Michael Fine reports from the jury room of the 9th International Adilia Alieva Piano Competition in Gaillard, France, that the first prize winner, Lucas Debargue, has to play in bars around Paris and at the Gare de St Denis to pay for his tuition at the Cortot Conservatoire.
The prize is 8,000 Euros. It might earn him a few nights off.
Lucas should go far. And not just by train.
UPDATE: Michael Fine adds: The story I got was that his teacher ‘forced’ him to enter the competition. He seemed taken completely by surprise when he learned that he was the 1st Prize winner in the professional division. I must say that from the first notes he played, I was impressed. Of all the young candidates, he was one who knew how to voice and balance the music creating an orchestral timbre and found a range of colours which elude most young pianists. In the youth division, I was similarly impressed by Nathalia Milstein, the young granddaughter of the great violinist’s brother, also a fine musician but he suffered from crippling state fright, or so I was told. Anyone reading who would like to give two extraordinarily fine and interesting musicians a chance — please let me know.