icon-date-replay.png Illustrious chamber musicians and competitors join forces

It is the fifth day of the competition and we are at centre point of the Semi-Finals.  The added pleasure of this stage is the stellar guests who join our pianists for chamber works. The competitors have the opportunity to exhibit their musicianship with some of the world’s finest instrumentalists.

Yesterday we heard Xinyuan Wang beautifully perform Brahms Piano Quintet in F Minor with the Elias String Quartet; a quartet internationally acclaimed as one of the leading ensembles of their generation. Joining competitor Pavel Zemen, was Norwegian Bjørg Lewis to give us an inspiring performance of Dvorak’s epic Trio in E Minor, “Dumky”. Bjørg is one of the leading cellists in chamber music. A regular at Wigmore Hall, her recital career takes her all over Europe, North America and Japan.  She returned today to team up with semi-finalist Mario Häring to perform Beethoven Sonata for Piano and Cello No. 3 in A Major. We were fortunate enough to meet up with her. Bjørg explains that, written in the same year as the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, this sonata is a pivotal work in the history of chamber music: “In the first two sonatas, the cello is essentially a bass line to accompany the piano. In No. 3, Beethoven turns this upside down as the cello solo line becomes the theme of the sonata. The two instruments have their own, individual voices.”


Mario told us on Friday how much he enjoyed performing with others and today’s performance was a testimony to that. Bjørg elaborated on this and told us that performing with musicians like Pavel and Mario is energising. She explained that while on stage, chamber musicians have a relationship and the opportunity to communicate with each other through the music. “I love this part of being a musician!”  
We welcomed the Elias Quartet back too today with semi-finalist Aljoša Jurinić who wowed us with a Dvorak Piano Quintet No.2 in A Major, followed by the transfixing Shostakovich Quintet for Piano and Strings in G Minor with Anna Geniushene. In September 1941, the year following its premiere, Shostakovich was awarded the Stalin Prize for this quintet. Tune in tomorrow to find out if has the same victorious effect for Anna as the finalists are announced!

If you missed any of today’s semi-finalists, see them in action here on replay. You’re in for a treat!

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