The National Piano Competition Chopin
March 7th 2014
The Palestinian Society "Fryderyk Chopin", in collaboration with the Bethlehem Academy of Music, continues to promote the music of Chopin. Established in Bethlehem at the time of the bicentenary of the birth of the great composer (February 22, 1810), with the support of the Polish Embassy, the Chopin Society created the 4th edition of the National Piano Competition named after the Polish musical genious.
The participants of this year’s edition were 7 kids aged between 7 and 12 and two teenagers of 15 and 17 years of age. The competition was held as a concert: each participant played an obligatory piece and another of his/her choice.
Although Chopin didn’t like playing in front of a wide audience, like the one attending the competition in the hall of the Peace Center in Bethlehem, non era la cosa preferita da Chopin (he wrote to his friend F. Liszt “I’m not made for concerts. I’m scared of the multitude: its curios gaze friezes me, its unfamiliar faces leave me speechless. To give concerts it’s your business, because if you don’t win over it, you are still capable of conquering it”), the participants from Bethlehem and Jerusalem didn’t let themselves be intimidated and interpreted with self-confidence and often in an intensely expressive way, the works of the Poet of the piano.
All the pianists received a huge cheer from the audience but it was the jury that, at the end, proclaimed the winners. Members of the jury were: Reem Handal, director of the Bethlehem Academy of Music, Jason Crompton, a pianist from the USA, Jiries Boullata, Academic Director of the E. Said National Conservatory of Music (Jerusalem branch) and teacher at the Magnificat, P. George Lewett, a composer from the USA. P. Armando Pierucci was the president of the Jury.
The prizes (a week-long music workshop in Warsaw and scholarships offered by the Polish Embassy) went to Mohammad Al-sheikh, Basel Awwad and Bishara Marzouka: first, second and third prize of the first category; to Katia Jololian and Annie Sivzattian: first and second prize of the second category. Everyone was cheered. The teachers of the Magnificat were satisfied and happy for the success of their students: Emma Spitkowsky for Mohammad, Jiries Boullata for Basel, Mirjam Younan for Katia and Annie.