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We’re absolutely delighted that former student Albert Cano Smit, 21, a former student of Chetham’s, has been awarded First Prize at the prestigious Walter W. Naumberg International Piano Competition, held in New York.
The competition is open to pianists aged 17-32, and the first prize includes a $15,000 reward, two full subsidised New York recitals and a commissioned work. Previous Chetham’s winners have included Stephen Hough and Jorge Bolet. Held only every three years for pianists, the award aims to help young classical musician to launch their careers and is a great honour within the music world.
Albert was one of ten players selected at semi-final stage, and was ultimately named joint winner with Xiaohui Yang. During the audition process he was required to perform two concertos of Classical and Romantic or Modern repertoire, as well as a piece of American music composed since 1950.
Since leaving Chetham’s in 2014, Dutch-Spanish performer Albert has played as a soloist and chamber musician across Europe alongside his studies. Recent recitals have taken place in Brussels, Montreal, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Madrid and Santander as well as The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. He received the CMIM Grant at the 2017 Concours International de Montreal in 2017, and first prize at competitions including the 2015 International Piano Competition ‘Eugenia Verdet’ in Barcelona, the 2014 Beethoven Society of Europe Junior Intercollegiate Competition, and the Chopin Prize at the RNCM. He also came second at the Manchester International Piano Concerto Competition, held at Chetham’s in 2011.
Among others, Albert thanks Stephen Hough, Graham Caskie and Marta Karbownicka of Chetham’s for support in his career.
Congratulations to Albert, and all the very best for your next steps!