By Eduard Pivovarov
Ivan Karizna, 18, graduated from the Republican Music College at the Belarusian State Academy of Music and is now at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris. In 2007, he won first prize at the 2nd Mikhail Yelsky International String Bow Instruments Competition in Minsk and, one year later, took second prize at the 5th International Youth Delphic Games. In 2010, the young man also reached the Eurovision Young Musicians finals in Vienna.
The International Tchaikovsky Competition is held once every four years, covering four nominations: piano, violin, cello and vocal. Each has three rounds and Ivan Karizna has become the only representative of Belarus to reach the finals. Belarusian pianist Timur Shcherbakov was knocked out after the first round while singers Nadezhda Kucher and Dmitry Demidchik completed their participation in the second round. Dmitry was honoured with a special prize from the judges however.
The first cello prize went to Narek Hakhnazaryan from Armenia, with Russian Daniil Trifonov named the best pianist and Sun Young Seo and Jong Min Park from South Korea recognised as the best singers. No first violin prize was given.
The 14th International Tchaikovsky Competition took place in two cities — Moscow and St. Petersburg — for the first time, with pianists and cellists competing in Moscow and violinists and singers gathering in St. Petersburg. Over 100 musicians from 29 countries entered the prestigious event, judged by celebrities such as pianists Vladimir Ashkenazy and Denis Matsuev, violinists Viktor Tretyakov and Sergey Stadler, singers Yelena Obraztsova and Olga Borodina, and other outstanding musicians. The jury was headed by Van Cliburn, an American pianist who achieved worldwide recognition in 1958 when he won the first quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow.