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Loyola hosts 2008 New Orleans International Piano Competition this week

Loyola press release - July 21, 2008

The Musical Arts Society of New Orleans (MASNO) presents the 20th annual New Orleans International Piano Competition on July 19 – 27, hosted at Loyola University New Orleans.

Twelve semifinalists, chosen from a field of 106 applicants representing 26 countries, were invited to compete for the title. The semifinalists are Polina Bespalko, United States; Berenika Glixman, Israel; Quentin Kim, Korea; Vakhtang Kodanashvili, Georgia; Dmitri Levkovich, Canada; Yoni Levyatov, Israel; Oxana Mikhailoff, United States; Spencer Myer, United States; Howard Na, United States; Kinwai Shum, China; Chetan Tierra, United States; Di Wu, China.

The competition will begin with the first semifinal round where competitors will each perform a 35-minute program. This round will take place over the course of three evenings; Monday, July 21 - Wednesday, July 23, beginning at 7 p.m.

All 12 semifinalists will be heard again in the second semifinal round, held on Thursday, July 24 and Friday, July 25, beginning at 7 p.m., where they will each perform another 20-minute program. Following this round, audience members will have the opportunity to award the “Audience Favorite Prize” of $1,000 to the semifinalist of their choosing. Any audience member attending all five evenings of the first and second semifinal rounds will be able to vote.

Following Friday’s performances, the competition jurors will determine the three contestants who will advance to the final round, which take place on Sunday, July 27 at 2 p.m. This round will feature each of the three finalists in a 50-minute recital.

After the conclusion of the final round, the jury will confer and announce their decision on who will be the winner.

The 12 semifinalists are competing for prizes totaling more than $35,000 and for the right to perform with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra and the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra. The winner will also present a recital at the famous Wigmore Hall, in London.

The 2008 NOIPC jurors are Stanislav Ioudenitch, 2000 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition gold medalist; Paul Pollei, Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition executive/artistic director; Ann Schein, Peabody Conservatory and Aspen Music Festival; Nelita True, Eastman School of Music; Nancy Weems, University of Houston Moores School of Music; and Daniel Weilbaecher, competition chair and MASNO executive/artistic director.

Other events related to the competition that will also be taking place include the 27th annual New Orleans Keyboard Festival and the 9th annual New Orleans Piano Institute.

To view a schedule of events, order tickets or for more information, visit MASNO’s website at www.masno.org or call (504) 899-4826.