Date(s) - March 4, 2015
Granada Presbyterian Church
Just prior to his final concert performance this past Sunday, seventeen-year-old Erik Lu asked organizers to switch him from a Steinway to a Fazioli piano.
Miami is home to the Chopin Foundation of the United States’ National Chopin Piano Competition. Every five years, for eight grueling days, contestants perform before a jury and members of the public.
The competition commences with the unnerving piano selection process. A cacophony of sound fills the hall as pianos are tested simultaneously by twenty-four sublimely talented pianists. Daily competitive concerts follow. The jury selects six finalists to perform a concert with the Chopin Foundation Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Grzegorz Nowak.
This is where Erik Lu broke with tradition. Although he began the competition on a Steinway grand piano, he switched to the handcrafted Italian Fazioli and went on to earn the top prize. Rachel Naomi Kudo won second prize also on a Fazioli concert grand.
With its cash prize of $75,000 for the first place winner, the competition presents a unique opportunity for young, American pianists to build a career on the world stage. Finalists secure international performance opportunities as well as their spot at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw, Poland October 2015.
This year for the first time the competition offered Fazioli in addition to Steinway and Yamaha pianos.
Sunny Reuter of Euro Pianos Naples, represents Fazioli in Florida. She congratulated Mr. Lu and Ms. Kudo on their winning performances commenting: “We wish Eric and Rachel all the best as they move on to Warsaw later this year noting in the right hands, Fazioli pianos are impossible to beat.”
From his offices at the Fazioli factory in Sacile, Italy, Paolo Fazioli followed the competition on the internet. “Sometimes it is difficult to put faith in the unfamiliar, the unknown. I am happy to see contestants playing my Fazioli pianos. And, I am happy so see them winning with Fazioli.” Eight contestants in total competed on Fazioli pianos.