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The KAWAI Junior Piano Competition is an annual National event organized by THEME Music Company in association with The Majolly Music Trust. The 2018 edition was held on 13th May 2018 at Alliance Francaise de Bengaluru.

This year Competition attracted video audition from competitors from all over India. Thirty Semi-Finalists were chosen in January 2018 from cities such as Bengaluru, New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Trivandrum, Solapur and Pune. The Semifinalists were give a syllabus to prepare from for the Semi-finals and the Finals Round of the Competition. For 2018, the focus was on Gavotte Dances from the Baroque era, Slow movement from the Classical era, Waltzes from the Romantic era, and pieces on the subject of children from the 20th Century eras.

The Semi-Finals Round and the Finals Round were both held on 13th May 2018.

SemiFinals Round Participants had to perform 2 out of the 4 pieces from the syllabus.

Finals Round 10 participants were chosen into this round and they had to perform all 4 pieces from the repertoire.

The Finals Round was an exciting affair with each Finalist bringing in their finesse, musicality and emotion to convey the character and style of the chosen repertoire.

The Adjudicator Ms Rebecca Thomas (a renowned Bangalore based pianist) had a tough time selecting the finalists, and even more so for the placing the Winners. In her speech, Ms Rebecca Thomas specifically mentioned that she was very happy to see such spirited young musicians and that she was glad to be part of an event that thoroughly promoted musical culture among the young musicians of the country.

Ms Rebecca Thomas

The Top Prize went to Syed Fateen Ahmed from Bengaluru, whose confident and stylistic performance wowed everyone in the audience. Fateen walked away with the grand Prize of KAWAI Digital Piano KDP-90, along with several music books from Alfred Publishing and Hal Leonard Publishing.

Second Place went to Vivek George Matthew from Trivandrum (Kerala). His colourful performance immediately granted him a place among the winners. He walked away with a cash prize of INR 21,000/- along with Music Books from Alfred Publishing and Hal Leonard Publishing.

Third Place was secured by Alekhya Sengupta of Bengaluru. She won a cash Prize of INR 11,000/- and music books by Alfred Publishing and Hal Leonard.

The Chief Guest Mr M R Jagadeesh (Director – The Bangalore School of Music) was specifically impressed with the talent that several of the participants brought in.

Apart from the festivities, there was a solemn moment in the Competition when the Convenor of the Competition Ms Neecia Majolly dedicated her performance to two very beloved music educators who passed away earlier this year.

The Finals Round was open to Public, and was attended by a rapt audience that came in full attendance to cheer the finalists from all over, braving the heavy rains that had swept over Bangalore. The Competition was praised by everyone in attendance.

Natallia Kapylova, a celebrated piano teacher from Bengaluru whose student won the Competition said “It’s a wonderful initiative to help budding young pianists and it certainly helped my students develop their talents.”

Another piano teacher from Mumbai Mr J, had this to say “Although my delegate did not make it to the finals, the ones who did totally deserved their spots, as did the final winners, the first two prize winners were in a league of their own”.

One of the senior piano teachers, who had come to witness the Finals Round, exclaimed that she was impressed by the confidence of the performers and that she would like to add the event into her calendar so that she can attend it with her students every year.

All in all, it was a festive day, and it was great to see that all the competitors, even the ones that didn’t make it far in the competition stayed back to cheer for the Finalists and the eventual winners.

We look forward to a growing competition next year!