News from Russia

Report of the Piano Teachers Duet competition "Let us fill our hearts with music"

piano-teachers-competition-previewThe Competition for Piano Teachers’ Duets was held in Petrozavodsk 11-12 November 2011 within the framework of the International Youth Festival Movement ”Vmeste! Together!” and the 10th Regional Open Festival of Chamber Music ”Let us fill our hearts with music!”. The competition was organized by the Mily Balakirev Children’s School of the Arts and implemented the original idea of 4-hands music performance competition among teachers from Children Music Schools and School of Arts in groups.


Members of the Jury:

  • Mr. Portnoi Viktor S. – Professor of the Special Piano Chair of Petrozavodsk State Conservatorium “A. K. Glazunov”, Deserved worker of Arts of Russia and the Republic of Karelia

  • Ms. Sintsova Svetlana V. - Deserved worker of Arts of Russia and the Republic of Karelia, Docent of the Chair of Special Piano of Petrozavodsk State Conservatorium “A. K. Glazunov”, member of the National Association of Piano Duets, Chairwoman of Karelian representation of the Concert Workers Union of Russian Federation, Artistic leader of the Russian Festival “Piano Duo” and the International Competition “Organo Duo”.

  • Ms. Irina A. Kokina - Professor of the Vologda State Pedagogical University, Laureate and Diploma holder of International competitions, member of International and National Association of Piano Duets.

  • Ms. Lyudmila S. Andreeva – Professor of the Vologda State Pedagogical University, Laureate and Diploma holder of International competitions, member of International and Non-governmental Association of Piano Duets.

  • Harri Wessman — Composer (Helsinki, Finland)

Representatives from different regions of Russia took part in the competition. There were teachers from all music schools of Petrozavodsk, Karelia (Lahdenpohja, Kondopoga and Kostomuksha), Nizhni Novgorod, Irkutski region and Kazan. The competition has become Russian national event and fulfilled the main objective of uniting teachers and encouraging high performing culture. The competition has demonstrated a huge performing potential of teaching staff and provided evidence that competitions of this kind are very important.

The program was very versatile. There was classical works by L. V. Beethoven and S. V. Rakmaninov and compositions by G. Gershwin and F. Poulenc. There were works by V. Gavrilin and A. Schnittke. The choice of presented music was impressive. Teachers chose unknown and seldom performed works.

It is worth mentioning high professional level of participants, their interest and creative approach towards performed works, serious preparation, bright concert performance during the competition and at the final concert of all duets. The fact that 7 duets from 15 were awarded with prizes and places is an indication of the high performance level.

Similar competitions for teachers from Children Music Schools and Schools of Arts are a kind of an incentive for the realization of performing skills and improving professional level. Currently 4 – hands performance has a new development, and increased interest in 4 – hands performance has led to the discovery of new repertoire, for example in works performed by the duet from Kazan (R. Schuman ”Santa Claus”) and Nizhni Novgorod A. Petrov “Sea and Rumba”.

The Competition of Duets held in Petrozavodsk contributed to information exchange about new compositions and to experience exchange. The competition fulfilled its objectives and it has proved that it has its prospects and future.

The following are impressions from participants and listeners:

Denisova is a teacher from Children music School named after M. Balakireva, listener:

"It is amazing! I am over raptures! Such a high level! How do they manage to combine teaching work with concerts! Performers from Kazan are of a very high level!"

V. O. Sheljapina – teacher from Children School of Arts named after M. A. Balakirev (Participant of the Competition) speaking about the Masterclass:

"It was a real pleasure to communicate with Irina Kokina and Lyudmila Andreeva at the master class our duet took part in. It was an emotion I have forgotten about. I appreciated very much not only professional advises but also their support and good attitude. It was very comfortable to train at the concert hall with audience present in the hall. I have got just positive emotions and impressions. Surely it was not easy for us, those who were participants of the competition, but we were lucky to have listened to so remarkable Piano Duet Performances alive. I was impressed by the dimensions and level of the competition. We took part in it with great pleasure and got valuable experience. It is very interesting to perform in 4 hands, because you incarnate proper feelings and emotions and listen to your partner doing music dialogue with your partner. It is a labor and rest at the same time, and surely great pleasure"

Piano Duet of Julia Stavitsky and E. Massalova (Children Music School named after M. Glinka from Saint-Petersburg) would like to express its gratitude to the competition Holders for attention, greetings and fine idea of holding a Piano Duets Competition.

Milena Brent from materials

provided by Sintsova S., Portnoi V., Kozlova O.

(translated by Elena Husu)