NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - Internationally acclaimed pianist Barry Snyder will kick off the 2012 Schmidbauer International Young Artist Piano Competition with a solo recital at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.
Since winning three major prizes at the 1966 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Snyder has recorded over 40 compact discs and given concerts and master classes around the world. He currently teaches at the Eastman School of Music and will be serving as one of the senior division judges for the Schmidbauer Competition on Saturday, Jan. 21, and Sunday, Jan. 22.
"Barry's performance is a wonderful prelude to the SFA School of Music's annual Schmidbauer Competition," said Dr. John N. Roberts, director of the school. "The recital also serves as our official dedication for the new Steinway grand piano generously donated by George and Peggy Schmidbauer as our first step to becoming an 'All-Steinway School.'"
"We invite all East Texas piano enthusiasts to attend Friday's performance as well as any or all portions of the competition in which 18 gifted young artists from nine countries will compete for $15,000 in prize money," Roberts continued.
From 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, senior division pianists (ages 19 to 27) will each present a 30-minute recital during the semi-final rounds in W.M. Turner Auditorium. At the same time, eight junior division semi-finalists (ages 15 to 18) will compete in Cole Concert Hall.
Three finalists for both divisions will be announced at 4:30 p.m. in Cole Concert Hall, where the junior division final round concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. that evening. The first place winner will receive $1,500; second place, $1,000; and third place, $750.
The final round for the senior division will be begin at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22, in Cole Concert Hall. The first place winner will receive $5,000 and a $2,500 concert engagement with the SFA Orchestra of the Pines. Second place will receive $3,000, and third place, $2,000.
Tickets to Snyder's recital are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $2 for students. Admission to each of the final round concerts is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for students. Admission to any part of the semi-final rounds is free.
Tickets to any of the events can be purchased ahead of time by calling (936) 468-6407 or visiting the Fine Arts Box Office 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tickets will also be available at the door.
Cole Concert Hall is located in the Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive. W.M. Turner Auditorium and the Fine Arts Box Office are located at 2222 Alumni Drive. For more information, please call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.