Alkan Piano Competition
The Fitzwilliam College Alkan Piano Prize was founded by Dr Ken Smith and pianist Ronald Smith, and is awarded jointly by the College and the Alkan Society. Its aims are to promote interest in the music of Charles-Valentin Alkan, and to provide opportunities for talented student pianists.
The Alkan Prize has been awarded since 2001 to students at Fitzwilliam. From 2007 onwards, however, the competition has also been open to students from the other 'hill' colleges with which Fitzwilliam enjoys close musical collaboration: Churchill, Girton, Magdalene, Murray Edwards (formerly New Hall) and Robinson.
The next competition will take place in Spring 2013 in the Auditorium. Candidates will be required to play a short programme including one or more of Alkan's piano Esquisses, and one or more pieces of their own choice.
The competition is followed each year by a recital by a leading professional pianist with a particular interest in Alkan's music: the first recital was given by the late Ronald Smith, while recent recitals have been given by Thomas Wakefield and Lloyd Buck.
2001 Robin Davis
2002 Robin Davis
2003 Anthony Yii Chau Ang
2004 Jonathan Hill
2005 Malcolm Moffatt
2006 Alex West
2007 Mateusz Borowiak (Girton)
2008 Daniel Tse (Robinson)
2009 Helena Dukic (Robinson)
2010 Helen Thorpe (Magdalene)
The French composer and pianist Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-1888) was one of the leading performers of the nineteenth century, and was famed for the difficulty of his piano works. A child prodigy, he entered the Paris Conservatoire at the age of six, and as a young man was friends with Liszt, Chopin, Rubinstein, George Sand and Victor Hugo. In later years he lived as a recluse, and many of his writings and compositions from this period have been lost. His principal works include the Grande sonate Les quatre âges, the two sets of etudes in all the major and minor keys, and the Symphony and Concerto for solo piano. It is only in recent years that his music has been revived.
The Alkan Society: www.alkansociety.org
To register your interest in the Alkan competition or for more information, please contact the Director of Music, Francis Knights, at email@example.com.