(a reflection on the Ananda Sukarlan Award 2008)
Congrats to those brilliant young Indonesian pianists who won prizes at the Ananda Sukarlan Award 2008 : Inge Buniardi (1st), Edith Widayani (2nd) and the three Thirds all tied : Handy Suroyo, Randy Ryan and Stephanie Onggowinoto. As a curious note, both Randy and Stephanie are both under 14 years of age. Not that we, jury members, put special attention to the early teens, but still it is amazing how they could compete with other pianists under 25.
I must say, I don't like music competitions ("oops ! Shut up, Andy !!" - "Do i contradict myself ? Very well, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes" (Walt Whitman)) . But this is the system from which we built all our musical careers, and since I couldn't think of a better way, so well, here we are. There are at least 2 participants which I personally felt they should enter the final round (I think each of the jury members had one or two of their favorite(s) who didn't manage to enter the finals), and I must admit the jury had difficulty in determining which 10 "best" pianists should enter the final round. We had 4 highly reputable jury members, and especially I am glad to greet a new friend, Henoch Kristianto as one of the jury. He is a wonder boy, graduated from Missouri who just recorded Chopin's 24 etudes. Fantastic.
But let's talk about another thing, which is my favorite theme to talk about : public acceptance to our own local music (classical) talents. There was a good audience (both quality- and quantitywise) during the final round, but I failed in one thing in this competition : to get reporters and celebrity friends to attend the final round on the 26th. Well, I shouldn't complain. Many of them have flocked at my Birthday concert at Alila Hotel held the week before the competition, and they have contributed a lot (both in publicizing and in financial aids) for the Ananda Sukarlan Award. But I would like them to hear the young local talents. Why ? Simply, coz they are really brilliant. They are the future of our country (if we have a future, with all those corruptions around). Guys, you should check the winners name I told you above. Remember them, for just a few years ahead. What else do they have to prove, besides their virtuosity and artistry ?
Can I tell you one thing, guys ? Now, most of the international piano competitions throughout Europe are won by Asian pianists. And I see that the Indonesians are catching up. The artistic world is like the stockmarket, guys. You should bet on one when it's still not high up there yet ! Are you going to let go of this opportunity ?