Pianists from around the globe will compete for a $20,000 first prize in this year’s Thomas and Evon Cooper International Competition.
The 31 young musicians hail from Canada, China, Finland, Norway, South Korea, Taiwan, and the U.S.
In addition to the top prize, the second place finisher will receive $10,000 and the third place finisher will receive $5,000. Each finalist’s prize package will include a full-tuition scholarship to attend the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Fourth, fifth, and sixth place finishers earn $1,500 each. There is also an Audience Prize of $500.
Semifinal rounds will be held at 9:30 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15. Semifinals continue at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Monday, July 16.
Concerto round performances will be at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17, also at Warner Concert Hall.
Recital finals will begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18 at the same venue. An honors recital will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 19.
All the above performances will be held at Warner Concert Hall, 77 West College St. They are free and open to the public.
The concerto finals will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 20 as the three remaining contenders perform complete concertos with the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall in Cleveland under the direction of Jahja Ling.
Tickets for the concerto finals range from $13 to $30 and all students under age 18 will be admitted free with a paying adult. For more information, call 800-686-1141. The event will also be broadcast live on WCLV 104.9 FM.
“Since its founding, the Cooper Competition has been synonymous with outstanding performances from the world’s most talented young musicians,” said dean of the Oberlin Conservatory Andrea Kalyn. “We are proud to reward their artistry with one of the most lucrative prize packages of any international youth competition anywhere, and we are forever grateful to Thomas and Evon Cooper and The Cleveland Orchestra for their enthusiastic support every step of the way.”
The 2018 jury is led by Cooper Competition director and jury chair Robert Shannon of the Oberlin piano faculty. It includes fellow Oberlin professors Alvin Chow, Angela Cheng, Stanislav Ioudenitch, and Haewon Song.
Distinguished visiting jurors include Daejin Kim, winner of the 1985 Robert Casadesus International Piano Competition; Jon Nakamatsu, gold medal winner of the 1997 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and a member of the Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo; Roberto Plano, winner of the 2001 Cleveland International Piano Competition; and Martino Tirimo, winner of international competitions in Geneva and Munich, and a member of the Rosamunde Trio.