More than Tickling Ivories: Virginia Waring International Piano Competition
This season the Palm Springs Valley will host one of the most prestigious musical events in the country—the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition—beginning on March 24, and concluding on April 1, 2013. But before then, the annual Black and White Gala, a major fundraiser for this fantastic affair, will take place on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage. Lucky patrons will be presented with a performance from 2007 Junior Solo winner Jan Lisiecki, the Canadian-born prodigy. At only 17, young Jan made his New York Philharmonic debut this past December, and has just released his second CD on Deutsche Grammophone! Individual tickets are currently on sale for $300. www.vwipc.org/2013-Black-and-White-Gala
The Virginia Waring Piano Competition has been in existence since 1978. First called the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition, it was reorganized and renamed in 2001 in honor of Virginia Waring (widow of popular entertainer Fred Waring, who—fun fact—was the financier behind the Waring “Blendor”). This year’s biennial competition will include up to 25 pianists, from 18 to 35 years of age, who have been chosen from hundreds of applicants from around the world. (The Junior and Intermediate competition took place here in 2011.) Winners often go on to successful careers on the international concert circuit.
Performances during the competition are free up until the last two days, and conclude with Concerto Finals that include a performance by each finalist playing with a full orchestra in the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert. These concerts afford music-lovers in the communities of the Greater Palm Springs Oasis the chance to hear some of the best of the best—and I, for one, can’t wait!