Takamatsu Intl. Piano Competition announces its winners

The Takamatsu International Piano Competition, which is held every four years, was originally scheduled to hold its 5th edition in March 2022, but it was forced to postpone for a year due to the pandemic and finally held in February 2023. 245 applicants from 26 countries and regions applied for the competition, and 50 of them passed the DVD screening in October 2021. After a one-year postponement, 42 pianists gathered in Takamatsu; of the 42, 23 were Japanese and 19 were from abroad, with many foreign contestants coming to Japan while the pandemic was still ongoing.

The venue was suddenly changed to Rexxam Hall because the usual Sunport Hall was under renovation. The first three rounds were held in the small hall, and the final round, in which the contestants perform with an orchestra, was held in the main hall. The official pianos are Bösendorfer, Kawai, Steinway, and Yamaha. While considering the venue and the pieces to be performed, contestants selected their pianos from the four, and then, went through the first round of judging, which began on February 12.


Philipp Lynov, First Prize winner

Shuhei Aoshima, Second Prize Winner

First Prize: Philipp Lynov (24)
Second Prize: Shuhei Aoshima (24)
Third Prize: Nail Mavliudov (31)

Shuku Iwasaki (Chair), Susumu Aoyagi, Edward Auer, Vincenzo Balzani, Pascal Devoyon (Preliminary Jury), Jan Jiracek von Arnim, Andrey Pisarev, Antti Siirala, Katsumi Ueda, Kazumasa Matsumoto(Preliminary Jury)
Seto Philharmonic Orchestra / Takuo Yuasa (Conductor)

The first round lasted three days, with 20 contestants passing the first round, followed by the second round on February 15 and 16, with 10 contestants advancing to the third round. After two days of screening, five contestants were selected to participate in the final round.

The five finalists who remained for the finals to perform with an orchestra were three foreigners and two Japanese. Half of the 10 finalists who remained for the third round were also Japanese. Compared to past competitions, it was remarkable that Japanese pianists were highly ranked. On the first day of the final round, with the world-renowned conductor Takuo Yuasa, the three finalists selected Rachmaninoff to perform: Yuya Nishimoto: Concerto No. 2 <Kawai>, Philipp Lynov: Concerto No. 2 <Steinway>, and Nail Mavulidov: Concerto No. 3 <Kawai>. Even though it was a weekday, a large audience attended enjoying enjoyed three successive Rachmaninoff. On the second day, Mariia Narodytska played Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5 <Yamaha>and Shuhei Aoshima Saint-Saens’ Concerto No. 5 <Kawai>, and nearly 1,500 spectators visited the hall over the two days to enjoy the performances by the five young musicians.

The prize winners' concert by the five finalists, was held the day after the competition. Tickets were sold out early in the morning as the phone lines for same-day tickets had been ringing off the hook since morning. The hall was filled to capacity for the performance with Mariia Narodytska (5th prize winner), Yuya Nishimoto (4th prize winner), and Nail Mavulidov (3rd prize winner). Shuhei Aoshima (2nd prize winner), who also won the Best Performance of a Commissioned Piece and played the commissioned piece in the concert. The audience was enthralled by the final performance by Philipp Lynov, the first-place winner. The audience applauded the five musicians who lined up on stage at the end of the concert.

The 1st prize winner, Philipp Lynov, will perform at a gala concert on October 15, 2023 with the Seto Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he performed in the competition. A solo recital and other engagements are also scheduled.
©Takamatsu Intl. Piano Competition