About the OPC

DIRECTORS

Ella Connolly and Marco Nannini

 

In her home town of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Ella was heavily involved in musical activites, in particular, piano. As a child and teenager she studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin and later embarked on a performance degree at the Royal Northern College of Music. However, before finishing this degree Ella changed the path of her education and career plans to study law and work as a legal assistant in London. Twelve years on, she is gradually moving back to the world of music and has created, together with her husband Marco whose background includes project management, finance and off-shore yacht racing, an opportunity open to all pianists irrespective of their musical training: the Open Piano Competition. 

 

 

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Marianna Prjevalskaya

Marianna Prjevalskaya is one of the leading Spanish pianists of her generation. She has won major prizes at numerous international piano competitions including Dudley, Paderewski, Seoul, Jose Iturbi, Takamatsu, Sendai and Jaen International Piano Competitions among others. In 2012 and 2013 respectively, she won the Panama International Piano Competition and First Prize and the Gold Medal at the Cincinatti World Piano Competition.

Praised by the critics as a "master of piano" and "a grand pianist", her performances captivated audiences with the emotional intensity, maturity, richness and beauty of tone. Marianna appeared at major festivals and in important venues such as the Grosser Saal of the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Academia Santa Cecilia of Rome, Yokohama International Piano Concert Festival at Minato Mirai Hall in Japan, Norwich and Norfolk Festival or Weill Recital Hall of New York. Her major teachers were Boris Berman, Alexander Toradze, Kevin Kenner and Irina Zaritskaya.

Marianna holds degrees from the Yale School of Music, Indiana University and Royal College of Music of London. Her first CD of Spanish Romantic chamber works have been released in 2002 by BOA recordings and in 2012 a new CD of solo piano works will be released by Naxos. She deeply believes that music can unite many exceptional professional artists and wonderful amateur musicians, and that mutual collaboration can open new and wide horizons.

Marianna served as the OPC's Artistic Director for its first edition in London in October 2012 alongside Coady Green and Tamara Lorenzo Gabeiras. This year she is the OPC's sole Artistic Director.

Find out more about Marianna at: www.prjevalskaya.com

 

 

What is the OPEN PIANO COMPETITION?

The Open Piano Competition (OPC) is an entirely new concept of piano competition which has as its aim to provide pianists of varying levels of ability aged 18 upwards, an opportunity to meet like-minded pianists, compete against others within their category of ability and, finally, showcase their talents in front of a live audience. 

 

What makes the OPC different

What makes the OPC different to any other piano competition is the final round in which we do not divide the so-called 'professional' pianist (e.g., one who has trained at a conservatoire and whose income derives from playing concerts, teaching etc.,) from the so-called 'amateur' pianist (e.g., one for whom piano has always been a hobby and a passion but whose income derives from a full-time career as e.g., engineer, doctor, house-wife, secretary, etc) thereby creating two separate competitions which is the preferred method for many piano competitions today,  rather, the OPC sets the winners from the categories in rounds one and two to be judged against each other on their interpretation of the music they have chosen.

We feel that doing away with the labels other piano competitions tag onto their competitors creates an environment for all pianists to compete regardless of their musical background and training, i.e., a truly open piano competition.

 

How the OPC works

Applicants fill in a questionnaire (http://www.openpianocompetition.com/apply) telling us about their background and their interest in piano, why they want to compete etc., and upload an audio recording of an 8-10 minute performance of music of their own choice.

The Artistic Directors (http://www.openpianocompetition.com/team) will carry out the initial selection of pianists going through to compete, assessing the pianist both from the playing ability displayed in the recording and the information provided in the Application Questionnaire (http://www.openpianocompetition.com/apply). Once this is completed the Artistic Directors will allocate the pianists to one of two categories.

Applicants will then choose their repertoire (http://www.openpianocompetition.com/repertoire) from the selection available in their allocated category for rounds one, two and the final.

 

Adjudication

Our adjudicators (http://www.openpianocompetition.com/adjudicators), some of whom have been on the panel of judges of various other international piano competitions, will at all times take into consideration information in the Application Questionnaires and Applicants' relative level of skill.

 

Prizes

Please see (http://www.openpianocompetition.com/prizes) for more information.