The Cincinnati World Piano Competition (CWPC) returns to CCM Village for a special 60th Anniversary Concert on Saturday, July 30, 2016.
This special one-night-only performance honors CWPC founder and former Executive Director Gloria Ackerman, who retired in 2013. The concert features CWPC Artistic Director Awadagin Pratt, in addition to pianists Angela Cheng and Daria Rabotkina, performing repertoire for piano and orchestra with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) led by Associate Conductor Keitaro Harada.
“This recognition for Gloria’s remarkable contributions is overdue and it’s particularly fitting that we honor her with a concert featuring two past CWPC medalists along with Awadagin, who is of course a world-renowned pianist in his own right,” said CWPC Board Chair Jack Rouse.
The program will open with Ravel’s Piano Concerto, performed by 1983 CWPC Gold Medalist Angela Cheng. Cheng, who went on to win the Gold Medal at the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Masters Competition, was also the first Canadian to win the prestigious Montreal International Piano Competition. She is consistently praised for her brilliant technique, tonal beauty and superb musicianship. In addition to guest appearances with the major orchestras in her home country of Canada, Cheng regularly performs with orchestras and in recital across the US and Europe.
Strauss’ Burleske will be performed by 2002 CWPC Silver Medalist Daria Raboktina who, according to the Washington Post, has impressed audiences and critics alike with her “clearly prodigious musical gifts.” She went on to win the 2007 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, has received top prizes at many international competitions, and has worked with conductors Michael Tilson Thomas, Valery Gergiev and Ginacarlo Guerrero, among others.
The concert closes with Pratt performing Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1. In addition to serving as CWPC Artistic Director and Professor of Piano at CCM, Pratt is internationally acclaimed for his musical insight and intensely involved performances in recital and with symphony orchestras. He last performed with the CSO in 2011 for Paavo Järvi’s triumphant final concerts as the Orchestra’s Music Director.
“It is always an honor and pleasure to make music with the world-class musicians of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,” Pratt said.
As previously announced, this special CWPC performance on July 30 at CCM’s Corbett Auditorium is being presented in lieu of this summer’s competition while the organization examines and explores ways to further build on recent successes.
“Most international competitions do not occur annually and that’s one of the many issues we’re exploring,” Pratt said. “The CWPC remains committed to fostering the talent of young pianists.”