San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Young Tico Pianists Rank Tops

Five young Costa Rican pianists won top honors in the Stanislaw Moniuszko International Competition in Vilnius, Lithuania, this month, competing against 100 musicians from around the world.

All are students of Alexandr Sklioutovski, director of the “Instituto Superior de Artes” and of the piano program of the Universidad Nacional (UNA).

In the master category, Sergio Sandí, 24, obtained second prize. In the high school category, Canadian/Costa Rican pianist Jonathan Duarte, 17, was awarded first prize and Luis Esteban Herrera, 18, was awarded second prize, along with a special award granted for the best interpretation of composer B. Smetana.

Stella Sánchez, 8, and Pennelope Sáenz, 9, walked away with second and third prize respectivelyin the junior category.

Herrera and Duarte have been invited to perform at the prestigious Salle Pleyel in France later this year. Duarte is also preparing to attend the Vladimir Nielsen Piano Festival in New York this summer where 13 young elite pianists will receive classes with Dr. Victoria Mushkatkol, director of the precollege program of The Juilliard School.

–Pamela Duarte

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