[dropcap]B[/dropcap]all State did such a superb job of hosting the first North American preliminary auditions for an international piano contest that organizers already want the university to hold auditions for the 2017 competition.
“All of our pianists raved about our facilities, the Hamburg Steinway they performed on and the infrastructure and organization of the auditions,” said Robert Palmer, the Ruth Weldy Mauzy and Mary Weldy Porter Distinguished Professor of Piano.
Twenty-five young pianists from across the United States and Canada gathered in November for the 2016 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition auditions. The university kept company with three other worldwide audition sites: London, Tokyo and Hamburg, Germany.
“Certainly Ball State was every bit as much a winner as the pianists who advanced out of our preliminary round auditions to the Hastings competition,” Palmer said.
Thirteen participants from Ball State’s event were among 48 pianists chosen to perform in the Feb. 25 to March 5 contest in Hastings, England. Two Ball State qualifiers placed in the top five: Samuel Deason was second and Eric Zuber fourth. Winner Tzu Yin Huang took home £10,000 (about $15,000), will perform as a concerto soloist with London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and will be a featured performer in the College of Fine Arts’ 2016-17 Arts Alive concert series.
A Ball State student team of Arielle Day, Kenton Little, Mikaela Maranhas, Jared Sullivan, Joe Trinite and Chris Winslow created a documentary about the Hastings auditions featuring interviews with organizers, participants and preliminary round winners. Watch it.