Salt Lake Tribune: Russian pianist wins Bachauer competition

Russian pianist Andrey Gugnin, 28, was declared the winner of the 16th Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition on Wednesday night, capping two weeks of competition that brought 37 pianists, ages 19 to 32, to Salt Lake City from 14 nations.

The nine-member international jury gave Gugnin the top prize, which includes a gold medal and a $40,000 cash award, after his songful performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

Gugnin, who also won the $1,000 Audience Prize in postconcert balloting, will return to Abravanel Hall on an upcoming Utah Symphony season.

The silver medal went to Chi Ho Han, 22, of Korea, who gave an intelligently crafted performance of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Artem Yasynskyy, 25, of Ukraine, took bronze with his fiery performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Guest conductor Thomas Hong and the Utah Symphony accompanied the soloists in the final round.

Gugnin also wins a recital in New York’s Weill/Carnegie Recital Hall, solo engagements at piano festivals in Shanghai and at the Eastman School of Music and a recording contract on the Archive label.

Han and Yasynskyy receive $20,000 and $10,000 respectively; each of the other nine semifinalists got $1,000.

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