Tchaikovsky loser wins Philadelphia date

Tchaikovsky loser wins Philadelphia date


norman lebrecht

July 10, 2019

An Tianxu, the Chinese pianist who was derailed by an official screw-up in the Tchaikovsky final by a change of concerto, has been called in to play the Rachmananiov Paganini Variations with the Philadelphia Orchestra on July 23.

Details here.


  • John Rook says:

    Well, let’s hope that’s what the orchestra plays.

  • Anon says:

    Man, you really don’t wanna start your career like this, as a novelty act, playing to the summer picnicking crowd.

    At least insist on the Tchaikovsky First!

    • JPAULO says:

      The Mann music center with the Philadelphia Orchestra ??? I think he could have a way worse major symphony debut, if it is even his major debut. Most of those Curtis kids are famous or nearly so when they arrive.

    • The Real Anon says:

      Dude, it’s the Philadelphia Orchestra. He’s what, 20 years old? It’s a decent gig for his first post-Tchaik engagement.

  • Brian says:

    “Tchaikovsky Loser”? Charming…

  • Victor Trahan says:

    Another misleading headline!!! He came in fourth. Are you implying that, were it not for the mixup, he would have ranked first? Kantorow deserved the top prize. Tianxu didn’t.
    Unlike Pires who had to play a Mozart concerto from memory on the spur of the moment, Tianxu fortunately knew the Rach.

  • Esther Cavett says:

    You know, SD is a good site and doesn’t have to resort to these cheap shots like ‘…Loser’. Disappointing to read

  • Anon says:

    Look, any of the top group of Tchaikovsky finalists is a pretty sure bet to hire as soloist. They all play well, are in top form, look good, are young and energetic and ready to go!

    An Tianxu has the distinct advantage of having a lot of interest from fans who were impressed by his composure and poise who are rooting for him. Also, I’m sure he’s much more available, flexible in repertoire and less expensive than the 3 finalists who placed above him.

    Good for Phila for bringing him in. It shows foresight and intelligence. Their management is clearly on top of current interests in the classical music world and they’re aware of the brightest new and most interesting stars. US audiences often have to wait to hear new talent like this. Phila audiences are fortunate to have the opportunity to hear An Tianxu so soon after his Tchaikovsky success.

  • Sixtus Beckmesser says:

    An Tianxu is a superb pianist and I’m glad I’m not the only person who thinks so. I wish him well.

  • Karl says:

    Will he always be known as “The Tchaikovsky Loser”?

  • Rob says:

    “Picnics are permitted for this performance as a part of the Mann’s Summer Picnic Series.”

    Clanging and broken wine glasses, babies and laughter then.

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    What matters moving forward is that a relationship has been created between Yannick and a wonderful young musician. The future of this young pianist’s career depends on these new friendships and if he delivers on stage. Also, building an arsenal of repertoire is key to his sustainability. I remember when I was a newcomer, the Philadelphia Orchestra had a concert in the summer featuring a young pianist. Through an audition, I got the job and played Prokofiev 3 with their long-standing associate conductor, Bill Smith (for those who remember him). I remain grateful almost thirty years later for that opportunity. Good luck to this fine young pianist!

    • Jane Arao says:

      Thank you! I couldn’t agree more. All best wishes to An Tianxu ! Looking forward to hearing him play again, and again, and again.

  • Ray says:

    If you call An “the Tchaikovsky Loser” what do you call the 18 who did not make the finals?

  • JS says:

    Tasteless headline—this guy is far from a “loser”. Think about that attitude next time.

  • John says:

    LOSER!? And you couldn’t write “Tchaikovsky finalist”? What is wrong with you guys?

  • John Rook says:

    ‘Tchaikovsky loser’ is purposely provocative and in no way reflects this young man’s talent. Switching concertos on a sixpence was a superb accomplishment and shows future employers his flexibility and sang froid. Good on him, he deserves this success and this initial contract with a first-class orchestra.