Blood on keys as international piano competition is suspended

Blood on keys as international piano competition is suspended


norman lebrecht

December 11, 2015

Janelle Gelfand reports that next summer’s Cincinnatti World Piano Competition has been called off while the board considers a ‘sustainable artistic and economic model’. Meaning, the event is non-viable.

There has been trouble at the Comp for a while. Its artistic director Awadagin Pratt was sacked last summer, only to be reinstated after his nemesis was dismissed.

And the quality of contestants, and international attention, has been in decline.

Read Janelle here.

bloodstained piano


  • John humphreys says:

    Curious surname…

  • Lois Jones says:

    Trouble for a while? Quality in decline? It’s actually quite the opposite. For the last year three summers, the Cincinnati World Piano Competition has had spectacular final rounds where extraordinary young artists have had the opportunity to perform concerto repertoire with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and those performances at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music have all been sold out. The stakes have increased thanks to more prize money, and there’s always tremendous buzz in the air at these performances.

    As an audience member/spectator, any behind-the-scenes drama doesn’t detract from the artistry, and while some may be disappointed there isn’t a competition in 2016, there are many fine competitions around the world that do not occur annually.

    I for one am looking forward to the 60th Anniversary Concert this summer.