HA NOI — The second International Piano Competition Vietnam has kicked off, with new rules promising improved quality and judging standards.
The major musical event to discover and support young talent in classical music will be held from today to September 12 by the Viet Nam National Music Academy (VMA) in Ha Noi with three age categories: 10-13, 14-17, and 18-25.
Fifty-two contestants from nine countries and territories have registered to join the contest, said VMA's director Nguyen Van Toan.
"The previous piano contest was praised as one of the best in the region, and it's also the only professional piano contest in the country," Toan said.
"We're proud that many of those who won awards at the contest also won at other events in Australia, South Korea and Italy last year," he said. "It also helps encourage young talented pianists at home and abroad."
The contest was recognised by the Alink Argerich Foundation, a prestigious organiser of musical contests in the world. All details of the contest are published on alink-argerich.org to promote the competition around the world.
This year, the 14-17 age category will join the oldest group of contestants in playing with the orchestra during the competition. In addition, more complicated musical pieces will be required of all groups to upgrade the contest's quality.
As this year marks the 150th birthday of French composer Claude-Achille Debussy (1862-1918), some of his works may also be chosen for the contest.
The biennial competition was first held in 2010, drawing 40 contestants from Viet Nam and 23 from other 11 countries.
The organisers hope the competition will help bring classical music closer to Vietnamese music lovers and strengthen the exchange between young talented pianists in the region and around the world.
This year's contest will be judged by prominent pianists and professors led by Professor Tran Thu Ha of the VMA, including Chang Hae-won (South Korea), Ewa Poblocka (Poland), Michel Bourdoncle (France), Snezana Panovska (Malaysia), Fumiko Eguchi (Japan), Tamas Ungar (the US), and Jacek Rogala (Poland). — VNS