Piano competition begins June 29 in Carmel

Karolena Zhou, of Fishers, won first place last year. (Submitted photo)

Karolena Zhou, of Fishers, won first place last year. (Submitted photo)

After a successful inaugural event in 2014, the International Talent Academy is preparing for an even bigger and better Carmel Debut International Piano Competition this summer.

Pianists from across Indianapolis, the United States and the world will gather at the Tarkington, part of Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts campus, from June 29 through July 2 for musical competition, education and appreciation.

“Last year was our first time and it was very successful,” ITA Executive Director Tatyana Komarova said. “The reason for that is because a lot of our committee members are piano teachers and have previous experiences at different competitions. And the reason we organized our own competition was because some of the other competitions we were sending our kids to just weren’t as good.”

Last year’s competition saw 90 students ages 5-19 and from five countries compete across six age divisions with solo performances. This summer’s event already has 140 applicants coming from seven other countries, including Canada, China, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

“The teachers who brought a couple of students last year are bringing many more students this year,” Komarova said. “Also they spread the word out to other teachers and we talked to people we know in Germany. We have people coming from Germany, Turkey, Ukraine and some other countries. We contacted some music academies we know and a lot of our judges are international, too. It’s going to be truly an international event.”

But the event’s growth isn’t limited to an increase of attendees. The competition is adding duet and concerto divisions this year and will take advantage of its international judges and instructors by having them pass on some knowledge to the next generation.

“We’re adding duets and concertos this year and extending the competition for four days as well as adding master classes and lectures from judges,” Komarova said. “This will be very unique because you will not find that caliber of lectures and master classes here. They’re coming from all over the world and all these judges have judged at other international events. They have a huge experience and they’ll share that with our audience here.”

The last day of the event will see 45 finalists compete for placement within their divisions. A scholarship awards ceremony will follow and the winners will perform as part of a gala concert beginning at 7 p.m. July 2, at the Tarkington.

“(For) anyone who loves music or people who would like to educate their children about it, this is an unique opportunity to do that,” Komarova said.

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