24 November 2013, Austrian Cultural Forum
1st prize: Maksim Stsura, Royal College of Music
2nd prize: Inga Liukaityte, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
3rd prize: Kristiina Rokasevits, Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Jury: Stephen Kovacevich, Piers Lane and James Brawn
The winner of the 2013 Beethoven Senior Intercollegiate Piano Competition was Maksim Stsura of the Royal College of Music, with an involving account of Op. 101. The 21st BPSE Competition attracted a sizeable audience to the Austrian Cultural Forum near London’s Hyde Park, on 24 November, to hear eight talented pianists from the UK colleges and conservatoires perform a Beethoven sonata of their choice and a compulsory Bagatelle, – Op 126/1, before a distinguished Jury comprising Stephen Kovacevich, BPSE European Vice-President, Piers Lane and James Brawn.
Alberto Portugheis, BPSE European Vice-Chairman, introduced the performers who played sonatas ranging across Beethoven’s stylistic periods, starting with a formidable account of Op.7 by Georg Michael Grau (RAM), with a telling slow movement, followed by a crystalline and finely coordinated reading of Op.10/3 by William Shaw (Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama), rendering Beethoven’s motivic textures with precision. A bolder pianistic sonority characterised the first of two ‘Appassionata’ sonatas, here played by Kristiina Rokasevits (Guildhall School), which won her 3rd prize, shared with Oliver She (Royal Northern College of Music). She’s especially compelling performance of the ‘Waldstein’ sonata Op. 53 displayed impressive technique and a firm sense of architecture and pacing. He followed Inga Liukaityte (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) who performed the less often aired Op.28 sonata; her delicately flowing and well balanced, expansive account won her 2nd Prize. Wan-Chun Tsou (Birmingham Conservatoire) showed potential in her account of the ‘Appassionata’ Op.54, despite a few memory slips.
The final pair began with the sonata in A Op.101 in which Maksim Stsura (Royal College of Music) explored the contrapuntal textures and contrasts with idiomatic romantic expressiveness. Also impressive was the thoughtful and smoothly articulated approach to Op.110 given by Hao Shen (Trinity Laban Conservatoire). Shen was one of three competitors who received the audience prize, together with William Shaw and Oliver She.
Malcolm Troup, BPSE Chairman UK, introduced Eugenie Maxwell, FIOD, BPSE Vice-Chairman and the Master of the Worshipful Company of Musicians Sir Anthony Cleaver, who presented the winners with valuable cash prizes.