Russia's Avdeeva wins 2010 Chopin piano competition

Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:44pm EDT
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By Gareth Jones

WARSAW (Reuters Life!) - Russia's Yulianna Avdeeva won the prestigious 2010 International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition on Wednesday after a three-week musical marathon followed avidly by classical music lovers around the globe. The competition, the oldest of its kind in the world, is held every five years in the Polish capital and has built up an especially enthusiastic following in Asia. A jury that included several world-famous pianists such as Martha Argerich and Kevin Kenner chose Avdeeva, 25, from among 10 finalists after lengthy late-night deliberations at the end of a competition marked by the high quality of its performances.

Ingolf Wunder of Austria and Lukas Geniusas of Russia/Lithuania won joint second place, Russia's Daniil Trifonov came third and Bulgaria's Evgeni Bozhanov fourth.

Avdeeva, whose expressive and mature performance of Chopin's Concerto in E minor drew a standing ovation on Tuesday evening, studied in Moscow and is now working as an assistant to a Russian professor at the Hochschule fuer Musik und Theater in Zurich, Switzerland.

Avdeeva has performed in more than 20 countries including the United States and Japan and has won a number of prizes.

This year's 16th Chopin competition attracted especially strong interest because it coincided with the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth -- to a Polish mother and French father -- in a village near Warsaw in 1810.

There were some 3,000 events including concerts dedicated to Chopin's bicentenary worldwide in the first half of 2010 alone.


Of the 81 original finalists in this year's Chopin Competition, selected after preliminary auditions in the spring, 16 were from Japan and 13 from China, highlighting Asia's increasing clout in the field of Western classical music.   Continued...

<p>Yulianna Avdeeva of Russia acknowledges applause after performing with the The Symphonic Orchestra of the National Philharmonic conducted by Antoni Wit (R) during auditions of the finals of the 16th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw October 19, 2010. REUTERS/Peter Andrews</p>