South Florida Friends of Classical Music through the creation of the Teresa Carreño International Piano Competition aims to:

About the Competition

Most composers of Latin America from the 19th century are not well known in North America and the rest of the world. While music of the 20th century composers such Carlos Chavez, Alberto Ginastera, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and Astor Piazzolla have penetrated our repertoire, the extensiveness of their output is not emphasized or they are composers about which we know little when compared to those of Europe and the United States. While most piano competitions in the world concentrate on Western European music literature, the Master Piano Competition tries to fill this gap by making half of the repertoire -played by all contestants- music from Ibero-American composers plus a mandatory composition by Teresa Carreño. Semifinal and Final rounds include performances of a String Piano Quintet and a solo Piano Concerto with Symphony Orchestra from the Western piano literature.

The Competition disseminates classical music worldwide, as well as launches and nurtures young artists' careers through the biennial Competition, ensuing international concert tours of its medalists. By making the Competition available in its entirety on the internet, the Organization extends its outreach to viewers/listeners in every corner of the globe. The Piano Competition is open to pianists of all nationalities between the ages of 18 and 32 and lasts for one week of activities that include concerts, educational masterclasses, and the contest. Events are free and open to the public.

The city of Miami Beach is a vibrant and exciting multi-cultural hub and offers a great environment for our competitors to socialize and learn in the company of other world class pianists. Local college and pre-college students will have the opportunity to hear the competitors and play in masterclasses for the renowned international jury/teachers/performers.

The Competition is a member of the Alink-Argerich Foundation for International Piano Competitions and it is organized by South Florida Friends of Classical Music, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that encourages and supports performances of classical music in South Florida. For more info about the organization's website, please visit it here.

About Teresa Carreño

Teresa Carreño

Teresa Carreño (Caracas 1853- New York 1917), a star of the piano and in life, came from a distinguished Venezuelan family, proudly connected to Simon Bolivar. She was showered with praise from music critics and won the admiration of the greatest musicians of the time, including Rossini, Liszt, Grieg, Gounod and Rubinstein. Carreño was born in Caracas, Venezuela on December 22, 1853, was considered the best pianist of her time and lived most of her life in Europe and United States. Her virtuoso piano technique and strength earned her the titles, both "The Empress of the Keyboard" and "The Walküre of the Keyboard." She held control over romantic pianism for nearly 40 years and her life was peppered with great triumphs and tragic setbacks. Hans von Bulow called her “The most interesting pianist of the present.”

Harold Schonberg wrote: “The cyclonic Carreño had overpowering personality, overpowering talent, overpowering physical strength, and overpowering technique. And on top of that, she was one of the most beautiful women of her time, in an Amazonian sort of way.” When she was eight years old she was taken to New York to study with Gottschalk and made her New York debut in 1862 at the age of 9 at the Irving Hall. She played for President Lincoln and his family in 1863; she also studied in Paris with Mathias and Anton Rubinstein where she impressed Rossini and Liszt (Patti and Rossini wanted to make a singer out of her). When Liszt offered her lessons, for unknown reasons she refused to follow him to Rome when she was thirteen. She dared to compose in an era that was outwardly intolerant of women composers. She spent two years in Venezuela organizing and conducting an opera company. If singers were not available or became ill, Carreño went on stage and sang. If conductors did not show up or walked out, Carreño conducted. Teresa Carreño’s temper triggers her staggering virtuosity in her music and her private life that was as tempestuous as her playing. Her lifestyle that included no less than four husbands (the third being the esteemed Scottish-born pianist Eugen d'Albert and the fourth, the brother of her second husband, Arturo Tagliapietra) it created something of a scandal all over Europe.

Her career was particularly successful in Germany where she lived and taught for over thirty years. Throughout her life Carreño was recognized as a pianist, composer, conductor, and singer. She wrote many compositions for piano and one String Quartet in B minor. One of her earliest compositions was also written at the age of eight and was dedicated to her mentor Louis Moreau Gottschalk. She composed up to 70 works for the piano most of which were written and published in Paris when she was only a teenager. Carreño used to include some of them in her own concert programs or as encores, especially Mi Teresita Waltz –dedicated to her daughter-. This piece was published a great number of times in Europe and in the USA. She was the cherished mentor of several outstanding talents including Edward MacDowell. In her later years, she was the queen of pianists and considered the equal of any male or female. Unfortunately, there are no recordings from Carreño, she made some piano rolls, but they give no idea of what she must have been capable of.

