Four Lasting Impressions Secured the Four Finalists Spots in the #Cleveland International Piano Competition

After four days of eight live solo performances and four piano duos in Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the live audience was overjoyed to hear the announcement of the four Finalists of the Cleveland International Piano Competition on Sunday, August 1, 2021. The four finalists were chosen from an initial group of over 250 applicants from over 40 countries. Of the 250 applicants, the jury selected 26 young pianists to compete in the First and Second Rounds of CIPC, broadcasted from 10 locations around the globe.

The mesmerizing Semi-Final Round performances for the live audience at the Gartner Auditorium and appreciative supporters tuning in from across the globe, left lasting impressions on audiences and judges. The Semi-Final Round included solo recitals of 40 minutes—each of which featured a virtuosic transcription written for CIPC by the Russian composer Alexei Kurbatov, including the well-known popular tunes “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “America,” and themes from Mission Impossible—and piano duos of four-hand and two-piano works. After four days of performances, the Jury Members were moved by the technical fluidity, creative interpretation, charismatic stage presence, and inspiring individuality of the following four Finalists listed in performance order: Byeol Kim (31, South Korea) who delighted audiences with C. Schumann, R. Schumann, Gottschalk, Mendelssohn, Mercury, and Jalbert; Yedam Kim (32, South Korea) who dedicated her program to Chopin, Prokofiev, and Mercury; Lovre Marušic (28 Croatia) who dazzled with Scarlatti, Schumann, and Mercury; Martín García García (24 Spain) who chose to open his Semi-Final Rounds with Schubert; Liszt, and Mercury.

Kim, Kim, Marušic, and García, four of the world’s most talented young pianists, will bring all they have to the Final Rounds of performances, where their musical journey will continue with the Escher String Quartet on August 3 and 4, and The Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Jahja Ling on August 6 and 7. 

The longstanding partnership between The Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland International Piano Competition is newly and generously supported by the Clara T. Rankin Medalist Circle. Named in honor of Clara T. Rankin, President’s Council member and longtime supporter of the Cleveland International Piano Competition, the Clara T. Rankin Medalist Circle honors gifts of $25,000 or higher given to directly support the engagement of The Cleveland Orchestra for the Final Round of the CIPC. The organization is grateful for the support of the following: Peggy and Tom Demitrack, Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc., NACCO Industries, Inc., Frank H. and Nancy L. Porter Fund at the Cleveland Foundation, Astri Seidenfeld, Jim and Linda Venner, and the Stephen and Penni Weinberg Fund. Piano Cleveland extends their gratitude to Hyster Yale Materials Handling, Inc. and NACCO Industries, Inc., whose foundational gifts established the naming of the Medalist Circle in honor of Clara T. Rankin.

At the conclusion of the final performance on August 7, the world-renowned CIPC Jury will deliberate and announce the winner of the Mixon First Prize of $75,000, as well as a Carnegie Hall debut, management services, and a recording on the Steinway & Sons label, followed by the Knowlton Second Prize of $25,000, Third Prize of $15,000 endowed by Mr. and Mrs. Richard A. Manuel, and Fourth Prize of $10,000 presented by Dr. Richard Kaufman in memory of Carol Kaufman, a member of the Founding Committee of the Cleveland International Piano Competition. All medalists will receive artist consulting services provided by Gold Sound Media. Additionally, contestants are eligible for various repertoire-and performance-specific prizes ranging from $1,500 to $5,000, including the Piano Duo Prize, Audience Prize, Female Composer Prize, Chamber Music Prize, and more. Following the conclusion of the 2021 CIPC, all four medalists will be featured in celebratory performances as part of the Bravo Piano Gala on August 8 – 11 at the Shoreby Club, presented by KeyBank.

It is with gratitude that the organization gives thanks to the wide range of generous individuals and corporate donors of the Cleveland International Piano Competition for their continued support in providing these crucial career opportunities for musicians and captivating experiences for pianists and audiences. For a full list of corporate and individual sponsors, or to purchase tickets to the Cleveland International Piano Competition’s Final Rounds, visit pianocleveland.org.