Looking Ahead

moyeNew Year and New Format: The 59th Cincinnati World Piano Competition

Moye Chen, 2014 Gold Medalist

It was my great honor to be named the Gold Medalist of the 58th Cincinnati World Piano Competition. I greatly enjoyed the competition last June, and particularly enjoyed performing with the world-famous Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. I am very grateful to the CWPC for providing such fantastic opportunities for young pianists.

after hearing Tobias Picker’s Four Etudes for Ursula, I became interested in Picker’s music and have decided to perform and write about his piano compositions for my doctoral project

I am sure that the 59th competition, a prestigious five-round competition with a new format, will attract many wonderful pianists. The bracket-type structure is exciting. We will again have the opportunity to listen to American contemporary piano music, which in my opinion is one of the most interesting elements of the CWPC. In the 58th Edition, I played works by John Corigliano and David Rakowski. Also, after hearing Tobias Picker’s Four Etudes for Ursula, I became interested in Picker’s music and have decided to perform and write about his piano compositions for my doctoral project. In next year’s competition, I am looking forward to hearing two wonderful masterpieces: Fantasia on an Ostinato by John Corigliano and Tenebrae by Michael Hersch.

The 59th Cincinnati World Piano Competition will definitely be exciting, I hope that you will be a part of the excitement.

2014 Co-Bronze Medalist Feng Bian returns to Cincinnati for four very special events

On March 16, Mr. Bian will perform at the Mayerson JCC at 6:00PM as part of the Dinner Concert Series. Tickets can be purchased by calling 513.744.3501. This event is open to the public.

On March 16 and 17, Mr. Bian performs two free concerts as part of the Hammers, Strings & Keys Piano Education Series. Recitals at Our Lady of Visitation School and Chase Elementary School preface a free community outreach performance at the Twin Lakes Senior Living Community. These events are not open to the public. Contact Laura at wpc@cincinnatiwpc.org or call 513-744-3501.

fengFeng Bian was born in 1988, in Chengdu, China. He began piano lessons at the age of 6 and entered the Sichuan Conservatory of Music in 2001. He finished his bachelor’s degree and Artist Diploma at The Colburn School and is now a first-year student in the Master of Music degree program at Yale School of Music.

In addition to classical performances, Mr. Bian has performed with leading jazz musicians such as Ron McCurdy on the Lin Jinhui project in 2011. In 2012, he performed Mozart’s C minor piano concerto with the Colburn Orchestra and Culver City Symphony Orchestra.


2013 Gold Medalist Marianna Prjevalskaya performs at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall on February 23. Tickets available by visiting carnegiehall.org or calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800.

Contact wpc@cincinnatiwpc.org or call 513.744.3501 for more information.

The Cincinnati World Piano Competition produces prestigious classical piano competitions, dinner concerts, and popular concerts for children and senior citizens.

Moye’s Return to Cincinnati

It has been an action-packed few weeks for the Cincinnati World Piano Competition! 2014 Gold Medalist Moye Chen gave a fantastic performance at Carnegie’s Weill Hall on January 20, and to a full house, no less! Mr. Chen joined us in Cincinnati for performances at Cheviot Elementary School and the Aronoff Jarson-Kaplan Theater as part of the Hammers, Strings & Keys outreach series, as well as at the Twin Towers Senior Living Community. The HS&K performance at St. Bernadette Elementary was entertaining and inspiring for more than 1,100 audience members from ages 6 to 90. He finished his brief visit to Cincinnati with an outrageously fun performance at the Queen City Club as part of our Dinner Concert Series. (He capped off the Queen City Club dinner concert with a rousing encore of Horowitz’s arrangement of Stars and Stripes Forever!)
Moye’s Carnegie Hall performance was electrifying. One review praised his playing as majestic and lyrical. Each time we give a Carnegie Hal performance, the audience grows and helps us truly move closer to our mission of promoting the art of classical piano music. 
I couldn’t be more proud of Moye and all that he has accomplished. There are more events to look forward to! Just around the corner we have 2013 Gold Medalist Marianna Prjevalskaya performing at Carnegie Hall (Feb 23), and 2014 Co-Bronze Medalist Feng Bian giving Hammers, Strings & Keys and Dinner Concert Series performances.
You don’t want to miss any of what we have planned!
- Mark Ernster, Executive Director 

Marianna Prjevalskaya – Weill Performance Hall at Carnegie Hall


February 23, 2015 | 7:30 pm
2013 Cincinnati World Piano Competition Gold Medalist Marianna Prjevalskaya
Weill Performance Hall at Carnegie Hall

For tickets, please visit www.carnegiehall.org or call CarnegieCharge  at (212) 247-7800.

