Experience this rare opportunity to hear the 2022 winners of the most pre-eminent piano competition in the world: The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Every four years, The Cliburn features the world’s top 18- to 30-year-old pianists competing for gold in front of an audience of over 10 million online and live. Emerald City Music is proud to present Russian pianist, Anna Geniushene (2022 Cliburn Competition Silver prize winner) and Ukrainian pianist, Dmytro Choni (2022 Cliburn Competition bronze prize winner) alongside the legendary pianist and Cliburn juror, Wu Han. The unique experience of seeing these pianists perform piano four-hands and on two, side-by-side pianos demonstrates the staying power of music bringing people of all cultures and backgrounds together. The performance will delve into the deep influence of Russian composers on piano literature, beginning with the Romantic music of Tchaikovsky, later exploring the mystical melodies of Scriabin, and finally concluding with music by Rachmaninoff, whose 150th birthdate we celebrate this season.
Pianist Wu Han, recipient of Musical America’s Musician of the Year Award, enjoys a multi-faceted musical life that encompasses performing, recording, and artistic direction at the highest levels. Currently artistic co-director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Music@Menlo, she also serves as artistic advisor for Wolf Trap’s Chamber Music in the Barns and for Palm Beach’s Society of the Four Arts.
Recent concert activities have taken her from New York’s Lincoln Center stages to the most important concert halls in the United States, Europe, and Asia. She is the founder and artistic director of ArtistLed, classical music’s first artist-directed, internet-based recording label. Her more than 80 releases on ArtistLed, CMS Live, and Music@Menlo Live include masterworks of the chamber repertoire with numerous distinguished musicians.
At CMS, Wu Han was instrumental establishing the Bowers Program, which admits stellar young musicians to the CMS roster for three seasons. Dedicated to education for musicians of all ages and experience, Wu Han directs the Chamber Music Institute at Music@Menlo and has served on faculty at Isaac Stern’s Chamber Music Encounters internationally. Married to cellist David Finckel since 1985, Wu Han divides her time between concert touring and residences in New York City and Westchester County.
Anna Geniushene’s fresh, layered, and powerful interpretations defined her participation at the 2022 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition—and won her the coveted silver medal and the adoration of fans around the globe. And the critics couldn’t get enough: “powerhouse sound, forceful musical personality, and sheer virtuosity…had this critic on the edge of his seat” (Musical America); “a performance of rare devotion and insight” (Onstage NTX); “a fresh version…that had this listener hanging on every bar” (La Scena).
And when Anna closed the Cliburn Competition with a momentous performance of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1, Gramophone likened it to the contest’s revered namesake, “I couldn’t help but equate Anna Geniushene’s seasoned pianism to Cliburn at his best.”
Born in Moscow on New Year’s Day in 1991, Anna made her recital debut just seven years later in the small hall of the Berlin Philharmonic. She has since developed a diverse and versatile career as an artist; a dedication to chamber music –including duo piano repertoire with her husband, Lukas Geniušas– and close collaboration with Quartetto di Cremona; and the creation of her own festival of collaborative music-making (NikoFest).
Dmytro Choni took home bronze at the 2022 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, only the second Ukrainian pianist to medal at the prestigious contest. He won hearts and accolades with a compelling and colorful musicality that is fortified by a genuine, immediately engaging stage presence. As one critic noted: “Each time he strode onstage, it was with winning confidence and a big smile. He’s clearly an accomplished, assured―and communicative—pro” (Dallas Morning News).
Dmytro’s debut album was released by Naxos in 2020; it received a “Supersonic Award” from Pizzicato and was highly acclaimed by the international critics, one raving he “could be one of the 21st century’s most outstanding pianists” (David’s Review Corner).
Dmytro Choni began piano in his native Kyiv when he was 4 years old. After a particularly meaningful performance at the age of 14, which he calls “a turning point,” his lifelong journey of professional musicianship began. In March, he told the Fort Worth Report that music is “always kind of a hideaway from what’s going on in the world. Through the music, you can try to project the best possible emotion, the optimism, the hope.”