Excellent Piano Duet Competition

Oakham School’s eleventh annual Piano Duet Competition took place on Thursday 28 February, and was as always an excellent celebration of collaborative pianism at the school. No fewer than 46 duets were performed (played by 92 pianists), ably co-ordinated by Head of Piano, Anne Bolt, with the support of her fellow piano teachers. As always, pupils are paired together and receive tuition on their individual part, but they have to take responsibility for rehearsing with their duet partner themselves.

The standard of performance, application and enthusiasm was high throughout the event, and our visiting adjudicator, Kathryn Page from Chetham’s School, was fulsome in her praise of our pupils, and applauded a particularly commendable seriousness of approach from the more advanced pianists in our Higher Grades class. She was very generous in her time in giving constructive feedback to all the participants. She encouraged the highest standards in duet playing, focusing on everything from bowing together, balancing the two parts, communicating with the audience and listening to pedalling. She also encouraged pianists to question themselves, and consider what sort of sound they wanted to achieve for a particular composer’s music. The pianists were also reminded of the vital importance of colouring their performance as no-one ever complains that a performance has too much colour, and she shared some very entertaining food and drink analogies to compare different composers’ soundworlds with our senior pianists.

Kathryn was also particularly impressed by Oakham School’s collection of new duets commissioned for the 2018 competition, many of which received first or second performances this year, and she reminded the pupils just how lucky they were to encounter brand-new music for the very first time.

Winners (Left Image) Fred (PH) & Ollie (PH)
Runners Up Anna (R) & Yat Fei (C)
Highly Commended Riya (L) & Simi (L)
Commended Betsy (L) & Bibi (L)
Winners (Right Image)    Henry (PH) & Patrick (PH)
Runners Up Felicity (L) & Snow (A)
Highly Commended Josh (C) & Millie (R)

Ana (R) & Daniel (C)

Matthew (W) & Ivan (SH)

Maya (L) & Halldis (A)

Winners (Top Image) William (Bw) & Bethany (Hm)
Runners Up Rupert (W) & Ryan (Cl)
Highly Commended Natasha (Hm) & April (B)

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