Contact: Victoria Winkelman
SMU Meadows School of the Arts
(214) 768-3785

December 21, 2001

DOMENICO CODISPOTI, ARTIST CERTIFICATE STUDENT AT MEADOWS SCHOOL OF THE ARTS, WINS FIRST PRIZE AT PILAR BAYONA INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION

DALLAS, TX (SMU) -- Domenico Codispoti, a 26-year-old virtuoso studying for the Artist Certificate in Piano at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, won first prize in the Pilar Bayona International Piano Competition in Zaragoza, Spain on December 13. Codispoti won the competition, one of the most prestigious in the world, with his performance of Chopin’s Concerto No. 1 in E minor before a live audience.

The prize was awarded by a distinguished nine-member international jury including French pianist Philippe Entremont and Hungarian-born American pianist Gyorgy Sándor.

Codispoti is a student of Joaquín Achúcarro, the Joel Estes Tate Professor of Piano at SMU and an internationally renowned concert pianist and recording artist. Codispoti is the second of Achúcarro’s students to recently win a major international piano competition; last year, Alessio Bax won the top prize at Leeds.

A native of Italy, Codispoti graduated from the Conservatory of Pescara in 1995 and received a master’s degree at the Accademia Musicale Pescarese in 1997. He is the recipient of numerous musical awards in Italy, including first prize in the Città di Pinerolo International Piano Competition.

The Pilar Bayona competition carries a first prize of 2.5 million pesetas (approximately $13,500). In addition, the winner makes a concert tour of Spain, beginning with a free concert in Zaragoza on December 14, the day after the anniversary of Pilar Bayona’s death.

Pianists from around the world applied to play at the 10-day competition. Only 36 contestants, representing 14 countries, were admitted.

The Pilar Bayona International Piano Competition began in December 1983 as a tribute to famed Spanish pianist Pilar Bayona (1897-1979). The event is held once every three years in Zaragoza. Previous winners have included Dror Biran, Valeria Resian, Claudio Martinez Mehner, Oleg Marshev, Igor Kamentz, Martin Soderberg and Johan Schmidt.


-30-