CSU, Chico News

Public Invited to Hear Performers Vie for $2000 Kruschke Prize in Piano Performance

Date: 02-14-2012

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Natalya Shkoda,
Department of Music

California State University, Chico’s School of the Arts presents the final round of the 14th Annual Earl R. and Marilyn Ann Kruschke Piano Performance Competition on Saturday, March 3, beginning at noon in Rowland-Taylor Recital Hall in the Performing Arts Center on campus.

The five finalists chosen to perform are Megumi Ito of CSU, Chico; Yuko McWhorter of CSU, Chico; Irina Smolyakova of CSU, Fresno; Naoko Terakado of CSU, Chico; and Nicholas Pietromonaco of Humboldt State University.

The public is invited and admission is free.

The competition consists of two rounds—the preliminary round, for which the contestants have to submit the competition application materials, including a five-minute unedited video recording of their current performance; and the final round, for which finalists perform a specific repertoire.

The Earl R. and Marilyn Ann Kruschke Prize in Piano Performance Competition is open to outstanding California high school, community college and university music students. An outside judge is invited to evaluate the competition finals.

This year's invited competition adjudicator is Dena Kay Jones, associate professor of piano and coordinator of Keyboard Studies at the University of Texas, El Paso. Jones will also offer a piano master class at CSU, Chico on Saturday evening, March 3.

The required repertoire for the 2012 competition consists of two solo pieces representing two of the following four musical styles: Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary. The competition program cannot exceed a 15-minute time frame, and the works should be completely memorized.

“I relied on over two decades of my own experience with various competitions to make the Kruschke Competition a professional, exciting and memorable piano event for all,” said artistic director Natalya Shkoda, assistant professor of Piano and coordinator of Keyboard Studies at CSU, Chico. “I am also very thankful to our donors, who have supported the competition for so many years.”

The first-prize winner will receive $2,000, awarded by Mrs. Marilyn Ann Kruschke. The second-prize winner will receive $500, and the special-prize winner, competing for the best performance of the solo piano work by Ukrainian composer Viktor Kosenko, will receive $100; these latter two prizes are awarded by Dustin Breshears of the Music Teachers' Association of California, Butte County Branch.

For more information about the competition, please visit the official Kruschke Piano Competition website at http://bit.ly/yXrNsg or call Shkoda at 530-898-4043 or email her at nshkoda@csuchico.edu. The School of the Arts web site can be found at http://www.schoolofthearts-csuchico.com.