Promoting Young Talents
It is indispensable for piano teachers to educate young talents and send them out to the real world. Young pianists study the correct musical knowledge and technique in their growth phrase, thus gain experience, and create our future musical world.
As an organization of piano teachers, our commitment is to "find young talents", "provide an opportunity for them to communicate with other pianists", "introduce them to world renown pianists and professors", and "give them the opportunity to perform on international stages". PTNA promotes young talents in many ways- for instance, the Superior Grade of PTNA Piano Competition enables pianists to experience what an international competition is like; Junior G Grade of PTNA Piano Competition discovers and nurtures young talents through the competition; Madame Yasuko Fukuda Award is a scholarship fund for young talents to study abroad; and last but not least, master classes and seminars by internationally acclaimed professors are some of them.
PTNA Piano Competition Solo Division [Superior Grade]
Superior Grade is the highest level of PTNA Piano Competition. This grade is known for the best domestic competition for Japanese pianists who pursue an international career, and we usually have a big audience in the finals.
The Superior Grade has three screening auditions, and one can experience a "mock- international competition". Repertoire includes an Etude (by Chopin and a contemporary composer), Baroque style work (i.e. Bach), piano concerto performance with the orchestra, 40~55 minute solo recital, and a new work by a Japanese composer. The Grand Prize winner receives a concert with the orchestra and several other performance opportunities, including concert tours abroad.
Past Grand Prize winners are Shohei Sekimoto (4th prize in Chopin International Piano Competition 2005), Masataka Goto (1st prize in Liszt International Piano Competition 2011) and Hibiki Tamura(1st prize in Long-Thibaud International Competition 2008) etc. The latest winner is Ryota Yamazaki (16). You may also see?the list of past winners here.
PTNA Piano Competition Solo Division [Junior G Grade]
Discovery and nurturing young talents through the competition is one of our important objectives. Junior G Grade is designed especially for special talents under age sixteen.
15 young finalists selected from paper and screening auditions prepare four to five months prior to the competition. During this period, renowned professors, checking each candidate's progress, teach in master classes.
So far we have invited Boris Petrushansky and Tatiana Zelikman from abroad for master classes. Pianists and teachers learn a lot from the class. Elementary score analysis class is also offered. From the final round of the competition, pianists perform Haydn and Mozart sonatas as well as free repertoire. Jr. G Grade enables to put emphasis on basic studies.
Yasuko Fukuda Scholarship Audition
This is a scholarship audition established by the last will of late Madame Yasuko Fukuda, the founder of PTNA. Nine talented pianists under the age of 18 will take one lesson from each of the three judges and perform a 30-minute concert in public. The highest prizewinner will be awarded a scholarship of 1,000,000 yen, which is advised to be used for studying abroad. The money comes from the donation of PTNA members and branches. This audition started in 2003, and is held every other year. The jury panel consists of three seasoned professors who are in major international competition juries. Candidates are required to pass the following two stages:
1.Document screening (March)
2.Three lessons and a concert performance (August)
For the 2nd stage, three international professors will be on jury panel to select the winner of "Yasuko Fukuda prize".
Our first winner in 2003 was Shohei Sekimoto, who now is a laureate for several international competitions, such as 4th prize in Chopin International Competition 2005. He has also played at concerts in Paris and New York, where his performance was highly acclaimed. The winner in 2005 was Rina Sudo, who garnered the 5th prize at Dublin International Competition 2006. The 2007 scholarship was given to Matthew Ro, 18 year-old student.
Past judges include Lee Kum-Sing, Dominique Merlet, Jon O'Conor, Piotr Palecini, Andrei Pisarev, Paul Porei, Bruno Rigutto, Jacques Rouvier, and Mihail Voskresensky.
Lessons by renown professors
PTNA provides a precious opportunity for young talents to meet internationally acclaimed professors and pianists, and take lessons from them. This complimentary lesson enables them to communicate with important pianists, study piano with a broad mind from early age. PTNA has invited professors that understand and support this program. Past professors include Lee Kum-Sing, Bruno Rigutto, Jacques Rouvier, Erik Tawaststjerna, Mihail Voskresensky.