Four Pianists Showcased in ‘Heida Hermanns’ Competition

Aug 2, 2022 | Arts, Performing | 0 comments

Pianists in the 2022 Heida Hermanns Piano Competition are, clockwise from top left, Katharine Benson, Nathan Cheung, Artem Kuznetsov and Aaron Kurz.

WESTPORT — Four young pianists will compete in an internationally renowned cultural event, hosted by MoCA Westport, over three days next week.

The 2022 Heida Hermanns Piano Competition will take place Aug. 11-13 at the museum, 19 Newtown Turnpike. The event, initially scheduled in January, was postponed because of COVID-19 concerns.

Tickets for the January dates are valid for the August events, according to museum officials. For additional details about remaining ticket sales, both in-person and live-streamed, click here.

The finalists for this year’s Heida Hermanns Piano Competition — returning after a two-year pandemic hiatus — were selected through “an extensive international application process that included video submissions of individual performances,” according to the MoCA announcement for the event.

The pianists are: Katharine Benson (U.S.), Nathan Cheung (U.S.), Aaron Kurz (U.S.) and Artem Kuznetsov (Russia).

The winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000, and each of the other finalists will receive $2,500.

Master classes also will be led by the pianists at the Westport Library on Aug. 11 and 12, from 3 to 5 p.m. Check the library website for details.

This year’s event will spotlight the “unjustly neglected music for solo piano of the important African-American composer, Robert Nathaniel Dett,” according to competition organizers.

Born in Canada, Dett studied in the United States and became “one of the great American composers of the 20th Century and a trailblazing figure in the history of Black composers of classical music.”

A lecture about Dett will be given at noon Aug. 12 in the Westport Library by Clipper Erickson, a pianist and Dett scholar. Click here for details.

Alexander Platt, MoCA’s curator of concerts, is the artistic director for competition. He also is music director of the La Crosse Symphony, the Waukegan Symphony and the Wisconsin Philharmonic and the Maverick Concerts in Woodstock, N.Y., during summers.

For information about the 2022 Heida Hermanns Piano Competition and to purchase tickets, call MoCA Westport 203-222-7070.

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