Tchaikovsky Competition pianist discusses Moscow musical mix-up

Posted on: July 24, 2019

“It sounds like the musical version of a classic anxiety nightmare,” writes Peter Dobrin in Sunday’s (7/21) Philadelphia Inquirer. “A few weeks ago … Tianxu An, [a] Curtis Institute of Music student, just 20, was ready to play the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow…. When conductor Vasily Petrenko brought in the orchestra for its brief introduction, the sound that came at An was that of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. ‘I was really surprised,’ said An…. Now the Philadelphia-based pianist is getting ready to play the same Rachmaninoff piece … Tuesday at the Mann Center with the Philadelphia Orchestra… In Moscow, An was a full beat late in his entrance, but caught on fast and says he soon felt at ease… Initially he could be seen giving the conductor what appeared to be a slightly annoyed look. In truth, … he says, … ‘I was not annoyed, but a little bit confused…. I decided to just keep going.’ … Competition officials apologized for the mix-up…. An was awarded fourth place plus a special prize for ‘courage and self-possession.’ ”

Posted July 24, 2019