The pre-selectors of the piano phase of the Tchaikovsky Competition have admitted 36 candidates, in place of the expected 30. The judges (below), who included Boris Berezovsky, Barry Douglas, Peter Donohoe and Alexander Toradze, whittled down 55 contenders to 35 at which point decided they could cut no further.
The organisers then added Nikolay Medvedev (Russia), winner of the Russian National Music Competition, without audition.
On the selectors’ discard pile were two audience favourites, Alexander Lubyantsev and Nikita Mndoyants. Despite these omissions, 22 of the finalists are Russian.
One British pianist, Alexander Ullman, got through, and two Americans – Reed Tetzloff and George Li.
There are two Germans – Maria Mazo, 32, from Hannover
and Miao Huang.