Taste is a negative thing. Genius affirms and always affirms.

Franz Liszt

Six entrants to stay in the Bartók World Competition

12 September 2019

The Wednesday semi-finals have produced a list of competitors to play in the Bartók World Competition solo finals: three Hungarians, a Hungarian-American, a Ukrainian and a Spanish pianist have cleared the bar.

As a result of the extremely keen competition, 14 pianists, two more than planned, appeared in the Wednesday semi-finals of the Academy of Music’s Bartók World Competition this year. In the two rounds held in Solti Hall, both the audience and the jury, composed of renowned musical authorities, enjoyed performances by competitors from eight countries.


Photo:Liszt Academy/Andrea Felvégi

A decision brought by the international jury late Wednesday night invites the following entrants to go on to the finals: Ádám Balogh, Krisztián Kocsis and Ádám Szokolay from Hungary; the Hungarian-American Peter Klimo; the Ukrainian Darya Dadykina; and Alberto Greer Menjon Bohanna from Spain.

In the semi-finals, competitors had a maximum of 30 minutes to play at least three pieces: a choice of their own from among Bartók’s Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs, Dance Suite, Sonata or Out of Doors, one or two movements from a piano sonata by a figure of Viennese Classicism, i.e. Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven, as well as one of two winning entries from the composers’ round in the 2018 competition: Drumul Dracului (The Way of the Devil) by Dániel Dobos or Toccata by János Mátyás Stark. The two young composers attended the semi-finals in Solti Hall and heard their own compositions performed.


Ádám Szokolay. Photo:Liszt Academy/Andrea Felvégi


As a point of interest, only two of the 14 semi-finalists chose Dániel Gobos’s piece. In the break between the two rounds, the composer admitted that it was a very difficult composition and so he was not particularly surprised. He only had time to hear one of the pianists’ performance of his piece , which he said had simply overwhelmed him. He was very happy to hear Drumul Dracului being played again.


Peter Klimo. Photo:Liszt Academy/Andrea Felvégi


János Mátyás Stark, who heard a number of pianists play his Toccata in the semi-finals, said he was impressed by the diverse interpretations of his piece, adding that it was interesting to hear the competitors’ personalities come through in their performances. He noted that this was no surprise because his composition did not have its own history as does a piano piece from the Viennese Classical Era, so the contestants had no previous knowledge of any standard interpretation.


Photo:Liszt Academy/Andrea Felvégi


The solo finals will again offer 30 minutes to each contestant to play at least two pieces by the great composers active in the second half of the 19th or the first half of the 20th century. One of these must come from a composer from the Romantic period, the other, a piece by Ravel, Debussy, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Scriabin or Stravinsky.

Click here on the bartokworldcompetition.hu portal to see the repertoire of the six pianists who will appear in the finals.