La Corbeille de Fleurs Op.9; the Ballade Op.15; the Mazurka de Salon Op.30 and Le Printemps Op.35 are examples of the great Romantic tradition where the highly virtuosic effects mix with deep poetic lines. Then, there are more evocative and intimate pieces linked to different moments of her life such as the two elegies, Partie and Plainte, which she composed on the death of her mother when Teresa was fourteen years old; the tender Lullaby dedicated to her father and first teacher, Manuel Antonio Carreño. The reflective Un rêve en mer and a peaceful Barcarolle (Venise) contrast sharply with of a more joyful character of pieces such as Un bal en rêve -which presents a narrative thread that includes a Venezuelan Merengue in its middle section- and the concert studies Une revue à Prague, La Fausse Note and the Intermezzo.

Her last piano work, the Vals Gayo, composed in Sydney in 1910, is a more complex piece in terms of its harmonic texture and seems to draw from the French Impressionism. Carreño died in New York on June 12, 1917, and her ashes were sent to Caracas, Venezuela in 1938. Also in Caracas was held the “Teresa Carreño” Latin-American Piano Competition and in the same city is located the largest cultural complex of South America bearing her name.

About the City of Miami Beach

Miami Beach

Miami Beach has it all. This beach destination has evolved into an urban metropolis with all the amenities of a beach-town and a big city, a thriving arts scene and a busy business center, the best hotels in the world are surrounded by natural wonderland with turquoise waters and skyscraper palms. Miami Beach has blossomed into a sophisticated community that’s full of visitors no matter the season.

In 1979, Miami Beach's Art Deco Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Art Deco District is the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world and comprises more than 800 architecturally protected buildings from the 1930s and 1940s – a definite must-see. Take an Art Deco tour to fully appreciate the area's signature architecture. Mediterranean, Streamline Moderne and Art Deco are all represented in the District. The Historic District is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the East, Lenox Court on the West, 6th Street on the South and Dade Boulevard along the Collins Canal to the North.

The South Beach neighborhood of Miami Beach fairly glitters with nightlife – all day long. South Beach has been called the American Riviera and an Art Deco Playground. The clear blue water and the white sand beaches are a must-see for any Miami visitor. Yet there's more than fine white sand and colorful buildings to South Beach's fantasyland of exuberant Deco architecture. South Beach offers an eclectic mix of world-class boutiques, galleries and stores. It's also a culinary hot spot for everything from gourmet to casual beachside cuisine. At night, South Beach comes alive with crowds ready to go out and have a world-class evening out.

South Beach is the Miami of postcards; the skyline of Ocean Drive has been featured on television what must be millions of times. If you're taking a break from the sun, check out one of the many museums, shops or historic buildings in the area. Take a stroll down Lincoln Road and head out to the beautiful Art Deco-Style Colony Theatre, located at 1040 Lincoln Rd. is in the heart of South Beach, this is where the competition will take place. The Theatre opened January 25, 1935 as part of Paramount Pictures' movie theater chain. As one of South Florida's most popular entertainment venues, the Colony hosts a wide variety of programs, including music, dance, theater, opera, comedy, performance art, and film.

The Colony Theatre has recently emerged from a dramatic three-year, $6.5 million renovation/restoration to reclaim its place as the region's premiere mid-sized performance space. The entrance, facade and lobby have been returned to their original Art Deco grandeur, and the interior features a larger stage, additional lighting, and state-of-the-art theatrical rigging and sound systems.

Miami Beach is also home to the New World Symphony, established in 1987 under the artistic direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. In January 2011, the New World Symphony made a highly publicized move into the New World Center building designed by Canadian American Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry. Miami Beach is everything you've heard about, but you have to see it for yourself. Stay in one of its boutique or throwback hotels – you'll also find some of Miami Beach's finest dining, nightlife, culture and spas here.

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