Joel Peterson, Sofia Talarico, Elizabeth Lee, Kevin Park, Daniel Ha & Madeline Anderson
A capacity audience gathered yesterday afternoon in the grand ballroom of the Paso Robles Inn to hear the Winners’ Recital of the 2011 Paderewski Festival Youth Piano Competition. On hand for the event was an enthusiastic audience of devoted fans of the Festival, plus a surprising number of young children. Master of ceremonies for the occasion was Festival President Joel Peterson who greeted the audience and paid tribute to the generosity of donors and supporters who make this event possible. Special thanks were given to Artistic Director Marek Zebrowski and David Dumont of Sherman Clay who helped provide a magnificent Hamburg Steinway concert grand for the Festival’s use.
Peterson handed over the microphone to the Honorable Joanna Kozinńska, Consulate General of the Republic of Poland from Los Angeles, who praised the young winners and expressed her hopes that all their artistic dreams may someday come true. She also mentioned that it gave her spirits quite a lift to arrive in Paso Robles and see flags of the Polish Republic being displayed in honor of the twentieth anniversary of Poland’s independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Joel Peterson then introduced the young winners as each came to the stage to perform pieces they had played during the Youth Piano Competition. Peterson said that the Festival was especially proud to launch a new award this year, the “Paderewski Legacy Award,” to honor a gifted young performer who is a resident of San Luis Obispo County. The winner of the award, Sofia Talarico, 11, a resident of Atascadero and a piano pupil of Torsten Juul-Borre, gave a charming bow to the audience and played that perennial favorite by Beethoven, Fűr Elise.
Third Place Winner in the Junior Division, Elizabeth Lee, 10, a resident of Pacific Grove, who studies piano with Lyn Bronson of Carmel, California, performed “Knight Errant” by Friedrich Burgműller.
Second Place Winner in the Junior Division, Kevin Park, 10, who lives in Santa Maria and studies piano with Lynne Garrett performed two works — Chopin’s Waltz in A Minor, Op. 34, No. 2, and Beethoven’s Rondo in C Major, Op/ 51, No. 1
First Place Winner in the Junior Division, Daniel Ha, 11, lives in Nipomo and is currently studying piano with Lynne Garrett. He also performed two pieces, the first movement of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 1 and the last movement from Dimitry Kabalevsky’s Sonatina, Op. 13, No. 1
Ending the Winners’ Concert was a performance by Senior Division First Place Winner Madeline Anderson, 15, a resident of Monterey who studies piano with Lyn Bronson of Carmel. Madeline performed Chant du Voyageur by Paderewski and the Rigoletto Paraphrase by Liszt.
After the concert the winners were recalled to the stage for a final round of applause, presentation of awards and a photo opportunity for proud parents and members of the Paderewski Festival Board.