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Young pianists invited to enter Claudette Sorel Piano Competition
Monday, May 01, 2017

Young pianists invited to enter Claudette Sorel Piano Competition

Student entries for the Claudette Sorel Piano Competition, an annual event that celebrates the creativity and excellence of young pianists and awards cash prizes, are being accepted by the School of Music.

The competition, which honors Professor Emeritus Claudette Sorel and is funded by the Sorel Organization, awards a $2,500 cash first prize and $1,250 in additional prize money. It consists of two rounds and is open to artists, ages 15 to 18, who are passionate about piano performance and repertoire.

For the first round, participants are to submit an online entry form (there is no application fee) and provide a link to a high-quality video of a piece they are passionate about, approximately five to eight minutes in length. The deadline to apply is Sept. 25.

Those selected as finalists will be asked to prepare a program of no longer than 15 minutes that demonstrates his/her artistic vision, such as works of a specific composer, known or unknown, a thematic connection between works and an original way of presenting the music.
The final round, which is open to the public, will be held on Nov. 4, beginning at noon, in the Juliet J. Rosch Recital Hall in Mason Hall on the Fredonia campus. Each finalist will play a 15-minute recital. A reception will be held immediately following the performance, giving finalists the opportunity to receive feedback from the judges, and winners will be announced at the reception.

Judges for the competition are Eliran Avni, Mary Marden Cobb, Fr. Sean Duggan and Anne Kissel, all members of the School of Music faculty, and Professor Emeritus Phyllis East.

In addition to the $2,500 cash award, the first place prize includes Fredonia studio time with a sound recording technician and final recording of participant’s playing. An additional $1,250 in Sorel cash prizes will be awarded for special categories, at the discretion of the judges. All finalists will receive a recording of the competition.

Now in its second year, the concept for the competition came from Fredonia’s newest piano faculty member, Eliran Avni, who is also a member of the acclaimed chamber ensemble, SHUFFLE.

“When I was growing up and doing competitions, the understanding was that one's job was to just go out there and play. No one asked contestants 'why' or 'for whom' they were playing, and this is one of the reasons I am so proud of our competition,” Mr. Avni explained. “We are asking performers to think about and articulate what kind of artist they want to become, who they are playing for and why and to share that in their recitals."

The School of Music believes in nurturing young talent and original voices, Avni said. “We are happy to partner with the Sorel Organization to honor Claudette’s contributions to the piano world, and to shine a light on young pianists who are passionate about performing, committed to creating original programming and enthusiastic about finding new ways of communicating with their audience.
Claudette Sorel Piano Competition details and registration are online. Questions may be directed via email to Eliran Avni.

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