All Keyed Up for Piano Awards

Nearly 50 young pianists from 17 countries have begun a three-week competition for the Fourth Rubinstein International Piano Award established by the late maestro, Artur Rubinstein, whose black-draped bust stood on a pedestal on the Mann Auditorium concert stage as the competition opened Sunday night.

The international jury which will chose the winners in a series of elimination performances includes numerous piano virtuosi as well as music critics from the BBC, The New York Times and the Figaro of Paris. The first three prizes are a gold medal and $10,000, $5,000 and $3,000.

The Rubinstein prizes will be awarded at a final competition in Jerusalem on April II. Many of the 49 competitors this year have already won international piano prizes, so the Rubinstein contest qualifies as a virtual championship of champions.

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