Stanislav Khristenko wins grand prize at Cleveland Competition

After a rigorous selection process, Russian pianist Stanislav Khristenko took the top title at this year’s Cleveland International Piano Competition.

The event’s final stages saw four candidates from around the world perform with the Cleveland Orchestra and maestro Stefan Sanderling as they competed for the prestigious prize in the city’s Severance Hall on 10 August.

This is the latest in a steady stream of international prizes for the 29-year-old Russian, who has been making waves around the globe since his first solo recital at the age of 11.

The judging panel, which included leading international pianists Einar Steen-Nøkleberg and Nelita True, awarded Khristenko the top prize for his performance of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No 1.

Zachary Lewis of Cleveland paper The Plain Dealer praised the Russian’s rendition for its ‘shimmering filigree and phrases of exquisite tenderness, in which every note mattered.’

Held annually, the Cleveland International Piano Competition begins with an online screening process of around 300 applicants using DecisionDesk, a new platform which allows judges to review performances without travelling to auditions.

This year, the applicants were whittled down to 28 candidates who were invited to perform over a 10- day period. As well as collecting USD 50,000 (€37,632) in prize money, Khristenko was awarded over 50 engagements worldwide, three years of management services, a recording by Steinway and Sons, and a recital at Carnegie Hall set to take place in May next year.

Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev was awarded second prize, whilst third prize went to France’s François Dumont.