Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation Announces Semifinalists for 12th Competition

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8 Teams from 6 countries head to Miami in May

The Dranoff International 2 Piano Foundation has announced that eight duo piano teams from six countries will advance to the semi-finals of the 12th 2 Piano Competition. The teams are Aventure Piano Duo (Russia); Duo Yoo and Kim (South Korea); Duo Yamamoto (Japan); Duo Ping and Ting (Hong Kong); Lavrova/Primakov Duo (Russia); Duo Bohemes (Romania), Julia Getallo and Alexander Andreev Duo (Russia); and Duo ImPuls (Germany). These teams were selected from live auditions in December which took place in Hannover, Germany; Beijing, China; and Chicago, IL, USA.

The four-day semi-final round will take place from May 11 through May 14 at Gusman Hall at the University of Miami, 1314 Miller Drive, Coral Gables, Florida. Three teams will advance to the Grand Finals which will be held on May 16, also at Gusman Hall. Jurors for both rounds are Anthony Fogg, Artistic Administrator, Boston Symphony Orchestra; Bernd Goetzke, Professor, Hannover Musikhochschule; Chloe Herteleer, Director of Programming for De Singel Music Complex, Antwerp, Belgium; John Perry, Professor of Keyboard Studies, Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California; Kate Monaghan, Associate Director of Programming, Lincoln Center; Volker Stenzl of the piano duo Hans-Peter and Volker Stenzl; and Wu Ying, Professor and Dean of the Piano Department of Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

The Dranoff International 2 Piano Competition cycle spans 18 months and features top music professionals and performers as judges of young artist applicants vying for cash and performance awards. Artists must prepare four hours of repertoire for four rounds of competition. Awards include a First Prize of $25,000, a Second Prize of $15,000 and a Third Prize of $10,000, plus additional prizes of $5,000 each for the best performance of the Competition's newly commissioned work and the best performance of a new two piano orchestration of a work by the late American composer, Jerome Moross. Non-cash prizes will include a brand new artist website designed by the award-winning firm, Marketorum, and career planning with music professionals.

Formerly known as the Murray Dranoff Foundation, the Dranoff International 2 Piano Foundation was established in 1987 by the late pianist and educator Loretta Dranoff, in memory of her husband and performance partner. Loretta and Murray were a highly-sought after piano team from 1946 to 1973, performing as Steinway and Columbia artists. In forming the Foundation, Loretta sought to invigorate international interest in two-piano repertoire and artists, assist with young artist career development, and contribute to the community through innovative outreach programs.

In 2004, the Foundation increased its activities beyond the competition. Noting the need for substantially greater emphasis in arts learning and activities in the Miami-Dade public schools, the Foundation developed free community and in-school programs. Piano Slam, initiated in 2009, is a multi-media poetry contest for middle and high school students that emphasizes the beauty of the two piano art form and encourages Miami-Dade’s teens to experience the excitement of creating art through poetry, dance, and music. Piano Slam is produced in collaboration with Miami-Dade County’s Department of Cultural Affairs and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

The Dranoff International 2 Piano Foundation is generously sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Miami-Dade County, Steinway and Sons, Lufthansa, and The Betsy Hotel, Miami Beach.

For information on the Dranoff 2 Piano Competition, go to http://www.dranoff2piano.org

Aventure Piano Duo, Russia
Ada Gorbunova and Vitali Gavrouc

Aventure Piano Duo, comprising Ada Gorbunova and Vitali Gavrouc, both 26 years old, has performed together since 2010. Among their honors is Third Prize in the Sixth International Competition for Piano Four Hands in Valberg, France. Aventure has performed throughout Russia and in February 2012 were special guests at the second Piano Duo Festival Piano Forte Gallery in Yekaterinburg, Russia, where they collaborated with the piano duo of the Ural State Philharmonic. Aventure performed in recital last May at the Acasa Piano Festival and in December in the Great Hall of the Philharmonic Society Minsk in Belarus. They are post-graduate students at the Moscow State Conservatory.

