Letter from the CEO

Welcome to The Gurwitz 2020!

As a pianist, and founder of Musical Bridges Around the World, I am thrilled to bring this unprecedented celebration of the art of piano to the heart of Texas – San Antonio. We are honored to have the torch passed on to us after 32 years of the San Antonio International Piano Competition and take it to new heights as “The Gurwitz.” This competition, like the Olympics, takes place each quadrennium and we look forward to the next event in 2020! I have a tremendous responsibility to make The Gurwitz one of the world’s most prominent competitions in honor of those who have come before me; Ruth Jean Gurwitz, Anne Johnson, Bryan Helbert, Lynne Noriskin, Deborah Moore and the countless others that contributed to its growth over the years. The Board of Directors of Musical Bridges Around the World under the leadership of Chairman Eric Miller, M.D. is a tremendous group of visionaries committed to making San Antonio an international cultural destination. I thank Dr. Miller and our leadership for their support in making The Gurwitz 2020 a great success!

We invite pianists from any country, 18 – 32 years of age, to apply to The Gurwitz 2020. The application process for participants is open from 1 January to 30 June 2019 through ACCEPTD. Preliminary Judges will select 12 competitors bound for San Antonio, TX from 26 January – 2 February 2020. The selected 12 will be announced by 1 October 2019. The Gurwitz will sponsor these participants’ transportation, accommodation and US visas. Along with solo piano programs in first two rounds, the third round will feature a unique commissioned chamber music piece for piano and world music instruments. The final round will feature piano concertos with the renown San Antonio Symphony. Finalists in round four will vie for Gold $25,000; Silver $15,000 and Bronze $10,000 prizes. We will also have special prizes, performance opportunities and benefits for participants and the winner which will be announced closer to the competition.

The international panel of judges is comprised of world class musicians and industry executives including Maestro Sebastian Lang-Lessing – Music Director of the San Antonio Symphony, concert pianists Olga Kern, Yaron Kohlberg, Boris Slutsky, Carolyn True and violinist, Director of the Sphinx Organization – Afa Dworkin. Members of the Silk Road Ensemble, Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and American percussionist John Hadfield are one-of-a-kind musicians sharing their incredibly versatile artistry during the World Music Round playing the commissioned work of San Antonio composer Ethan Wickman. We are grateful to our beloved San Antonio Symphony for partnering with The Gurwitz 2020 as we look forward to a Grand Finale of concertos for piano and orchestra!

The Gurwitz is proud to have become a member of the Geneva, Switzerland based World Federation of International Music Competitions in 2018. This status recently shed a global spotlight on San Antonio in my recent interview with BBC Music Magazine.

We look forward to welcoming the best emerging piano talent from around the globe, judges and spectators from all over the world to the Crossroads of the Americas: our beautiful City of San Antonio in Bexar County, Texas! Between UNESCO World Heritage status for our Spanish Missions, our romantic River Walk, a UNESCO designated Creative City of Gastronomy, San Antonio is a unique cultural asset in Texas with tremendous southern hospitality. As The Gurwitz 2020 brings the world to San Antonio – our City, County, businesses and partners welcome you with open arms!

Love,

Anya

*The Gurwitz 2020 is run, managed and produced by Musical Bridges Around the World. Each competition year, The Gurwitz will occur as part of the International Music Festival and will be open to the public.

Gurwitz Committee

MARGARET KELLEY, MD

SHERYL SCULLEY

JANE MACON

SONYA MEDINA WILLIAMS

DEBBIE MONTFORD

TRACY WOLFF

PRIZES

Gold $25000

Silver $15000

Bronze $10000

AUDIENCE FAVORITE AWARD – $5000

BEST PERFORMANCE OF A WORK BY A SPANISH OR LATIN AMERICAN COMPOSER – $5000

JUNIOR JURY AWARD – $2500

Round I Appreciation awards of $1000 will be given to each of six participants, not advancing to the second round

Round II Appreciation awards of $1500 will be given to each of three participants, not advancing to the third round

For 12 selected participants travel and accommodation will be as follows:
Airfare courtesy of The Gurwitz

Lodging provided with host families with an in-house grand piano

JUDGES

Preliminary judges

CHAMBER MUSIC ROUND COMPOSER AND GUEST ARTISTS

Ethan Wickman

Composer

Kinan Azmeh

Clarinet

John Hadfield

Percussion

Chamber Music Round Commissioned Piece

Ethan Wickman
Murmurs from the Exile
for clarinet in B-flat, percussion, and piano

Click Here To View The Piece

INSTRUMENTATION

  • Clarinet in B-flat
  • Percussion (medium suspended cymbal w/ soft yarn mallets, tambourine, frame drum)
  • Piano

PERFORMANCE NOTE

Murmurs from the Exile is a work that combines Eastern rhythms and scales with Western tonal chromaticism in virtuosic flourishes. Both the clarinet and piano are given improvisatory passages with specific guidance as to pitch choice and collection. While specific instructions are given at the appropriate places in the score, performers of these parts should strive to use principally the pitches in the designated collection. Other pitches may be used sparingly to add color, or ‘non-harmonic tone’ effects. Overuse of non-collection pitches will undermine the harmonic integrity of these passages.

The percussionist should be an experienced hand drummer that is comfortable with improvisation and embellishment. The frame drum portions of the work provide a rhythmic outline, that may be tastefully embellished in the following passages: mm. 67-79, mm. 139-150, mm. 183-190. All other percussion passages, with the exception of the freely improvised portions (mm. 157, 160, 163, 166) should be interpreted literally. M. 156 provides guidance for the first portion of improvisation.

DURATION: ~12 minutes

Commissioned by Musical Bridges Around the World for the

13th Quadrennial Gurwitz International Piano Competition

SAN ANTONIO SYMPHONY

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