The 14th edition of the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition starts Tuesday with a gala concert at the Tel Aviv Museum. The featured artists in the opening event include 23-year-old Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov, who won the previous competition in 2011, as well as 2008 winner 28-year-old Soviet-born Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich, and Australian pianist David Fung who won the Best Classical Concerto and Best Chamber Music categories in 2008.
The concert, which will also feature four vocalists, the Jerusalem Academy Chamber Choir and the Israel Camerata Jerusalem, under the direction of conductor Stanley Sperber, will include works by Bartok, Stravinsky, Mozart and Beethoven.
All told 39 pianists will compete in the competition, which ends on May 29. The competitors include nine from Russia, as well as players from the United States, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Italy, Finland and Israel.
During the course of the competition stages the entrants will perform works of their own choice, as well as one of two Israeli compositions. This year the competition organizers commissioned works for the latter category by Ella Milch-Sheriff and by Benjamin Yusupov.
This year, for the first time, the 14-member jury includes a musician from outside the classical domain. In addition to the likes of American pianist and composer Robert Levin, French pianist Cécile Ousset and Paris-based Egyptian pianist Ramzi Yassa, pop and jazz-oriented pianist-composer Yoni Rechter will have a say in how the contestants fare.
Competition stages will be held at the Tel Aviv Museum between May 14-22, with the Chamber Music finals taking place there on May 23-24, while the Concerti finals are scheduled for the Mann Auditorium on May 25-29, with the finalists performing with quartets, quintets and either with the Israel Camerata Jerusalem or the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The awards will be made following the final concert on May 29.