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BBC Radio 3 In Tune: Sean Rafferty with Ella Connolly and Clara Rodriguez

Ella Connolly, OPC director and Clara Rodriguez, OPC jury member chat live with Sean Rafferty on BBC Radio 3 yesterday, 9th October, about the first Open Piano Competition. If you missed it you can listen again by going to the BBC Radio 3 home page and finding "In Tune", or clicking on the link below.

Open Piano Competition 2012 Winners announced!!

The OPC team arrived in Grosvnor Chapel this morning taking over its gem of a hall: powerful spotlights glinting off gilt edged frescos with a black Fazioli 212 gleaming in centre-stage. A fantastic setting.

Piano tuned, microphones positioned and equipment installed and set-up, accoustical engineer John Connolly paused for only a very brief lunch-break in the chapel's bright and airy gallery, before beginning his careful sound checks as the finalists tried out the piano in turn.

Preparations were complete by 4.30pm and by 5, with the jury getting to know one another and the chapel filling up, it was time to start the show. Marco Nannini, OPC director, opened the night with describing in a nut-shell what this competition is about: "we are a piano competition open to pianists of all levels, all ages and all backgrounds. We don't want to restrict amateurs to amateur only competitions, and similarly we don't want professionals to have to play only against professionals, and only up to a certain age. The OPC closes the gap between these two types of pianists, as you will shortly see".

Meet the six finalists

Listen to excerpts of the performances of our 6 finalists, recorded during the semi-final round.

Come to Grosvenor Chapel at 5:15pm on Monday 8th of October to listen to their final programmes, and most importantly, to find out who will win the first edition of the Open Piano Competition!

OPC finalists 2012 revealed

Friday, 5th of October, marked the end of the Open Piano Competition semi-finals, which was held in St Olave's, a stunning medieval church in the City of London. 15 made it to the semi-finals, each performing a 20 to 25 minute programme to include a major Romantic work by Mendelsson, Chopin, Liszt, Schuman or Brahms and one 20th century or contemporary piece. 

Artistic Director Coady Green stated that the two days were "very interesting and [showed] some very strong playing" but didn't give away much on who his favourites were. He added that it was a "great pleasure to hear the pianists communicate with music and perform with great musicality."

Semi-finals showcase stellar performances of OPC's eldest and youngest competitors

London, Thursday, October 4th 2012

Today, the first day of the Open Piano Competition's semi-finals, saw a total of nine pianists from Category 1 play a 25 minute programme of music from the Romantic and 20th Century eras, including works by Chopin, Debussy, Prokofiev, Liszt and Schumann.

Forming part of the lunch-time recital at St. Olave's church in the City of London, the pianists took to the church's old Bosendorfer piano with flair, ambition and competitive spirit.

Interviews with the Artistic Directors following round one

Two days of performances have demanded that the artistic Directors Coady Green, Tamara Lorenzo Gabeiras and Marianna Prjevalskaja listen to a range of performances by competitors in the first round of the Open Piano Competition.

Repertoire for the first round required the competitors to demonstrate their technical expertise by playing an etude by Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninov or Scriabin, their interpretation of baroque works by Soler, Scarlatti, or Bach, and their ability to tackle a fast movement of a classical sonata by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven.

Fifteen successful candidates will proceed to round two of the competition which will be held on 4th and 5th of October in St Olave's church between 1pm and 6pm then between 1pm and 4pm respectively. Admission is free.

Amateurs and professionals, young and more mature pianists have had the opportunity to play together in the same competition and it is clearly emerging that the boundaries that define talent are far less clear than those of age and background providing for a very interesting mix of performances. 

Second day of OPC reveals successful candidates to go through to second round.

October 2nd, 2012

The second day of the Open Piano Competition run smoothly as the remaining competitors diligently arrived in Steinway Hall in Marylebone for their allocated performance time in front of the panel of judges. Some were clearly nervous and kept to themselves whilst others oozed confidence from arrival through to the end of their performance. 

This first stage of the competition has inevitably brought a variety of levels of performances in front of the jury who today had the unenviable task of deliberating who should be allowed through to the second round of the Open Piano Competition. 

OPC 2012 gets off to a great start in London's Steinway Hall

The Open Piano Competition got off to a successful start with the first half of the entrants crowding the Steinway Hall show room in Marylebone lane in central London. Competitors started arriving from 10am and after checking in at the newly established OPC desk they were all whisked off to the stunning Steinway Hall of Fame where photos of some of the most famous pianists in the world of past and present grace the walls and surely provided source of inspiration to those about to perform. 

One by one, each of the 15 competitors was allotted a brief warm-up session in the basement practice room before performing on a Steinway Concert Grand Piano Model D in front of OPC Artistic Directors Coady Green, Tamara Lorenzo Gabeiras and Marianna Prjevalskya who form the jury for rounds one and two of the competitition. 

The panel was tight-lipped as to who may be favourite to go through to the next round as tomorrow a second group of competitors will perform again at Steinway Hall but even from behind the glass doors it was clear that the competition can count on some very strong candidates to delight the public, which will be allowed to attend starting from round two on 4th and 5th of October in St Olave's Church and the final on the 8th of October in Grosvenor Chapel. Check our website www.openpianocompetition.com for more details and visit our Facebook page for a gallery of photos from day one


OPC week starts tommorrow culminating in 8th of October London Final

London - September 30th, 2012

Monday the 1st of October marks the first day of the Open Piano Competition to be held in London over the course of a week. The competition involves three rounds, the first taking place over 1st and 2nd of October in Steinway Hall London in the heart of Marylebone. Chopin, Rachmaninov, Bach, Mozart, Scriabin, Haydn and Beethoven: these are just some of the great composers tackled by the pianist throgh the various stages of the competition to showcase their talents and secure the approval of the jury and cash prizes of over £5,000.  

After London, the OPC will travel to Turin, Italy in 2013

September 27, 2012

The second edition of the Open Piano Competition, a competition which allows pianists of different levels of ability to compete against each other and has no upper age limit, will be held in Turin, Italy in the Autumn of 2013. This vibrant city has a rich culture and history, and is known for its numerous art galleries, restaurants, churches, palaces, opera houses, theatres and museums. It is also the home town of OPC Director Marco Nannini who commented "It will be fantastic to bring the OPC to Turin, the interest in cultural events is tangible and hopefully we will find the support we need to take this competition further and grow after London 2012".

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