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1st Malaga City International Piano Competition: Competition Selects Shigeru Kawai SK-EX as its Official Piano

The 1st Malaga City International Piano Competition was held in Malaga, Spain, from 7th to 15th June, and the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX full concert grand piano was chosen as the official piano for the competition.

In becoming the official piano for the competition, Kawai collaborated with its official distributors in Spain, Bilbao Trading Partnership S. L. and Royal Pianos. The SK-EX selected for the competition was also used in the 22nd José Iturbi International Piano Competition held last year.

Kawai’s most esteemed piano technician, Kiyotoshi Yokoyama from Kawai Japan, also known as an MPA (Master Piano Artisan), attended this competition as a piano technician and diligently worked on crafting the sound to match the acoustics of the hall and the preferences of the pianists.

1st Malaga City International Piano Competition: Final Result

1st PrizeSergey BelyavskyRussia
2nd Prize and Special prize to the best performer of the quintet with Cuarteto Carmen Thyssen in the semifinalJialin YaoChina
3rd Prize and Special prize to the best Spanish pianist classifiedEmin KiourktchianSpain

Comments from prize winners

■ Sergey Belyavsky

– How did you feel about being a finalist and playing the piano concerto at the end?

I was most excited about being in the finals as well as to perform with wonderful Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra and Maestro Salvador Vazquez. The whole experience of the competition was amazing for me because of their incredible organisation and their dedication to making it possible. I liked the venue as well. I really hope and wish to them a lot of success and flourishing for their next edition, which is going to be next year and I strongly believe that it is a great opportunity for pianists to apply and to show their talent.

– What are your impressions of the SK-EX full concert grand piano?

I loved playing Shigeru Kawai, it is not my first time enjoying playing Shigeru Kawai. I have chosen to play it previously in various competitions and I always admire how much Shigeru Kawai Company pays attention to details, sends amazing and incredibly professional technicians, who also have great passion for the instrument and take the best possible care. I can only wish there were more competitions, which would have Shigeru Kawai as a choice as well as concert venues. Having it in Malaga surely elevated the whole experience of the competition not only for me, but for other competitors as well. Everyone I talked to loved the instrument and said they also wished there were more of instruments of such calibre everywhere.

■ Jialin Yao

– How did you feel about being a finalist and playing the piano concerto at the end?

I feel very lucky and grateful for being one of the three finalists of the first Málaga City International Piano Competition. It was my first visiting Spain and my first time playing Chopin’s Concerto No.1 with Orchestra. I had unforgettable and beautiful memories of the first time performing this great concerto with orchestra. It was an intense but inspiring, enjoyable 10 days.

– What are your impressions of the SK-EX full concert grand piano?

I have been playing the Shigeru Kawai piano in many competitions, which include the Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition in Tokyo, the Gurwitz International Piano Competition in the USA, and this time in Spain. It is always a privilege for me to play such a high-level instrument, and it makes notes miracles. In the Chamber music rounds, I could easily play with huge dynamic range, and explore extreme pianissimo. In the final rounds, playing Chopin Concerto on Shigeru Kawai made my first time performance of it so much easier. I feel I could create all kinds of poetry and magic on this instrument and easily project through the orchestra. The tone of this Shigeru Kawai is bright, singing, colourful, clean, and nostalgic. All of those characteristics of the piano make this piano a perfect instrument for this piece.

■ Emin Kiourktchian

– How did you feel about being a finalist and playing the piano concerto at the end?

I was feeling very honored to play like finalist in this intense competition.
It was my first time in this kind of competitive event when there was four round and chamber music. I had a really intense week. The piano was really good, I liked very much. Very special and powerful sound.

– What are your impressions of the SK-EX full concert grand piano?

Shigeru Kawai is a fantastic piano, specially when you need find special sound and effects.

About the Malaga City International Piano Competition

The idea for the contest comes from Pablo Amorós, who is a pianist and loves difference. Mayor Francisco de la Torre of Malaga, known for his appreciation of the arts, also enthusiastically supported this idea. The realisation of the “Málaga City International Piano Competition” was made possible by the generous cooperation of our sponsors.

This competition values pianists who can express individuality and originality over those who are simply excellent performers.

Official website: https://concursopianociudaddemalaga.com/

About the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX full concert grand piano

Unveiled in 2001 as the flagship instrument of the Shigeru Kawai line, the SK-EX concert grand piano is hand-crafted in limited numbers following a unique ‘prototyping’ creation process. In order to achieve the supreme range of expression required in a concert piano, each instrument utilises a variety of carefully selected materials, with premium aged spruce soundboards. Shigeru Kawai instruments adopt the advanced Millennium III keyboard action, featuring extended wooden keys and advanced ABS Carbon action parts, providing superior speed and responsiveness than conventional wooden action parts, allowing pianists to express a greater range of feeling and emotion in their performance.

Click here to find your nearest Kawai retailer and start your own musical journey today.

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