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Alexandre Kantorow wins Tchaikovsky Competition piano category

9:16, 28th June 2019

Report by Gramophone

The 16th International Tchaikovsky Competition concluded last night, naming the winners across its six categories.

In the customarily much-followed piano category the Gold Medal went to the 22-year-old French pianist Alexandre Kantorow (the only finalist to opt for Tchaikovsky’s Second, rather than First, Piano Concerto). Kantorow recently released a much-praised album of Saint-Saëns piano concertos for BIS, a label that showed considerable foresight in starting to record with him five years ago. Kantorow ‘is the real deal – a fire-breathing virtuoso with a poetic charm…’ wrote Gramophone in June.

Two Silver Medals were awarded: to Mao Fujita, 20, from Japan (a firm audience favourite) and Dmitry Shiskin, 27, from Russia, while the jury, chaired by Denis Matsuev, gave three Bronze Medals – to Konstantin Emelyanov, 25, from Russia, Alexey Malenikov, 29, from Russia and Kenneth Broberg, 25, from the USA.

The Chinese pianist An Tianxu, 20, was awarded fourth place but singled out for his courage when he was poised to start the Tchaikovsky First Concerto while the orchestra opened the Rachmaninov Paganini Rhapsody – a situation he rescued with aplomb.

The State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia, ‘Evgeny Svetlanov’, was conducted for the piano concerto finals with considerable skill and musicality by Vasily Petrenko.

The competition was streamed in its entirety by Medici.tv with more than 15 million views from nearly 200 countries. Medici will also stream the two winners’ galas – on Friday from Moscow and on Saturday from St Petersburg. In both galas, the Tchaikovsky Competition’s co-chair and guiding force Valery Gergiev will conduct his Mariinsky Orchestra.

For a full listing of the results visit Medici.tv’s competition website.

XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition

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