The Slovenia Times

Kai-Min Chang wins 1st Ljubljana Festival piano competition

Taiwanese pianist Kai-Min Chang wins the first Ljubljana Festival International Piano Competition. Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Taiwanese pianist Kai-Min Chang won the first Ljubljana Festival International Piano Competition, having impressed the international jury with his interpretation of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3.

The winner was awarded a €30,000 check and an opportunity to perform at the on the 72nd Ljubljana Festival and Emilia Romagna Festival 2024. He will also perform a recital with the winner of 2023 Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition in Ljubljana, Cremona and Florida in summer 2024.

The nine-member jury was chaired by Dubravka Tomšič Srebotnjak, the acclaimed Slovenian pianist. The artistic director of the competition is Italian pianist Epifanio Comis.

A total of six pianists appeared in the final at Ljubljana's Cankarjev Dom on 3 and 4 March, performing a piano concerto each with the Symphonic Orchestra of RTV Slovenija, directed by Ricardo Castro.

Their repertoire included Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 and Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2, apart from Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3.

The second prize, worth €20,000, went to Yuanfan Yang of the UK, and the third prize, bringing €10,000, was awarded to Uladzislau Khandohi of Belarus.

The other three finalists were Yangrui Cai from China, Roman Lopatynskyi from Ukraine and Kostandin Tashko from Albania.

Yuanfan Yang also won two special diplomas for best performance of a classical sonata and best performance of a Romantic work. He also won the Polish Embassy's award for the best performance of a work by Fryderyk Chopin.

Slovenian pianist Urban Stanič won special awards for best performance of a work by a Slovenian composer and for the highest ranked pianist representing the host country.

The competition featured 22 pianists from 14 countries who were born between 1992 and 2006. They were selected from more than 100 applicants.

Ljubljana Festival director Darko Brlek has announced that the competition will take place every three years.


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