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South Korean pianist Soo Jung Ann wins the International Music Competition Maria Canals of Barcelona

The 58th edition of the prestigious international piano competition awarded the jury’s first prize to Soo Jung Ann, who is 25 years old. The Japanese interpreter Nozomi Nakagiri and Ukraine’s pianist Vadym Kholodenko won the second and third prizes. Nakagiri also received audience’s prize. The competition ran from March 9th to March 21st, and the final was held at Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana. 89 artists of 23 different nationalities participated in this year’s edition. More than 100 Catalan families offered their grand pianos for the occasion.

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22 March 2012 10:34 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The pianist Soo Jung Ann has won this year\u2019s edition of the International Music Competition Maria Canals of Barcelona. The \u2018Maria Canals\u2019 is one of the world\u2019s most prestigious piano competitions, and it is organised every year in Catalonia\u2019s capital. The South Korean interpreter, Soo Jung Ann, was awarded the international jury\u2019s first prize, the Barcelona Award, which comes with \u20AC20,000 and with a string of concerts in Catalonia, Spain and abroad. She also received the special prize of Barcelona music school students. The final was held at the concert hall Palau de la Música Catalana, in Barcelona, on Wednesday evening. Soo Jung Ann competed with the other two finalists: Nozomi Nakagiri \u2013who is 24 years old from Japan\u2013 and Vadym Kholodenko \u2013who is 25  from Ukraine. They all had to play an entire concerto for piano and orchestra, different for each one. Nakagiri was awarded the jury\u2019s second prize and Kholodenko, the third. Furthermore, the Japanese pianist was also awarded the audience\u2019s special prize. The competition ran from March 9th to March 21st, and it literally took to the streets of Barcelona, with piano concerts organised in public squares and in many other venues throughout the Catalan capital. More than 100 Catalan families offered their grand pianos for the occasion. 89 artists from 23 different nationalities participated in this year\u2019s edition.


The piano interpreters were accompanied by the Catalan Orquestra Simfònica del Vallès (Vallès Symphonic Orchestra), conducted by Rubén Gimeno. Each one of them had to play an entire concerto for piano and orchestra. Vadym Kholodenko played the Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor by Sergei Rachmaninoff (op. 18). Soon Jung Ann won with the Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major by Ludwig van Beethoven (op. 58). And Nozomi Nakagiri interpreted the Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor by Pyotr Txaikovski (op. 23).

A prestigious competition

The \u2018Maria Canals\u2019 international piano competition was created in 1954 by Maria Canals and her husband. Since its early years, the competition became one of the world\u2019s most prestigious contests. In 1958 it was accepted by the World Federation of International Music Competitions.

It takes place over two weeks in Catalonia\u2019s capital and takes to the city\u2019s streets and squares, with free piano concerts. Furthermore, the 89 participants of this year\u2019s edition play with pianos that some of them have been allowed to use by 100 Catalan families for the occasion.

The competition\u2019s final was held on Wednesday at the Palau de la Música but the awards ceremony will be organised on Thursday at Barcelona\u2019s City Hall, in the old \u2018Saló de Cent\u2019 room. Furthermore, the winners will offer another concert on Friday at the auditorium of the Liceu music academy (Conservatori Superior del Liceu).

The 89 candidates went through the elimination stages between March 11th and March 16th, at the Petit Palau concert hall, an annex of the Palau de la Música. For the first time, the competition\u2019s programme included an inaugural concert, organised in collaboration with the foundation Invest For Children. The winner of the 2010 Maria Canals edition, Denis Zdanhov, performed the first concert.

In total the competition awarded more than \u20AC75,000. The first prize, the Barcelona Award, came with \u20AC20,000. The second prize awarded \u20AC10,000 and the third \u20AC6,000. The three finalists also received an additional recognition of \u20AC1,000.

Soo Jong Ann has already won several piano competitions

Soo Jong Ann was born in Seoul in 1987. She earned a Bachelor\u2019s Degree in Music at ther Korean National University of Arts in 2007, with the professor Kang Choong Mo. From 2007, she has been studying at the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RAIM), with John O\u2019Connor and Thérèse Fahy. Soo Jong Ann has been awarded at the International Piano Competition of Hamatsu and the International Piano Competition Dublin AXA. She also obtained the second prize of the 15th International Chopin Competition of Warsaw, in 2005. 

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  • The South Korean pianist Soo Jong Ann (by P. Francesch)

  • The South Korean pianist Soo Jong Ann (by P. Francesch)