Calgary, AB, January 31, 2018—Fifty concert pianists from 22 countries have been chosen to perform in the Quarterfinals of Canada’s 2018 Honens International Piano Competition. The Screening Jury evaluated more than 100 candidate applications based on proposed Competition programming, experience relative to age, and reference letters.

The Quarterfinals/International Audition Rounds take place in Berlin (March 11 to 13—Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler) and New York (March 19 to 21—Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center). Each pianist performs a 40-minute self-programmed solo recital and completes an interview with an arts journalist.

“I have been involved with Honens since 2000, and not only was I very impressed by both the quantity and quality of the young pianists who applied this year, but also with their understanding of Honens’ value of the ‘Complete Artist.’ It was a real challenge for the jury to reduce the field to 50 quarterfinalists,” commented Eric Friesen, Chair, Screening Jury.

The 50 Quarterfinals performances are recorded on video for review by the First Jury, made up of both pianists and arts professionals: Winston Choi (2003 Honens Laureate, Head of Piano, Chicago College of the Performing Arts, Roosevelt University, United States), Isolde Lagacé (General and Artistic Director, Arte Musica Foundation, Canada), Eduardo Monteiro, (Pianist, Vice Director & Professor of Piano, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil), and Pedja Muzijevic (Pianist, Artistic Administrator, Baryshnikov Arts Center, United States). The First Jury evaluates the performances during deliberations at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in April. Ten pianists will be chosen to advance to the Semifinals in Calgary. Semifinalists will be announced on May 28, 2018.

Honens discovers, nurtures, and presents Complete Artists—21st century pianists for 21st century audiences. Calgary philanthropist Esther Honens dreamed of discovering and launching the careers of the world's most promising pianists. In 1991, she established The Esther Honens International Piano Competition Foundation with a gift of $5 million, creating a legacy for musicians and music-lovers around the world. Legacy Partners follow in Esther Honens’ footsteps by securing Honens’ future and ensuring its continued ability to offer a broad scope of programming and community outreach projects. Today, the Honens International Piano Competition takes place every three years as part of the Honens Festival. The 2018 Honens Prize Laureate will be awarded $100,000 CAD and an artistic and career development program worth a half million dollars—the largest prize of its kind.

The 2018 Honens International Piano Competition is presented by TD Bank Group. The 2018 Honens Festival is presented by Nexen Energy, a CNOOC Limited company. Lead Partners are TransAlta and RBC Emerging Artists Project. The Competition culminates with the Semifinals and Finals in Calgary, Canada from August 30 to September 7, 2018.


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