World-class pianists converge on UNI for global piano competition

The UNI School of Music will host the 2nd Midwest International Piano Competition on the UNI campus June 5-11. 2014 marked the inaugural celebration of this biennial global piano competition. The event is open to outstanding youth and professional performing pianists and audience enthusiasts.

The 2014 competition featured 26 exceptional pianists from around the world, including Japan, China, Ukraine, Israel, Russia, South Korea, South Africa, the United States and more. Awards, including a $10,000 cash top prize, a recording contract and a management contract, were given to the top three finalists in both the junior and senior categories; six semifinalists in the senior category also received honorable mention awards.

"The 2014 Midwest International Piano Competition at UNI was a world-class event in regard to the performers competing and the judges who adjudicated the event," said John Vallentine, director of the School of Music. "One of the wonderful aspects about music is being able to bring musicians together from around the world who are extremely dedicated and have a passion for music."


The 2016 competition promises to deliver the same high-caliber talent and mesmerizing performances, but with an extra edge due to a new collaboration with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra.

"The School of Music is very pleased to announce the addition of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony to perform with the finalists of the Midwest International Piano competition at UNI," said Vallentine. "This will bring the stature of our global competition to an even higher level with Maestro [Jason] Weinberger conducting thrilling concertos for the audience and wonderful experiences for pianists building their professional careers."

For more information and the week's complete schedule, visit the Midwest International Piano Competition website.

Did You Know?

Sean Botkin, who is one of the artistic directors for the piano competition and is also a School of Music faculty artist and associate professor of piano, made his solo debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City in February.