2012 William Kapell Piano Competition

One of the major American piano competitions takes place on the outskirts of the U.S. capital, Washington, D.C. The William Kapell competition was named after a pianist who once was one of the most promising talents in the States. In 1946, William Kapell was the first soloist ever to make a recording with Aram Khatchaturian’s piano concerto. Seven years later, at the age of 31, he lost his life in a plane crash. Quite a few American pianists have won the competition since 1971, when it was first held in his name. There have also been a number of German competitors over the years who tried the waters at the William Kapell competition, although none of them ever took a first price. For the past few years however, there has been a new trend which seems to have risen to new dimensions this year: 18 of the 25 participants had Asian names. On the other hand, there was not one single German candidate this year. Georg Hirsch watched the candidates, taking a closer look at the nimbus of, as well as stereotypes about Asian piano competitors.

Listen (in German):

Interim report after preliminary round (aired July 13)
Final report after conclusion of the competition (aired July 23)

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