Next week Alexandria will host the Fifth Biennial Louisiana International Piano Competition. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the piano competition, this event brings thirty of the most talented young pianists from across the world to Central Louisiana for a week-long competition. This competition consists of three rounds which are held over the course of several days at Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center. Throughout the week, the distinguished panel of judges narrows the field until one overall winner is chosen. This will be the fifth such competition since 2005.
The competition begins with its Opening Ceremonies on the evening of Monday, October 21; this will be a fun night which will give you plenty of insight into the mechanics of the competition. Tuesday and Wednesday will be filled with music as these two days are dedicated to Round One; the pianists will perform plenty of Bach and Chopin as well as works by numerous other composers. Thursday, October 24 will feature the Semifinals where eight pianists will give solo recitals in hopes of further advancement. Then Saturday, October 26 in the Final Round of the competition, each of the three finalists will perform a complete concerto of their choice alongside the Rapides Symphony Orchestra. Every event is open to the public and several are even free.
Personally, the Louisiana International Piano Competition is one of my favorite events. I always look forward to that final round when three pianists play alongside the orchestra – twice when I was in college, I made the drive from Natchitoches to witness that final fantastic evening of the competition. This year, because I will be representing TicketCentral at our booth for much of the week, I will also have the opportunity to hear many of the solo performances which are part of the earlier rounds.
If you are a music lover, Coughlin-Saunders is where you want to be this week. Come and enjoy the terrific performances by some very talented pianists. I hope to see you there!
Remember, the Arts Council of Central Louisiana’s presentation of Tarzan of the Apes is also just around the corner. Next Tuesday, October 29, come to Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center and hear Kermit Poling and his West Edge String Quartet as they perform Poling’s new score alongside this classic silent film.
About Jackson. Jackson Harmeyer is a recent graduate of the Louisiana Scholars’ College – Louisiana’s designated honors college located on the campus of Northwestern State University. There, he studied music history, completing an undergraduate thesis entitled “Learning from the Past: The Influence of Johann Sebastian Bach upon the Soviet Composers.” Now living in Alexandria, he is one of the founding members of TicketCentral and will also be writing this season’s program notes for the Rapides Symphony Orchestra.