Judges prepare for prestigious Brant prize

Budding pianists will be looking forward to the final of the Robert William & FlorenceAmy Brant International Pianoforte Competition which will take place at Town Hall,Birmingham this Saturday, 2 July. This prestigious competition provides young pianistswith the chance to further their careers and perform in world-class venues. The threefinalists, selected at the Barber Institute on 25 and 26 June, will perform a variedprogramme of no more than 40 minutes, consisting of their own choice of works.

The internationally renowned competition attracts entrants from across the globe and this year’s finalists are no exception. Jayson Gillham is from Australia and was semi-finalist in the world famous 2010 Warsaw Chopin Competition. He is joined by Gintaute Gataveckaite of Lithuania who, as a current undergraduate, is one of the younger entrants to the competition but has already won numerous first prizes in national and international competition. Nafis Umerkulova, from Uzbekistan, has given solo and chamber recitals in the Wigmore Hall, Drapers Hall, Purcell Room and St Martin-in-the-fields Church.

The adjudicating panel comprises celebrated pianists Margaret Fingerhut and William Fong as well as Town Hall and Symphony Hall?s Director of Programming and Projects, Paul Keene. Chair of the panel, William Fong, commented that, ‘The competition is muchmore than a contest; it is a forum and a celebration of music-making of the highestorder from young pianists. It was a pleasure and inspiring to hear, over the lastweekend, performances that revealed cogent musical thought allied to an artisticindividuality that brought music alive to an attentive audience. The three pianists whowill take part in the finals on Saturday encapsulate this and, I am sure, will shed someunique light on the works they perform.’

All three finalists will receive prize money, however the winner also be able to take advantage of valuable performance opportunities at prestigious venues such as Town Hall, Birmingham and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham.

Further information about the event, including programme information, can be found here: http://www.thsh.co.uk/view/brantcompetition2011