The competition draws 55 competitors from nine countries and territories (Photo: Organising board)

The third Hanoi international piano competition kicked off at the Vietnam National Academy of Music (VNAM) on September 4.

As many as 55 competitors from nine countries and territories have entered, with Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, mainland China, Taiwan (China), Ukraine and host Vietnam being represented.

The competition includes three categories for pianists aged 10-13; 14-17 and 18-25.

The youngest age group will perform in two rounds playing three pieces 10-15 minutes in length in the first round. In the second round they will play two pieces 12-15 minutes in length including one sonata by Mozart, Haydn or Kulau.

The 14-17 year-olds will play two 8-12 minute-pieces by Bach and Chopin in the first round. Their second round performances will last 15-20 minutes featuring sonata by Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven in addition to one work of their choice.

In the final round, they will be accompanied by the Hanoi Philharmonic Orchestra playing first, second or third movements of concertos by Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, Grieg and Rachmaninov.

The eldest competitors will play three 20-25 minute pieces in the first and second rounds. In the final round they will play a concerto by either Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, Grieg or Rachmaninov with the orchestra.

Performances at the final rounds will be conducted by Vietnamese conductor Dong Quang Vinh and Spanish conductor David Gomez.

The winner in each category receives a cash prize of 1,000 USD, 1,500 USD and 2,000 USD, respectively, with awards also for second and third place.

The competition is held by the VNAM and Hanoi Chopin Association with sponsorship from Viettravel.

Vietnamese pianist Dang Thai Son, the first Asian to win a gold medal at the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1980, is the competition's honourable president and art director.

A seven-member judging panel is chaired by Vietnamese Professor and pianist Tran Thu Ha who has served on the juries of several regional piano competitions. She graduated from the Kiev Conservatory in Russia in 1975 and earned a doctorate from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow in 1978.

The remaining members of the jury include Michel Bourdoncle (France), Hae Won-chang (the Republic of Korea), Fumiko Eguchi (Japan), Tamas Ungar (the US) Stephan Moller (Germany/Austria) and Hamsa Al-Wadi Juris (Finland).

The competition winners will perform at a gala concert on September 11 at the VNAM's Grand Hall.-VNA