S&H Competition News

Postscript to International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition 2001, Rotterdam (PGW)

Seen&Heard congratulates Heather O'Donnell upon receiving first prize in the soloists category at the 5th Krzysztof Pederecki International Competition of Contemporary Chamber Music, Krakow, October 2001 and also being awarded the special prize for best performance of a work by a Dutch composer, funded by the Gaudeamus Foundation.


[Heather O'Donnell at Rotterdam Conservatory, having just learned that she failed to qualify for the Finals]


- - Memorable performances - - Amongst several pianists, we would certainly have awarded the palm to Heather O'Donnell, who gave the best performance we heard of Jonathan Harvey's popular Tombeau for Messiaen for piano with tape, despite the constant balance control by the operator, upon which it depends for its full realisation, not having been forthcoming. She played with easy mastery and very evident enjoyment a good range of music from Ulrich Leyendecker's tiny, scintillating Chopinesque Bagatelles to Automne a Varsovie, the most evocative of Ligeti's brain and finger-twisting studies. Her two semi-final recitals concluded with as fine an account of one of the most modern of 20th C. piano works (Ives' Hawthorne of 1912!) as you are likely to be lucky enough to encounter. - - (PGW)

Peter Grahame Woolf




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