Junior competition

Presentation

The International piano competition of Orléans for youth “Brin d’herbe” encourages young pianists to explore contemporary and modern music from an early age.
The Competition “Brin d’herbe” is organised every two years, alternating with the International piano competition of Orléans. Created in 2004, the contest, unique event in the field of music creation, welcomes young candidates and gathers a jury formed of personalities from all around the world, fully qualified in teaching the contemporary repertoire.
Promoting and disseminating the contemporary repertoire to these young people and to the audience is an objective that adds to the idea of building a new pedagogy around this repertoire. The work commissioned to a composer, every two year, demonstrates our strong desire to build a pedagogical repertoire for the contemporary piano, while following the pioneer idea of the “Games” Játékok, developed by the major Hungarian composer György Kurtág.

The 9th edition of the International competition of Orléans for youth “Brin d’herbe” will take place at the “Salle de l’Institut”, from July 8th to 10th 2021.

The competition will bring together international young pianists around the repertoire from 1900 to the present day. A piano work entitled ‘Atelier d’Escher’, commissioned to the Spanish composer Mikel Urquiza, will be premiered.
The Jury will include the pianists Maroussia Gentet, Takuya Otaki and Imri Talgam — all three winners of the International piano competition of Orléans — and will award Prizes and Special prizes to the laureates, on the two levels of competition.

A blade of grass is hope, a magic that manifests itself in the eyes of those who know how to dream…
For this reason, we are very happy to present to you, again this year, our beautiful International piano competition of Orleans for youth «Brin d’herbe» and… its academy!
Once again, in the Salle de l’Institut, the interpretations of our young candidates and academicians will resound under the eyes of a jury made up of the three First Prizes of the International piano competition of Orléans in recent editions: Maroussia Gentet, Takuya Otaki and Imri Talgam.
The 9th Competition will be preceded on July 7, 2021 by an Academy organized with the Music Conservatory of Orléans. It will be open to students of the Conservatories of Orléans Metropolis as well as of some regional partners Conservatories. The Academy will be dedicated to making new music known to the youngest pianists thanks to the advice of our three members of the jury, all experienced in the pedagogical approach acquired during the Masterclasses organized by the Competition of Orléans during the Tours in the Centre-Val de Loire Region.
The Academy will then give way to the Competition, accessible to pianists already advanced in their studies and curious to meet new music. It will take place on two levels, intermediate and advanced, on July 8, 9 and 10, 2021.
As with each edition, this will be accompanied by a composer commission: this year, Mikel Urquiza – Spanish composer and winner of the 2020 Prix de Rome – will present to us a new work in six pieces entitled «Atelier d’Escher» (Escher’s Workshop).
To conclude in his own words, this is a pedagogical collection: “on the one hand because the pieces are not difficult (nor are they easy), but above all because they are imbued with an Escherian simplicity of ideas, with a desire to communicate and share; an invitation to look at the world as if we are unfamiliar with it – this is something you must learn when you’re young and never forget.”
Isabella Vasilotta, Artistic director

Dates of the Competition
From Thursday, July 8th to Saturday, July 10th, 2021.
– Rounds on July 8th and 9th
– Concert of the laureates on July 10th

Registration deadline
Until April 19th 2021 included.

All information regarding the organisation of the rounds and competition procedures are available here in the Competition Rules.
Examples of programmes are viewable here: Intermediate level/ Advanced level.
Please use the samed layout as in the documents to send your programme when you register.

The preselection of the candidates for the Competition will be done by sending:
– the complete registration file – see page 12 (deadline: April 19th, 2021 included).
– a recent and good quality video recording of the performance of two short pieces among which one piece composed after 1900 and one composed after 1970.
Total duration of the video: 3 to 5 minutes for the Intermediate level / 5 to 8 minutes for the Advanced level.
The two pieces can be recorded separately and edited one after the other in a single file.
For help on how to film this video, applicants are advised to watch the videos of the International piano competition of Orléans for youth Brin d’herbe 2019 on our YouTube channel: Concours international de piano d’Orléans.
Youtube link and MP4 file (sent by email/Wetransfer) are both accepted.
Please contact us if you require further technical information.
Upon receipt of the applications, the complete files will be submitted to the Jury of preselection who will view the videos and preselect a maximum of 14 candidates, spread over the 2 levels of the Competition.
Every candidate will be notified by email from May 12th, 2021.

Title : Atelier d’Escher (for piano) 2020
Composer : Mikel Urquiza
1 – Main qui dessine la main – 2’15
2 – Chute d’eau – 1’15
3 – Lune ridée – 1’30
4 – Belvédère – 2’15
5 – Cavaliers – 1’15
6 – Trois mondes – 1’45
Commission of “Orléans Concours International” for the 9th International piano competition of Orléans for youth Brin d’herbe.
To see online the score of the mandatory piece by Mikel Urquiza, “Atelier d’Escher”, click here!
The score will be sent free of charge by pdf file to the registered candidates.

Note of intent from Mikel Urquiza: Atelier d’Escher (Escher’s Workshop)Escher’s prints are part of 20th-century popular culture; their affinity for the paradoxical (shared with writers such as Borges), their surrealist technique (similar to Magritte) and their graphic imagination fueled by craftsmanship (similar to Klee), expressed through striking and accessible images, have been spectacularly successful, with hundreds of exhibitions and publications of all kinds.

Because of their success and their ubiquity, these prints (especially those most frequently reproduced) have ended up losing their element of surprise: we think we know what we will find within, so we no longer look at it. Moreover, their fantastic aesthetic (of monsters and castles) often limits them to the world of children. This is obviously a mistake, because within these prints lies not only a visual aspect (the trompe l’oeil and the subtle reference) which is interesting, but also the delicacy with which it is implemented: the characters, the decorations, the light, always detailed and learned.

I wished to examine these poorly understood prints once more. I can no longer look at them as if for the first time, but I can find, through detailed study, the same sense of fascination (satisfaction) and dizziness as the first time.

This is a pedagogical collection, on the one hand because the pieces are not difficult (nor are they easy), but above all because they are imbued with an Escherian simplicity of ideas, with a desire to communicate and share; an invitation to look at the world as if we are unfamiliar with it – this is something you must learn when you’re young and never forget.

M.U.

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