Duo Yoo and Kim, South Korea
Yoon-Jee Kim and Jaekyung Yoo

The Piano Duo Yoo & Kim became a duo in 2010. They won First Prize in both four-hands and two-piano categories at the 20th International Piano Competition in Rome, barely two months after they began collaborating. The following year they took First Prize and a special prize for the best interpretation at the International Piano Duo Competition in Bialystok, Poland, as well as First Prize in the International Four-Hands Competition in Valberg, France. In 2010, the duo made a concert appearance at the United Nations of Geneva and has also appeared on the NDR radio in Germany and in recital in Europe. They reside in Manchester, UK, where both are enrolled at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Duo Yamamoto, Japan
Ayaka and Yuka Yamamoto

Sisters Yuka and Ayaka Yamamoto formed the Duo Yamamoto in 2009. Within their first year of performing together, they won First Prize and a special prize at the Piano Teachers’ National Association (PTNA) Piano Competition in Tokyo as well as Grand Prize at the Third Yokohama International Music Competition. In 2010, they received First Prize and the Critic’s Award at the 13th Concorso Internazionale “Pietro Argento” in Gioia del Colle, Italy and Grand Prize at the 16th International Piano Duo Competition in Tokyo. The duo was accepted into the second round of the 59th International ARD Competition in Munich 2010 and in 2011 received a special honorable mention at the Liszt 200 International Piano Duo Competition in Chicago. The Duo Yamamoto has performed at various venues throughout Italy, Austria, and Japan, including the Gläserner Saal (Magnum Auditorium) of the Musikverein in Vienna in 2011. They are currently studying at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Rostock, Germany.

Duo Ping and Ting, Hong Kong
Chau Lok Ping and Chau Lok Ting

Twin sisters Lok Ping and Lok Ting Chau began studying piano at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts at the age of five and graduated from there with their with master’s degrees in 2012. They began playing as a piano duo in 2007 and in 2009 won First Prize and two special prizes in the Fourth International Piano Duo Competition in Bialystok, Poland. The following year they took Second Prize in the San Marino International Piano Duo Competition. They were the youngest winners in both competitions. The duo has performed at the Joy of Music Festival, Hong Kong Arts Festival, the Fifth Gulangyu International Piano Art Festival in Xiamen, China and the Festival “Vacations with Music” in Nowy Sacz, Poland. They were awarded the Hong Kong Jockey Club Scholarship and the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Scholarship to study duo piano repertoire at the Hannover University of Music and Theater and Media.

Lavrova/Primakov Duo, Russia
Natalia Lavrova and Vassily Primakov

Lavrova/Primakov Duo was established in August 2010. Since then, they have performed extensively throughout the United States and have garnered numerous critical accolades. In November 2011, Lavrova and Primakov established their own record label, LP Classics, an initiative committed to unearthing lost historical gems, presenting music not previously.

Duo Bohemes, Romania
Gabriela Ungureanu and Aurelie Samani

Pianists Gabriela Ungureanu and Aurélie Samani met at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. Both solo pianists with an interest in two-piano literature, they founded Duo Bohemes. They each have won several international piano competitions as soloists and in chamber music and in 2011, as a duo, won the Special Prize at the International Competition for Piano Four Hands, in Valberg, France. Most recently they won First Prize at the Concours Musical de France in Paris. This season they will be heard in concert throughout Europe.

Julia Getallo and Alexander Andreev Duo, Russia
Yulia Getallo and Alexander Andreev

The duo Yulia Getallo and Alexander Andreev was founded in 2004 while both were students at the Moscow Conservatory. They won First Prize in the Grand Prix of International Competition, Druskininkay, Lithuania, in 2005 and the Piano Ensembles Competition of Alexander Bakhchiev, Vologda, Russia, in 2009. The duo was heard at the International Week of Conservatories Festival in St. Petersburg in 2006, as well as at the Grand Week, dedicated to 140th anniversary of Moscow Conservatory. They have made a number of recordings for the Orpheus radio station.

Duo ImPuls, Germany
Barbara and Sebastian Bartmann

Duo ImPuls engages not only in duo piano performance but also performs with two percussionists as the Flügelschlag-Quartett. The duo frequently works with historical keyboard instruments and creates interdisciplinary projects that include electronics and multi-media.

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