DCS Hosts Its Second Annual International Piano Competition at SMU

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Second annual competition for young professional and pre-professional pianists will be adjudicated by an all-star jury panel and offers a solo concert engagement with the DCS and thousands in cash prizes. The four-day event is free and open to the public at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

Eighteen young pianists from all over the globe will come to Dallas March 12-15 to participate in the second annual DCS International Piano Competition. The four-day event will consist of three rounds of competition before a distinguished international jury panel, as well as expert training and career-building guidance. All competition rounds and masterclasses will be held at SMU’s Caruth Auditorium and O’Donnell Hall. The entire event is ticketed, free and open to the public. Visit www.dcspianocompetition.org for more information. Free tickets can be reserved at:


“Last year’s inaugural event was very well received both in Dallas and in international musical communities,” says Richard McKay, Artistic Director of the Dallas Chamber Symphony. “This year, the talent level of the contestants is absolutely stellar. In addition, our 2014 participants have come from all parts of the globe, which helps to build North Texas’ reputation as a premier international fine arts destination. We invite all of Dallas to see and hear some of the finest young musicians in the world.”

The First Prize Winner of the DCS International Piano Competition will perform a piano concerto with the Dallas Chamber Symphony in the autumn of 2014 at City Performance Hall in downtown Dallas, bringing widespread recognition to launch the career of an aspiring artist. Additional winners will receive cash prizes. The event is a community partnership between the Dallas Chamber Symphony and the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.

The DCS International Piano Competition places an emphasis on education and the responsible development of young pianistic talent. While the competition engages some of the most promising musicians from around the world, it also offers a forum where these pianists — including those who do not advance in the competition rounds — can receive advice from experts on how to further their careers. At the SMU Meadows School of the Arts, many will participate in public masterclasses with Dr. Carol Leone and Joaquin Achucarro, as well as private lessons with other SMU faculty.

All competition rounds and masterclasses, taught by Dr. Carol Leone and Joaquin Achucarro, are free and open to the public at O’Donnell Hall and Caruth Auditorium located on the SMU campus. Audience members can expect to see contestants interact with jury members, who may interrupt the competition rounds to request to hear different passages of each contestant’s solo and concerto repertoire, in accordance with the competition rules and regulations. Judges score the contestants by ballot, and results are announced after each round. Final results are announced immediately following Finals, on March 15, 2014.

The event’s jury panel includes Deniz Gelenbe, a renowned chamber musician international soloist; and Roger Lord, First Prize Winner of the Canadian Music Competition and the Canadian National Festival of Music; and Petronel Malan, who is a multiple Grammy nominee and gold medalist of several international piano competitions. Ms. Gelenbe will serve as the Jury Chair of the competition.

Through a sponsorship with Steinbuhler & Company, the Competition will be the first in the world to include reduced-size keyboards to its participants who wish to perform on them. Reduced sized keyboards make it possible for pianists with smaller hand spans to perform repertoire that on the modern piano is quite difficult  – for many impossible. The DCS International Competition is embracing modern trends toward the wide-spread adoption of these new and innovative keyboard designs.

“We are so pleased to be introducing these alternative keyboards to this year’s competition,” says McKay. “These new keyboards will make it possible for pianists of every hand size to realize their artistic potential.”

“For the past two decades we have been retrofitting pianos with smaller keyboards, providing us the opportunity to observe how hands of every size respond to a complete range of piano keyboard sizes” says David Steinbuhler, President of Steinbuhler & Company. “We have witnessed how life changing they can be.  It is tremendously exciting to see our new standards being offered at an international piano competition.”

For additional event details, schedules and judges’ biographies, visit www.dcspianocompetition.org 

About the Meadows School of the Arts

The Division of Music in the Meadows School of the Arts is a professional, comprehensive master’s institution devoted to the advancement of music performance and scholarship, to the preparation of the next generation of music professionals, and to service in the artistic life of our community, our nation, and the world.

The approximately 300 students in the Meadows Division of Music pursue a broad range of undergraduate and graduate degree options, including the Bachelor of Music degree (professional focus), the Bachelor of Music Education degree (teacher preparation focus), the Bachelor of Arts degree (liberal arts focus), the Master of Music degree (professional focus, advanced studies), the Performers Diploma and Artist Diploma (elite performance focus). All degrees and diplomas offered by the Division of Music are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. www.smu.edu/meadows

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Elizabeth Peichel



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