City University DMA student, pianist Ben Schoeman, was selected as one of 30 pianists to take part in the Cleveland International Piano Competition. This is one of the world’s most prestigious competitions and a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions (WFIMC). Ben Schoeman is a student of Dr. Christopher Wiley (City University, London) and Prof. Ronan O’Hora (Guildhall School of Music & Drama). He is currently completing a doctoral dissertation on the piano music of the South African composer Stefans Grové. Schoeman won the 1st Prize in the 11th UNISA International Piano Competition in Pretoria (also a WFIMC competition) as well as the Gold Medal in the Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition in London. In 2012 he won the Glass Trophy of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama after his performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no. 1 with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra in the Barbican Hall. He passed two pre-selection rounds to be accepted as one of the 30 competitors in the Cleveland Competition. The event will take place between 28 July and 12 August 2013 in Cleveland (Ohio), United States of America.
For more information, please visit the competition website: http://www.clevelandpiano.org/
City University DMA student, pianist Ben Schoeman, has given concerts at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa. At the prestigious Gala Concert of this event on 30 June 2013, Schoeman performed Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of conductor Richard Cock. The prominent South African critic Jeff Brukman (Head of the Music Department at Rhodes University) described his performance as “a sensitive interpretation” and wrote that “compositional features and inner-voiced thematic material were highlighted through Schoeman’s careful voicing of the richly-hued tapestry” (Cue Newspaper, Grahamstown). On 2 July Schoeman gave a solo recital at the National Arts Festival. His programme included works of Haydn, Schumann, Wagner-Liszt as well as the South African composer Surendran Reddy.
During his South African visit, Ben Schoeman also gave two chamber music recitals in collaboration with his duo-partner cellist Anzél Gerber. The two musicians won the first prize in the IBLA Grand Prize Competition in Italy (2012). Their first recital took place at the ZK Matthews Great Hall of the University of South Africa on 23 June and was described by the critic Thys Odendaal (Beeld newspaper) as “an ecstatic performance that can surely be described as a highlight of Pretoria’s concert calendar for this year”. On 1 July the Gerber/Schoeman Duo repeated their programme to a capacity audience at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. The following review appeared in the Cue Newspaper (Wednesday 3 July 2013): http://cue.ru.ac.za/2013/07/moments-of-virtuosity/