M4a2deeed4c39cbdd9196ec3bb4ee435aWinner of the 2013 World Piano Competition and the 53rd Jaen International Piano Competition in Spain, Ms. Prjevalskaya has appeared at venues such as Minato Mirai Hall, the Grosser Saal of the Mozarteum, Steinway and Weill Recital Halls. As a soloist, she has performed with the Galicia Symphony Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, Rzeszow Philharmonic Orchestra and Panama Symphony Orchestra. Her latest CD, released on Naxos’s Laureate Series, features works by Scarlatti, Schumann, and Zárate.

This Weill Performance Hall recital is part of the prize awarded by the Cincinnati World Piano Competition, an organization dedicated to promoting and celebrating the art of classical piano music.

For more information, contact Zach Slack at zachary.slack@gmail.com or call 513.744.3501



A note from 2014 semifinalist Sung-Soo Cho

choI am thankful for all of the people who came together for the World Piano Competition last June. I have such nice memories of the people and city – it’s always nice to meet such an appreciative audience. I was also so grateful to receive the special prize for Best American Contemporary Performance.

I took a bit of a rest in Korea after the World Piano Competition, and I am now heading to Switzerland for the Geneva International Music Competition. It is stressful to prepare for and participate in several competitions within a year, but I am excited and thankful for the opportunity to meet new people and explore Europe!

Career Launch

Spencer Myerby: Kathleen Doane

This is a re-blog of an article that appeared in the 2014 Cincinnati World Piano Competition Program.

Getting ready for a competition takes a lot of playing and planning. Spencer Myer, the 2005 World Piano Competition silver medalist, understands the pressures of competition. Before his last competitive appearance at the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition he participated in at least 20. “For six years, I did about three to four a year,” says the veteran competitor turned-pro who now averages 40 concerts and recitals a year. The trick is managing the inevitable stress that is a huge part of competing.

For Myer, that meant, not only knowing his repertoire thoroughly but also plotting a quick recovery if he made a mistake or suffered a memory lapse onstage. It was a multi-step strategy that took lots of preparation during the two to three months leading up to a competition.

“In general, people choose pieces they know and are very comfortable playing,” Myer says. “I made it a point to include at least one work I’d never played before in every competition. I didn’t want to be rehashing the same pieces every time, and I was also trying to embark on a professional career so I wanted to expand my repertoire.”

In theory, every participant prepares several recitals, a different program for each round. “It is a much greater amount of repertoire than you would ever play in such a short period of time if you were a professional, but it certainly is good for learning to practice efficiently in order to get yourself to that topnotch level,” Myer says.

A month before a competition, Myer’s practice sessions would intensify, making sure that every day he played at least half of the works that he had chosen for each round. “It gave me peace of mind, knowing that if I made it past the first round, I was just as prepared to go on.” This period of time also included playing for others, drafting friends to simulate the added pressure of an audience and jury.

A few days before the competition Myer shifted his focus to the first round, doing “major, major detail work and playing as close to perfection as I could.” It was during this part of the process that he would create different “mistake scenarios” and work out how to move on if they occurred. “It was a different way to exercise my brain, because I never wanted to play on autopilot,” he explains.

The last few days also involved work away from the piano, studying the score and embedding enough visual cues in his brain that he could actually picture the music in front of him if needed. And then, day one of competition: “If I didn’t play until the afternoon or evening, I would always sleep late,” he says. Eating usually was limited to a high protein/low carb meal of chicken and vegetables an hour or two before performing and a power nap if time allowed. Playing his entire first round repertoire was a priority. “I always felt the best and most solid if I had been playing right up until the moment I walked onstage,” Myer says.

One thing Myer didn’t depend on was luck. “No, I didn’t have a lucky shirt or shoes I always wore,” he says, laughing. “There was nothing I ever carried in my pocket for luck, either.”

A year before Myer competed for the last time he was the gold medalist in the New Orleans International Piano Competition. So, what does it feel like to take the top prize? “I can tell you it feels like a million bucks,” Myer says, clearly delighted by the memory. “To be acknowledged by a group of elders who have been in the business and heard so many great people play is just incredible.”