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Rubinstein piano competition opens in Tel Aviv

17.03.2023 22:00
The Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition has opened in Tel Aviv with a gala concert by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra under Polish conductor Paweł Przytocki.
Arthur Rubinstein, pictured in 1976.
Arthur Rubinstein, pictured in 1976.Photo: PAP/dpa/Rauschnick

Przytocki told Poland's PAP news agency that he was invited to conduct the concert in view of Rubinstein’s Polish roots.

Przytocki is also music director of the Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic Orchestra in the central Polish city of Łódź, where the legendary Polish pianist of Jewish descent was born in 1887.

Paweł Przytocki Paweł PrzytockI. Photo: PAP/Jacek Bednarczyk

The Tel Aviv competition’s curtain raiser featured music by Sergei Rachmaninoff to mark the 150th anniversary of the Russian composer’s birth and the 80th anniversary of his death.

In an interview with the PAP news agency, Przytocki referred to Russia's war against Ukraine, noting that Rachmaninoff left Russia after his family estate was destroyed during the Bolshevik Revolution.

After some years in Switzerland, Rachmaninoff settled in the United States. His music was banned in Stalinist Russia, Przytocki told PAP.

The Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, which runs until the end of the month, was entered by 36 contestants from 18 countries.

Poland is represented by Jakub Kuszlik, 26, Fourth Prize winner at the 18th International Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 2021.

Pianista Jakub Kuszlik podczas ostatniego dnia przesłuchań III etapu Konkursu Chopinowskiego w sali koncertowej Filharmonii Narodowej w Warszawie Polish pianist Jakub Kuszlik. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

Past winners of the Rubinstein competition include Poland’s Szymon Nehring, who won the top prize in 2017.

Szymon Nehring Szymon Nehring. Photo: Polish Radio/PR2

The competition was launched in 1974. Rubinstein, who lent his name to the event, died in 1982.