A Performer and Judge Talk PianoArts' 2016 Piano Competition in Milwaukee

Jun 8, 2016

Every two years, Milwaukee hosts one of the preeminent North American piano competitions for young musicians. PianoArts’ 2016 North American Piano Competition and Music Festival has been underway since Friday.

Pallavi Mahidhara won the PianoArts Anne Bach Grunau Prize in 2006 and played an opening night concert at the festival. Even after weeks of touring, Mahidhara is entertained.

"Every time one sits down to play it's a totally different experience," she says. "Even in the same hall, even with the same program three nights in a row. Every single night will be different because the audience is different and you, personally, are different."

One of her judges – Milwaukee native and internationally renowned pianist himself, Peter Takacs, offers another insight on performance: "We practice and we do program ourselves to a certain amount. You need to have all of your reflexes trained, but we do that in order to let go when the time comes."

"Music careers are difficult, competitive, and so the more skills you have, the more ways you have of being able to connect with audiences and present yourself, I think the more conducive it is to being successful," he notes.

Takacs will also performing with some of the other judges and members of the Milwaukee Symphony in a chamber concert.

The competition takes place at both the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield.