May 2, 2007

Meadows preparatory student wins
two international piano competitions

DALLAS (SMU) — Eleven-year-old Aaron Kurz of Dallas was awarded first prize in the Elementary School division (ages 4-11)  of the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition in New York City and will make his Carnegie Hall debut May 20 with first-prize winners from the competition’s other four categories. Kurz won with performances of works by Rachmaninov, Debussy and Haydn.

Aaron Kurz
Aaron Kurz
Kurz studies in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts Piano Preparatory Program and is the piano student of Professor Carol Leone, chair of the keyboard department at SMU. He is the son of Jeff and Terry Kurz of Dallas and is in the sixth grade at the Greenhill School.

The Bradshaw & Buono competition’s goal is to provide “an entrée into the world of piano performance for those seriously interested in pursuing a professional career,” according to its website. Founded in 2003 by the late David Bradshaw and Cosmo Buono, the competition is open to students from age four to adult, and divided into five categories: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, Amateur Adult and College/Adult.

First-prize winners are given their debut performances in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.  In addition, winners are invited to participate in “The Business of Music,” a May 19 seminar in New York with managers, agents, publicists and recording industry executives offering advice on pursuing a professional career.

In March, Kurz won second prize in the Junior Division (12 years old and under) of The Virginia Waring International Piano Competition held in Palm Desert, Calif. The prestigious competition, begun almost 30 years ago, promotes the careers of gifted young pianists  with monetary prizes and opportunities to perform both nationally and internationally.

Kurz was one of 30 students from six countries, out of more than 90 who applied, who were invited to compete in the Junior Division. For Kurz’s winning solo program, he performed works of seven composers, including Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and Rachmaninov. In addition to second prize, Kurz also received the Bastien Award, a jury discretionary award given to the best performance of a classical sonata from students in both the Junior and Intermediate divisions. 

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