【1st Prize Winner : Nicolas Giacomelli】The 4th Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition

2023.11.27305 views

The '4th Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition,' held from July 29 to August 6, showcased remarkable talents. In this article, we trace the journey of one of the six finalists, Nicolas Giacomelli, through performance videos and an exclusive interview.

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Program

1st Round
J. Brahms / No.4 Intermezzo in E major from "7 Fantasies Op.116"
J. Brahms / No.7 Capriccio in D minor from "7 Fantasies Op.116"
J. Brahms / No.2 Intermezzo in A minor from "7 Fantasies Op.116"
D. Shostakovich / No.3 in G major from "24 Preludes and Fugues Op.87"
S. Rachmaninov / No.5 in E-flat minor from ”Etudes-Tableaux Op.39”

 

Semifinal Round
F.J. Haydn / Piano Sonata in E major Hob.XVI:13
R. Schumann / Kreisleriana Op.16

 

Final Round
P. Tchaikovsky / Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No.1 in B-flat minor Op.23

 

Interview

After the Semifinal Performance

Please share your thoughts right after finishing the semifinal round.

I'm feeling pretty happy about the performance.

How did you choose the repertoire for the first round, semifinals, and finals?

The repertoire was based on what I had been studying until now. For the first round, I decided to take on a challenge by choosing Brahms from the set pieces, because it's the composer that I feel most closely suits my personality among those proposed by the competition.

And in the second round, I wanted absolutely to play Kreisleriana by Schumann because it's one of my favorite pieces and one that I enjoy playing in competitions and concerts. As for the finals, I chose Tchaikovsky's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No.1. It's a very conventional choice, but it's a piece I really love, and I believe it's well-suited for a competition like this.

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 ©Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition

 

After the Announcement of the Finalists

Congratulations on making it to the finals! Can you please share your thoughts right now?

I'm really honored that I have been selected by the jury to be one of the finalists. I'm very happy and I feel very motivated for the final round to practice and do my best.

 

After the Final Performance

Please share your current feelings.

After completing today's performance, I'm very happy. I'm satisfied with my performance, and now all that's left is to pray.

How was the "Concerto for Two Pianos," which is a distinctive feature of this competition?

I think it was a very valuable opportunity. This was my first experience of performing alongside a world-renowned pianists, except for lessons and such. Professor Pisarev, with whom I performed, has a wealth of knowledge about the piece and a wide range of skills, so our collaboration felt like a process of mutual discussion and argumentation to shape the final performance. It was quite different from performing with an orchestra, so it was a truly invaluable experience.

The venue changed from the first round to the semifinals. Did you feel any differences?

The acoustics at Sakura Hall were definitely different from the first-round and semifinal venue. Sakura Hall is larger, and the sound somehow felt like it was spreading more widely. Performing the finals in this wonderful hall with two pianos was truly fantastic.

Lastly, can you share a message for the audience who attended this competition or watched the livestream?

It was a privilege to perform at Sakura Hall today with this wonderful piano, the Shigeru Kawai, which is, personally, the best piano.

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 ©Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition

 

After the Award Ceremony

How are you feeling right now?

I am extremely happy and honored to have been awarded 1st prize.

Could you please share the most memorable stage from the competition?

I believe it might be the semifinal performance of Schumann's Kreisleriana.

ceremony_13

 ©Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition

 

Before the Prize Winner’s Concert

A day after receiving the award, please share your thoughts.

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm still incredibly happy and honored to have received first place, even after a night's rest. Today, I feel more relaxed than yesterday, so I'm able to enjoy today's gala concert performance even more.

How was the Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition?

I can only think of positive aspects, to be honest. From the perspective of a contestant, the organizers provided excellent support. I believe it was one of the best competitions I've participated in thus far.

From the first round, they arranged grand pianos for practice for around 50 contestants, which was truly appreciated. Additionally, the level of the fellow participants was exceptionally high. I can't think of anything but good things when it comes to this competition.

Can you share your impressions of the SK-EX, your first encounter, memories of playing it for the first time, and its tone, etc.?

I always enjoy playing the SK-EX. Its remarkable characteristic, in my opinion, lies in its wide range of expression. It can produce soft, delicate touches as well as powerful, dynamic sounds, offering a significant range of dynamics for expression. Moreover, I consistently find the tone warm and inviting. It feels incredibly comfortable to play, making the experience very enjoyable.

What are your plans for future activities and further challenges?

In the coming months, I plan to expand my repertoire. Additionally, I have concerts lined up in Italy and Europe in the autumn, and I would like to participate in at least one competition if possible. I'm also looking ahead to 2024 and hope to participate in competitions during that time. I want to focus on preparing for those opportunities. Moreover, I'm very excited about the Kawai concert that comes with winning first place, so I plan to practice new pieces and aim for new challenges.

What kind of pianist do you aspire to be?

Well, I want to strive to get as close as possible to my ideal. Personally, I'm not a fan of performances that prioritize technique at the expense of emotional depth. I make an effort to deliver expressive and enjoyable performances, and I believe that aligns with my ideal as a pianist.

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About Nicolas Giacomelli

Nicolas Giacomelli, born in 1998 in Bologna, Italy, is a distinguished pianist and composer officially recognized as Italian musical excellence. His artistic journey has been profoundly shaped by the guidance of L. Margarius, who served as his mentor at the International Academy of Imola for over 12 years.

Having earned accolades in over 40 music competitions, Nicolas has garnered invitations to perform at prestigious venues across Europe, Asia, and America. Notably, he recently showcased his musical prowess at the Cité de la Musique in Paris. His multifaceted talents and dedication to his craft mark him as a notable figure in the world of classical music.

 Official media: https://linktr.ee/nicolasgiacomelli

Writer

Kawai Japan (Domestic division)

This article has been translated from a piece published on the Kawai Japan website.

This article has been translated from a piece published on the Kawai Japan website.

Kawai is a Japanese musical instrument manufacturer founded in 1927,
renowned for its acclaimed acoustic and digital pianos.

Kawai is a Japanese musical instrument manufacturer founded in 1927, renowned for its acclaimed acoustic and digital pianos.

For almost 100 years, Kawai has delivered thousands of pianos to musicians around the world.
Kawai instruments are highly regarded and cherished by many pianists,
and frequently selected in international competitions and concerts.
The company's vision is to "share the joy of music and create emotional connections."
This heartfelt desire stems from Kawai’s long history of crafting musical instruments
and promoting music appreciation.

For almost 100 years, Kawai has delivered thousands of pianos to musicians around the world. Kawai instruments are highly regarded and cherished by many pianists, and frequently selected in international competitions and concerts.
The company's vision is to "share the joy of music and create emotional connections." This heartfelt desire stems from Kawai’s long history of crafting musical instruments and promoting music appreciation.

Kawai company information