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Piano Semifinalists Announced at 2024 Concours Musical International de Montréal

Ten pianists will take part in a two-part Semifinal round, performing chamber music and a solo recital


Canada's Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM) is currently underway until May 16 in Montreal, Quebec. 388 pianists from a total of 38 different countries applied to take part, and just 24 young players were selected for the first round, which you can watch here.

Today, the jury announced the 10 pianists moving on to the Semifinal round:

  • Elias Ackerley
  • Michelle Candotti
  • Antonio Chen Guang
  • Jaeden Izik-Dzurko
  • Carter Johnson
  • Jakub Kuszlik 
  • Arisa Onoda
  • Anthony Ratinov
  • Gabriele Strata
  • Derek Wang 

In 2024, the CMIM jury is comprised of Zarin Mehta (chair), Dmitri Alexeev, Jan Jiracek von Arnim, Lydia Artymiw, Louise Bessette, Robert Levin, Hélène Mercier, Ronan O'Hora, and Minsoo Sohn.

The nine advanced piano studies students from Montreal have formed the Junior Jury, chaired by Janelle Fung. This group awarded the Junior Jury Prize with a value of $1,000 to Jakub Kuslik.

An additional prize, the Bita-Cattelan Philanthropic Engagement Award, was given to Élisabeth Pion. In addition to a cash prize of $2,500, Élisabeth will return to Montreal to participate in a $2,500 engagement related to a philanthropic cause.

The Semifinal will take place on May 10, 11, and 12 at Montreal's Salle Bourgie. It will commence with a Chamber Music round, followed by three recital sessions.

During the Chamber Music round, the semifinalists will perform the first movement of a piano quartet selected from seminal works by Beethoven, Brahms, Fauré, Mozart, and Schumann.

Then, the semifinalists must perform a recital of 45-50 minutes of music, including the imposed Canadian work by Barbara Assiginaak, titled Mzizaakok Miiniwaa Mzizaakoonsak (Horseflies and Deerflies), as well as a complete sonata and at least one other piece of their choice.

Following the Semifinal, the jury will select six pianists to participate in the Final held at Maison symphonique on Wednesday, May 15, and Thursday, May 16 at 7:30 PM. The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal – the official orchestra of the CMIM – will accompany the six finalists, under the direction of Guest Conductor Xian Zhang. She will join the jury for the final deliberations. A total prize value of over $200,000 will be shared among the competitors in awards, grants, and engagements.

As an official digital partner of the CMIM, The Violin Channel will be streaming the semi-finals and finals of the competition, here. 

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