Duo Yamamoto Wins the Gold at the 12th Dranoff 2 Piano Competition

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The jurors of the 12th Dranoff International 2 Piano Competition have awarded the Gold Prize to Duo Yamamoto.

Duo Yamamoto

The jurors of the 12th Dranoff International 2 Piano Competition have awarded the Gold Prize to Duo Yamamoto. The winning duo team, sisters, Ayaka and Yuka Yamamoto, of Japan, performed Francis Poulenc’s Concerto for 2 pianos and orchestra in D minor.

The Silver Prize has been awarded to Duo Yoo and Kim of South Korea, and the Bronze Prize has gone to Duo ImPuls of Germany. The three competing teams performed with conductor Sarah Hicks and the Dranoff Competition Orchestra at the Gusman Concert Hall on the campus of the University of Miami.

The prizes awarded for Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards are $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000, respectively.

In addition to the three top prizes, three best performance prizes for selected repertoire were awarded to Duo ImPuls. They were for Gabriela Lena Frank’s Seis Cantos de los campos ($5,000,) Jerome Moross’s The Last Judgement ($5,000,) and Shelton Berg’s Mary and Martha Meditation ($2,500.)

Each day the audience in attendance for the semifinals voted for their favorite teams. The Audience Prize ($1,000) also went to Duo ImPuls.

Jurors for the competition are 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; Benjamin Schwartz, Associate Artistic Administrator, Boston Symphony Orchestra; 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.

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.

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

For information on the Dranoff 2 Piano Competition or to buy tickets to the Grand Finals, go to http://www.dranoff2piano.org


GOLD AWARD 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.

SILVER AWARD 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 Białystok, 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.

BRONZE AWARD Duo ImPuls, Germany
Barbara and Sebastian Bartmann

duo imPuls has established an international career. Its members Barbara Bartmann and Sebastian Bartmann have been playing four-handedly as well as on two pianos for more than 10 years. Today, they can be heard in concert halls throughout the world, at famed festivals such as the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, the Europäisches Musikfest Stuttgart, or the Edvard-Grieg Festival Oslo. Together, Barbara and Sebastian have performed at such concert halls as the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Cankarjev Dome Ljubljana, the Kraków Philharmonic, the Gulbenkian Lissabon, or the Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels. In addition to their success on the concert stage, Barbara Bartmann and Sebastian Bartmann have achieved highly in many international competitions. Just recently, they were awarded 1st Prize in the International Competition for Contemporary Chamber Music Kraków 2009, in which they formed Flügelschlag-Quartett together with percussionists Ákos Nagy and Claudius Heinzelmann. In 2008, duo imPuls was awarded 1st Prize in the Concours Valberg Nizza for the first time in the history of the competition.


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