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Horowitz Competition Kyiv-Geneva

As far as competitions are concerned, the spring of 2023 offers absolute highlights in terms of Steinway Artists. Shortly after the famous (and for us extremely successful) Arthur Rubinstein Competition, the one under the name of – or should we say “the” – another pianist legend took place: Vladimir Horowitz.

Horowitz Competition 2023 in Geneva instead of Kyiv

Usually this competition is held in his native city Kyiv. However, due to the war in Ukraine, it could not take place there, as there was concern that it would have to be cancelled. The World Federation of International Music Competitions (WFIMC) did not want to accept such a solution and offered the competition to be held “in exile”: in Geneva. The Concours de Genève had already been successfully held there at the end of last year. Steinway was asked to participate, as it had then, and accepted with pleasure and as a matter of course.

Steinway at the Horowitz Competition

Together, the Concerts & Artists department of Steinway & Sons from Hamburg, Hug Musique and Kneiffel Pianos, and especially the concert technician François-Jérome Vincent, provided a perfect basis for the pianistic event. 

Not only in the finals, but also in the preliminary rounds, we met many pianists whom we already knew from previous competitions, or who we will soon meet again in future competitions. We are looking forward to this, because the intensive relationship with the young generation has always been an essential factor of Steinway's artistic work.

Roman Fediurko, Julian Trevelyan und Kyoungsun Park — winners of the Horowitz Competition

The artistic level of the Horowitz Competition was extremely high. One can follow it with pleasure on the website of the competition. And what similar results: like 16-year-old Kevin Chen at the Rubinstein Competition, a teenager won the gold medal here as well: 18-year-old Roman Fediurko from Ukraine. He is studying in Graz. Silver went to Julian Trevelyan from England and bronze to Kyoungsun Park from Korea.

Ukrainian Roman Fediurko won most of the special prizes

Most of the special prizes also went to Fediurko. The prize for the best Horowitz transcription went to Kyoungsun Park. Without wishing to diminish the achievements of the other pianists, Roman Fediurko showed himself to be an artist of impressive caliber. The fact that he received all the many awards is absolutely understandable artistically and not, as might be suspiciously assumed, due to his Ukrainian nationality. Nevertheless, the latter is a gratifying circumstance for the Horowitz Competition and, especially in these times, for the artistic identity of Ukraine in general.

How significant this is, unfortunately, was shown by various hostilities of the organizers as well as a Russian participant, which circulated on the Internet and were quite incriminating. If some authors had seen how honestly, warmly and affectionately the participants, especially the Ukrainian and Russian ones, treated each other, they might have refrained from writing.

Music unites all nationalities

We remember: immediately after the Second World War, the young violinist Yehudi Menuhin deliberately gave concerts in Germany, the country of the enemies, and set a humanitarian sign, for which he was and still is admired and revered. In Geneva, too, it was convincingly demonstrated how essentially the universal language of music can have an effect and build bridges towards normality. The president of the WFIMC, Peter Paul Kainrath, emphasized very impressively in his speech at the award ceremony how necessary this is.

Roman Fediurko's debut at the Elbphilharmonie

Steinway has always been working in this sense, regardless of nationalities. The Horowitz Competition Kyiv-Geneva is also a member of the Steinway Prizewinner Concerts Network. Roman Fediurko will play a three-city tour in Germany, including his debut at the Elbphilharmonie. Julian Trevelyan will represent the competition with two recitals at the Steinway Festival aboard the exquisite three-master Sea Cloud Spirit as it sails around the Iberian Peninsula. Other engagements are under discussion.

It is hoped that the next Horowitz Competition will be back home, in Kyiv.

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