International Music Festival Winners start tour at Radford University


Four pianists and one lame sonore/piano duo are considered among the best concert musicians in the world according to the IBLA Grand Prize World Music Competition. These performers begin a United States tour at Radford University May 1.

IBLA is an elite international music competition located in the Sicilian city of Ragusa Ibla. It showcases musical talent of the highest caliber. This is the 24th year of this competition.
Founded by Radford University, this competition began in 1981 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Hungarian composer Bela Bartók's birth. Originally the Bartók Competition, it later expanded to honor Russian composers Dmitri Kabalevsky and Sergei Prokofiev. It now honors the memory of the great pianist and musician, Gyorgy Sandor, who was Bartok's protégé'.

Sandor also served as a Radford competition jury chairman for decades. A friend of former Department of Music Chair Eugene Fellin, Sandor filled this position in 1991 when Dr. Salvatore Moltisanti was awarded first prize at this competition.

“The performers selected and representing IBLA that grace our Performance Hall each spring are among the finest in the world,” said Al Wojtera, chair of the Department of Music. “We are very fortunate that Radford University has been a regular stop on their annual tour that culminates at New York’s Carnegie Hall. This is a wonderful performance opportunity for our students, faculty, and our patrons in the region.”

For over a decade, Radford University has hosted this annual concert comprised of several of the IBLA winners. This year the top prizewinner along with musicians of distinction are in the performance line-up.

The IBLA Top Prize Winner is Miwa Hoyano. Born in Saitama, Japan, she began her career as pianist at the age of four. She received her undergraduate degree from the Tokyo College of Music, and went onto study with Bernd Goetzke at the Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media in Germany.

She is the winner of various competitions, including first prize in the 11th International Music Competition Luigi Cerritelli in 2014, the Camilo Togni International Music Competition in 2008, the Valsesia International Music Competition in 2007, a bronze medal in the PTNA Piano Competition in Tokyo in 2007, and the Martinu Prize at the Grieg Piano Competition in Norway in 2009.

Currently she is the accompanying pianist for the woodwinds and horn section at the Hannover University of Music, Theater and Media.

Performing with Hoyano is Anna Rutkowka-Schock, from Poland. No stranger to the IBLA Grand Prize Competition, she won the Best Collaborative Pianist award in 2003. Since then she is the staff pianist and jury member for the competition every year and works in the same capacity for international music competitions in Rome, Peru, Slovakia and Poland.

Cho Hyun Park won the IBLA Grand Prize Most Distinguished Musician award and will give a solo performance. Originally from South Korea, she has a doctoral and master’s degree in piano performance from The University of Texas at Austin, and bachelor’s degree from Seoul National University, School of Music.

Along with several renowned scholarships from both schools, she also won first prize at the Bartok-Kabalevsky-Prokofiev International Piano Competition along with Bartok and Prokofiev special awards in 2014.

Another solo performer who received an IBLA Grand Prize Most Distinguished Musician Award is Audrey Yamamoto from Japan. She studied at the TOHO Gakuen High School of Music and the TOHO Gakuen School of Music. She received her master’s from the HMTM Hannover, where she continues her studies. She is the recipient of many honors at several competitions.

The IBLA Grand Prize Winner for Most Distinguished Musicians went to a lame sonore and piano duo from the Netherlands – Annette Scholten (lame sonore) and Nanke Flach (piano). They two have performed together since 2009.

The lame sonore is an instrument related to the musical saw, which Scholten became interested in playing in 2011. Before turning to this unusual instrument, she graduated as a cellist from Groningen Conservatory, and qualified in teaching and performing with an extra certificate for chamber music. She has played as a soloist with the orchestra Filharmonie Noord, which also accompanied her in the first European concert for lame sonore.

Flach received her masters at the conservatories of Groningen and Utrecht. She is also a laureate of the Princess Christina Competition for performing chamber music.

The evening’s program includes work from composers Bach, Bartok, Casals, Chopin, Debussy, Liszt, Mozart, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Satie, Scriabin and Tchaikovsky.

The musicians begin their United States’ tour at Radford University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts with a free concert at 7:30 p.m. May 1 in the Performance Hall in the Covington Center.

The final performance for these artists will culminate at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. In comparison to the RU Covington Center performance, which is free, the latter performance tickets are $300 each.

Further details on IBLA and the performers can be found at

For more information on the performance, contact the RU Department of Music at (540)831-5177.

Apr 23, 2015