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Updates to the 7th Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition

December 23, 2014

Brazilian conductor and pianist Ricardo Castro will join the distinguished panel of judges for the 7th Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition, replacing pianist Martha Argerich, who recently notified the competition organizers that she will be unable to join the jury this year due to personal reasons.

The competition will open with a gala recital on Jan. 4, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in ASU’s Katzin Hall, featuring members of the jury, including Ricardo Castro, Robert Hamilton, Baruch Meir, Vadim Monastyrski and Aleksandar Serdar. They will perform works by Haydn, Debussy, Chopin, Bartok and Shostakovich.

The winner of the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition in 1993, Castro is the founder and director of NEOJIBA, a Brazilian orchestral and choral program inspired by Venezuela’s “El Sistema” program, which provides free classical music education that promotes human opportunity and development for impoverished children. NEOJIBA is now a priority program of the government of Bahia and a pioneer in Brazil. The NEOJIBA orchestra under Castro as its conductor toured throughout the U.S. and Europe in 2014 with renowned piano soloists Martha Argerich, Maria João Pires and Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

Some 205 pianists representing 42 countries applied to the 2015 Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition.

“This is a record number of applicants for our competition,” said Baruch Meir, founder, president and artistic director of the competition. “They represent the top young pianists from some of the world’s greatest music schools and teachers, including the Juilliard School, the Moscow Conservatory, the Royal College of Music (London) and Arizona State University. Three ASU students were accepted to participate at the Bösendorfer competition, a testament to the tremendous quality of pianists we have in the School of Music.”

In addition to the top available prizes, ASU students who were accepted to the competition will also compete for the National Society of Arts and Letters Special Award for the best Arizona pianist competing in the Bösendorfer competition.

“The ASU School of Music is proud to announce the naming of the Second Prize $10,000 award in the Bösendorfer Competition in memory of Phyllis Chiat, a long time advocate of the arts,” said Heather Landes, director of the ASU School of Music. Chiat, who passed away last August after a short battle with cancer, loved and supported the arts, and especially loved classical music and the piano.

Chiat’s husband, Harold Chiat, M.D., said, “This festival was her favorite. Phyllis would be proud of this award in her honor, which will help nurture young, talented musical artists.”

This award was made possible through the generous support of art lovers in the community who knew Phyllis Chiat and her work — Harold Chiat, David Katzin and Bob Katzin are long-time advocates and patrons of the ASU School of Music.

For early purchase of competition weekly or daily passes and special event tickets, call the box office at 480.965.6447. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2p.m. – 5 p.m. (excluding holidays). Passes/tickets will be held at Will Call at the ticketing counter in Cowley lobby, located in the ASU School of Music.

To purchase tickets online for the opening gala recital at Katzin Hall, Jan. 4, go to:

To purchase tickets online for the Yamaha Winners Recital, Jan. 10, go to:

To purchase competition tickets directly before a scheduled competitor is to play or for the special events, the box office will be in Cowley lobby at the School of Music ticketing counter for sales as follows:

Sunday Jan. 4, 6:30 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. (opening gala recital)
Monday Jan. 5, 12:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday Jan. 6, 11:30 a.m. – 7:45 p.m.
Wednesday Jan. 7, 11:30 a.m. – 8:15 p.m.
Thursday Jan. 8, 11:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m.
Friday Jan. 9, 9:30 a.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Saturday Jan. 10, 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., and closing winners recital: 6:30 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.

Media Contact:
Deborah Sussman Susser