A photo of an all-ages audience in a performance at the National Music Centre
Pianist Artem Yasynskyy and narrator Christian Goutsis perform Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf | Photo: Monique de St Croix

Honens International Piano Competition & Festival

Competition year brings the worlds best to Calgary for recitals, concerts, and more

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Price Free - $475
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It might be Canada’s International Festival of Piano, but if you simply love music, you really should check out Honens. This year is a competition year so look for recitals, concerts, and more as pianists from around the world compete for the $100,000 prize.

The festival begins with semifinal performances daily at 12:30 and 7:30pm until September 3, 2018 with the finals taking place September 6 and 7, 2018.

Other highlights include a recital by 2018 Mentor-in-Residence Garrick Ohlsson, a collaborative performance by Luca Buratto and 2017 Rubinstein Competition winner Szymon Nehring, and the world premiere of the newly commissioned arrangement of The Hockey Sweater.

And 2018 offers a new honour—the Audience Award recipient is selected by concert audiences (both those who attend the performances and those who view the competition over livestream), so make sure you vote.

“We are absolutely delighted with the addition of this exciting aspect of the competition,” says Neil Edwards, Honens’ President & CEO, in a statement “and very grateful to Board Member Heather Edwards for suggesting and supporting it. What an excellent opportunity for our audience to have their say!”

Mark your calendars, here are our must hear events for this year’s festival:

Storytellers

September 3, 2018, 10:00am
Jack Singer Concert Hall Lobby, Arts Commons (205 8th Ave. SE)
Free admission

The world premiere of the newly commissioned arrangement of The Hockey Sweater, don’t miss this family-friendly performance showcasing the beloved tale by Canadian author Roch Carrier.
honens.com

Xenia Concert

September 3, 2018, 11:00am
Jack Singer Concert Hall Lobby, Arts Commons (205 8th Ave. SE)
Free admission

Designed to appeal to, and be welcoming of, children on the autism spectrum and their families, this concert embodies the philosophy that everyone should have equal access to quality chamber music performances.
honens.com

Garrick Ohlsson in Recital

September 4, 2018, 8:00pm
Jack Singer Concert Hall, Arts Commons (205 8th Ave. SE)
$10 – $57

Hear Honens’ 2018 Mentor-in-Residence and multi award-winning pianist, Garrick Ohlsson, as he performs in Calgary for the first time in more than 15 years.
honens.com

Luca Buratto & Szymon Nehring with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

September 5, 2018, 8:00pm
Jack Singer Concert Hall, Arts Commons (205 8th Ave. SE)
$10 – $57

A rare opportunity to enjoy two international piano competition winners together with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, hear 2015 Honens Prize Laureate Luca Buratto and Szymon Nehring, winner of Israel’s Rubinstein 2017 Competition, perform a program of Mozart, Prokofiev, and Strauss.
honens.com

Bison Noir

September 6, 2018, 10:00pm
Royal Canadian Legion No. 1 (116 7th Ave. SE)
$18 – $25

Fusing performances of classical and post-classical music in a cabaret setting, this annual event removes formal traditions allowing audiences to feel comfortable wearing casual clothing, getting there when they can, and not worrying about small noises made during the concert. Join Honens Artistic Director Jon Kimura Parker for an after-hours jam with competitors, jurors, and other musicians. This event is 18+.
honens.com

Competition Finals II & Award Show

September 7, 2018, 7:30pm
Jack Singer Concert Hall, Arts Commons (205 8th Ave. SE)
$10 – $97

Hear the three finalists perform their choice of a post-classical piano concerto with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and guest conductor Karina Canellakis. The evening wraps with the announcement of the 2018 Honens Prize Laureate, presentation of awards, and a special farewell performance by 2015 Honens Prize Laureate Luca Buratto.
honens.com

Open Air

September 8, 2018, 2:00pm
Central Memorial Park (1221 2nd St. SW)
Free admission

Wrapping up the 2018 Honens International Piano Competition & Festival, don’t miss this ever-popular free event where you can bask in the warmth of the September sun while listening to an outdoor chamber music concert.
honens.com

The Honens International Piano Competition & Festival runs August 30 to September 8, 2018. Head to honens.com for the full schedule.

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