Musical Bridges Around the World (MBAW), a nonprofit multicultural arts and social impact organization based in San Antonio, Texas, announces the Gurwitz International Piano Competition which will take place in San Antonio from January 26 through February 4, 2024.

The competition emphasizes the work of Hispanic composers in its semifinal Round II, in which six pianists will perform at least one work from a composer of Latin-American or Spanish origin – a tradition of the competition since 2009 celebrating San Antonio’s geographic and cultural makeup – after which the competition jury will announce the winner for Best Performance of a Work by Spanish or Latin Composer.

The 2024 competition puts an even greater spotlight on Hispanic culture and history during Round III, which pairs the three remaining finalists with an ensemble of guest artists to perform an originally commissioned work. While the 2020 competition’s piece highlighted Eastern rhythms and scales, 2024’s work will take inspiration from the Aztec myth and love story ‘El Colibrí y la Cempasúchil’ (The Hummingbird and the Marigold) that is foundational to the celebrations surrounding El Dia de Los Muertos in Mexico. Commissioned composer Aaron Prado, DMA will put to music the sorrow of lost love, the bittersweet joy of the lovers reuniting, as well as feature elements from the folk dances of Mexico and Cuba.

In its final round, the competition has partnered with the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of artistic director Scott Yoo to perform a piano concerto with each of the three finalists. For this competition, a preliminary jury reviewed a pool of 76 applicants over the summer that they narrowed down to 12 live contestants. The Competition Jury comprises, among others, Scott Yoo, United States, Sergio Tiempo, Venezuela/Argentina et Lilya Zilberstein, Germany.

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