Seventeen-year-old pianist wins Concours de Genève
The Canadian pianist Kevin Chen triumphed with his performance of Chopin's Piano Concerto No.1
The First Prize of the 76th Concours de Genève piano competition has been won by the 17-year-old pianist Kevin Chen, from Calgary in Canada.
Second Prize went to Sergey Belyavsky (28 years old, Russia): Third was awarded jointly to Kaoruko Igarashi (27, Japan) and Zijian Wei (23, China).
For the final phase of the piano competition final, candidates were required to perform a Romantic or modern concerto from any composer taken from a list comprising Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Saint-Saëns, Ravel, Bartók and Prokofiev. Kevin Chen won his rendition of Chopin's Piano Concerto No.1.
The piano final round, above. Kevin's performance starts at 1:36:40
The finalists performed at Geneva's Victoria Hall, with accompaniment from the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande conducted by Maržena Diakun.
Since its creation in 1939, the Geneva Competition has been dedicated to 'discovering, promoting and supporting the best young artists of the moment by favouring complete artists and creators of emotion'.
Kevin Chen lives and studies in Calgary, Canada, where he is taught by Marilyn Engle. Despite his young age, he has already performed with the Calgary, Edmonton and Minneapolis symphony orchestras among others. Kevin has also composed almost 100 works, including symphonies and a piano concerto. In 2013, he wrote the River Rhapsody in tribute to the victims of the High River floods in his native Alberta, Canada.
Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.