium in San José’s Children’s Museum.

All participants must play some pieces by Costa Rican composers, including “Forest Echoes” by Juan de Dios Páez (1878-1937), and “Tlanéhuatl” by Alejandro Cardona.

The competition’s judges consist of premier international musicians with an interest in the next generation of pianists, including Maria Asteriadou of Greece, Brazilian- born Fany Solter, Israeli Baruch Meir and Brian Ganz of the United States.

The competition is named after María Clara Cullell, a Costa Rican pianist who has worked to spread her music and knowledge of music throughout the world. An association in her name, together with the University of Costa Rica and the NationalUniversity’s schools of music, funds the competition.

–Elizabeth Goodwin


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