Ukrainian wins Honens with most Russian concerto

Ukrainian wins Honens with most Russian concerto


norman lebrecht

October 29, 2022

The Ukrainian pianist Illia Ovcharenko is the 2022 Honens winner. He convinced the judges with a performance of Tchaikovsky’s first piano concerto.

Illia, 21, takes home C$100,000 and an Artist Development Program worth half a million dollars. Finalists Rachel Breen (United States / age 26) and Sasha Kasman Laude (United States / age 27) each received Finalist Prizes of $10,000. Additional prizes are awarded to Ádám Balogh for the Best Performance of a Commissioned Work ($2500), and Angie Zhang for the Best Performance of a Beethoven Violin Sonata ($2500) and the Audience Choice Award ($2500).


  • I beg your pardon says:

    He’d probably insist that Tchaikovsky was Ukrainian, since he was born there.

    Yes, wallowing in his own self pity at the atrocious invasion of his home country + very mediocre skills as a musician = win win.

    He’ll be a very marketable product for the tone deaf agents. Being a Ukrainian musician these days is as fashionable as being black.

    • Ludwig's Van says:

      Listen here, Mr. Souerpuss: Your tin ears are no match for those of this jury, and your mediocre talent-assessment skills fall well below even your pay-grade. You are no doubt more qualified to be a ditch-digger.

    • just saying says:

      Maybe it’s time for you to switch to decaf? lol

    • Hugo Preuß says:

      On the other hand, being a snivelling prick and bore these days is as unfashionable as it always was and always will be.

    • esfir ross says:

      Stop malignant a major talented pianist. When I heard IO playing online I was blown away by his artistry. I expect him to win listen to other competitors. He’s pianist to watch. One who trash him -never heard his wonderful playing.

  • expat says:

    Since the final round was divided into two parts, it may well have been his performance of Mozart and Schubert the previous day that convinced the judges, together with performances of Beethoven, Schumann, Ginastera, Liszt, Kreisler and Goodyear in previous rounds. As far as I know the prizes are awarded without commentary. Perhaps you know different. All the rounds are available to view on vimeo from the competition website.

    • Luke Moissinac says:

      Yup, I agree. In the first stage of the finals, he was the only competitor who played the Mozart concerto from memory, with interesting cadenzas, with the string quartet plus double bass. I don’t understand why the other two finalists played from score (they were concerti after all) even though the performances were designated as chamber music. And for the Schubert lieder, he chose the more challenging set that included Die Forelle and Erlkoenig. His rendition of the piano part of Erlkoenig matched the changes in emotion by the mezzo soprano very nicely.

  • says:

    How miserable your life must be if the way you express yourself is trying to judge someone who is objectively amazing, no matter what concerto or nationality.

  • M McGrath says:

    Some really dumb, objectionable comments below. Christ, let’s just wish the kid well!! The market, luck, resources, the agent, and talent will decide his future. And if Yuja can flash her butt, then he can flash his Ukrainian passport.
    Me, I like his eyebrows!