Week-long piano competition finishes on high note

Tatiana Tessman, Russian MSIPC contestant, received first place in the senior division of the competition and will play before an audience in Carnegie Hall in New York on Oct. 9. She performed April 28 in Taylor Auditorium at the Gala Concert.

Special to the Chart

Tatiana Tessman, Russian MSIPC contestant, received first place in the senior division of the competition and will play before an audience in Carnegie Hall in New York on Oct. 9. She performed April 28 in Taylor Auditorium at the Gala Concert.

Scott Hasty

Crescendos and decrescendos marked the highs and lows of students, judges and organizers participating in the Missouri Southern International Competition.

As MSIPC concluded last week, Vivian León, director of MSIPC, said it was a week to enjoy music, friends and new relationships.

León said the MSIPC competitors felt they were more than a just a number in a competition.

“The entire evening at the Gala reception I was talking to the competitors,” she said.

“The competitors told me that is was such an honor to play in the competition and that they never felt more welcome in such a competition before. I really think that is a big characteristic of people in Joplin.”

MSIPC was a project for everyone.

“The community was a big part of making this happen,” León said. “Without everyone’s help, none of this would have been possible.”

Tatiana Tessman, Russian MSIPC contestant, was awarded first place in the senior division and received $10,000 cash and a New York debut in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Sergei Saratovsky, Russian MSIPC contestant, won second place and $5,000. Sang-Hil Han, Korean MSIPC contestant, followed in third place and received $3,000 in prize money.

“The level of playing was just amazing,” León said.

For these students, “god-given” talent was evident in their playing, but León said it took something extra to get them to their level of playing.

“These students had to work so hard to get where they are now,” she said.

“In this competition it goes like this. 99 percent perspiration and one percent talent.”

“I believe we have accomplished something on the human level,” León said.

The New York debut of Tessman and her recital is marked on León’s calendar. Also, a DVD documentary based on the competition will be made.

“This documentary is being headed by Judy Stiles and Bill Hunt,” she said.

“The entire week was filmed. But we want to go further in depth. We want to show the world what goes into putting this competition together. Needless to say, they have tons of tapes to go through.”

León said the caliber of talent and skill shown throughout the competition should be an example to be followed.

“From an educator’s standpoint, I think it’s so crucial for our students to see this kind of hard work,” she said.

“It shows that no matter how talented you are, if you don’t work at it, you’ll never be as good as you could be.”

The documentary will be translated into the languages from which the competitors originated and will be sent to them.

The DVDs are set for sale within a few months after Tessman’s recital at Carnegie Hall.

Through the MSIPC week, León said she believed the competition distinguished itself in a different way from other competitions.

“This wasn’t a competition of rivals,” León said.

“These students were competing as friends.”