Wednesday, 13 September 2017

20-year-old Turkish pianist wins the Scottish International Piano Competition

Can Çakmur, winner of the Scottish International Piano Competition, at the final with Thomas Sondergard and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Can Çakmur, winner of the Scottish International Piano Competition, at the final with Thomas Søndergård and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Photo Robin Mitchell)
The 11th Scottish International Piano Competition finished on Sunday 10 September and the Turkish pianist Can Çakmur was named as the winner. Çakmur receives £10,000, the Sir Alexander Stone Memorial Trophy and the Frederic Lamond Gold Medal, and will perform with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in their 2018/19 season. Second prize went to Florian Mitrea from Romania, and Third prize went to the UK-based Georgian-born Luka Okros. Florian Mitrea also won the prize for the best performance of Gordon McPherson’s The Pounding Room, a new work commissioned as the test piece for this year’s competition.

The three finalists all performed a concerto on a Fazioli piano with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, under Thomas Søndergård, at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Sunday 10 September. This is the first time a Fazioli piano has been the choice of piano for 100% of the finalists in an international competition. The final will be broadcast on Classic FM at 8pm on Tuesday 19 September 2017.

Born in 1997 in Ankara, Can Çakmur has studied at the Hochschule für Music Franz Liszt Weimar, and with Diane Andersen in Belgium. He had won a number of international competitions and awards, appeared in major festivals throughout his native Turkey, and performed as soloist throughout Europe.

The competition is held triennially in Glasgow, and this year there were 23 competitors from 15 countries across 3 continents. The jurors included pianists Steven Osborne and Olga Kern and the head of keyboard at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Aaron Schorr.

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