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Six Queen Elisabeth Competition finalists announced

© Belga

Judges at the Queen Elisabeth Competition have selected six pianists, three from Russia, two from Japan and one from France, to take part in the final of the prestigious music contest from 24 to 29 May.

The names of the six – Vitaly Starikov (Russia), Tomoki Sakata (Japan), Keigo Mukawa (Japan), Sergei Redkin (Russia), Dmitry Sin (Russia) and Jonathan Fournel (France) – were announced in Flagey on Saturday evening.

The final will take place at the Bozar (Brussels Centre for Fine Arts) with the Belgian National Orchestra led by Hugh Wolff. Each evening, one of the finalists will interpret a concerto of their choice along with an unpublished work written especially for this session by Bruno Mantovani, entitled “D’un Jardin Féérique.”

Depending on when they are scheduled to appear, each of the six will enter the Queen Elisabeth Chapel on a given day to study the work they are to perform. Their stay is organised according to the sanitary protocol that has been established, the competition’s organisers said.

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“Next Saturday, when they will all be present, a digital meeting is in store for them with H.M. Queen Mathilde, under whose Patronage the Competition is held,” the organisers announced. “The meeting with the composer of the compulsory work will also take place digitally.”

The final rankings will be decided at the end of the evening of Saturday 29 May.

The current edition of the competition, dedicated to the piano, had been postponed last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the 74 candidates originally selected, none of whom were Belgian, eventually withdrew, so 58 participated in the initial round.

The health situation also led the organisers to reduce the number of semi-finalists from the usual 24 to 12, while the participants in the final were reduced from 12 to six.

The Brussels Times