From July 21 to 20, the sounds of classical piano music wafted through Loyola University’s Roussel Hall for the annual New Orleans International Piano Competition, hosted by the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans.
Alexander McDonald, MASNO executive director Daniel Weilbaecher, Christopher Atzinger, and Konstantin Soukhovelski
Before the competition began, a field of 120 pianists (who initially sent in tapes of their work) was whittled down to 12 semifinalists who were selected through a multi-stage listening process that lasted over two months. All of the semifinalists were evaluated by a group of five pianists as they competed for more than $30,000 in prize money and performance fees, including appearances with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Acadian Symphony Orchestra and the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, as well as a solo recital at London’s Wigmore Hall.
Julie Nice, Bruce Crutcher, and Mignon Faget
After playing music in the final round by Mozart, Rachmaninov, Strauss/Grainger and Rochberg, Konstantin Soukhovetski from Russia took first place (and was also the “audience favorite” says a MASNO representative), while Alex McDonald of the United States took second place and Christopher Atzinger, also of the United States, received third place.
Elroy Eckhardt, Judy Rush-Eckhardt, and Steven Kinchen