Malta International Piano Competition 2018 awards top prize of €100,000

After two weeks of intense competition the winners for Malta International Piano Competition 2018 (MIPC 2018) are set to take the next steps in their careers. During the tough five-hour final held in Valletta, six pianists battled it out for first prize worth €100,000 in a piano concerto accompanied by the orchestra-in-residence at Malta International Music Festival (MIMF); the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sergey Smbatayan.

The competitors were picked from a series of 11 different competitions held in 11 countries, all hosted by the European Foundation for Support of Culture (EFSC). Editions took place in Moscow, Tokyo, Shanghai, Berlin, Astana, Yerevan, Granada and Brescia.

Said Alan Chircop, artistic director of EFSC: “The best five of those winners from each of those 11 competitions were invited to compete in the Malta competition.”

Alan Chircop, Anna Ulaieva and composer Alexy Shor
Alan Chircop, Anna Ulaieva and composer Alexy Shor

Anna Ulaieva from Ukraine/Austria took first prize, second prize worth €50,000 went to Shion Ota (Japan), the €25,000 third prize was awarded to Yongqiu Liu (China), special prize for the best performance of a Maltese Composition (by Alexy Shor), worth €5,000, was awarded to Yongqiu Liu (China).

Each of the winners in the following categories took home €6,000: fourth prize to Gen Li (China/United Kingdom), fifth prize to Ben Holzman (Israel) and sixth prize to Hripsime Aghakaryan (Armenia).

Added Chircop: “The winners will perform at the festivals organised by EFSC, they will perform with orchestras and in recital. It is in our interest, also, to promote the winners to give them more visibility and more visibility to the competition. MIMC will launch not just the winner, ideally, but all six winners. The main aim is to not just hold a competition and give prize money away but to support the musicians in the next stages of their careers.”

MIMC took place during Malta International Music Festival which welcomed top-flight names to the stage from 15 April to 1 May including legendary Russian pianist Grigory Sokolov and Italian violinist Salvatore Accardo, Maxim Vengerov, Nikolai Lugansky and Julia Zilberquit, and breakthrough stars like Ray Chen, Narek Hakhnazaryan and Andreas Ottensamer.