< --> --> --> -->

Ninth Competition, April 1998

Prize winners of the 9th Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, l. to rt.: Jong Gyung Park - 3rd prize, Vitaly Samoshko - 2nd prize, Igor Tchetuev - 1st prize, Carlo Guaitoli - 6th prize, Margarita Shevchenko - 4th prize, Filippo Gamba - 5th prize, Ory Shihor - Outstanding Israeli Competitor


International Jury
Martha Argerich (Argentina); Dmitri Bashkirov (Russia/Spain); Michel Dalberto (France); Francois-René Duchable (France); Andrzej Jasinski (Poland); Jerome Lowenthal (USA); Viktor Merzhanov (Russia); Hiroko Nakamura (Japan); Gyorgy Sandor, Vice-Chairman (USA); Pnina Salzman (Israel); Uri Segal (Israel), Maria Tipo, Vice-Chairman (Italy); Arie Vardi, Chairman (Israel)

Jury members of the 9th Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, l. to rt.: Martha Argerich (Argentina), Dmitri Bashkirov (Russia-Spain), Andrzej Jasinski (Poland), Jerome Lowenthal (USA), Viktor Merzhanov (Russia), Hiroko Nakamura (Japan), Pnina Salzman (Israel), Uri Segal (Israel)


First Prize
Igor Tchetuev - Ukraine - The Arthur Rubinstein Award - Gold Medal and $25,000; Marquesa Olga de Cadaval Prize - $10,000 awarded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Portugal); Kawai Prize - grand piano (RX-3) presented by Kawai Company of Japan; "Audience Favourite" Prize - $2,500 - sponsored by "Yediot Acharonot" (daily press)

Engagements: Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (subscription series - Israel, tour of Canada); concert series of the Far East (Yamaha), Germany (Steinway), France, Holland, Russia, Ukraine and Italy; appearances with orchestras, recitals.

Programme performed

        • Liszt - Liebestraume (1850)
        • Liszt - from Transcendental Etudes: no. 3 in F major (Paysage); no. 10 in F minor; no. 5 in B flat major (Feux Follets)
        • Schumann - Symphonic Etudes, op. 13
        • Beethoven - Sonata in E flat major, op. 81a (Les Adieux)
        • Chopin - Polonaise-Fantaisie in A flat major, op. 61
        • Elper - Toccata-Poema (1997)
        • Prokofiev - Sonata no. 6 in A major, op. 82
        • Debussy - L'Isle Joyeuse (1904)
        • Beethoven - Concerto no. 3 in C minor, op. 37
        • Chopin - Concerto no. 1 in E minor, op. 11

Second Prize

Vitaly Samoshko - Ukraine - Silver Medal and the Moshe Mayer Prize - $15,000

Third Prize

Jong-Gyung Park - Korea - Bronze Medal; $10,000 donated by Mr. and Mrs. Arnold and Marjorie Ziff

Fourth Prize

Margarita Shevchenko - Russia - $3,000; Prize for the best performance of a large Chopin work: $3,000 - in memory of Bela and Dov Vardi

Fifth Prize

Filippo Gamba - Italy - $3,000

Sixth Prize

Carlo Guaitoli - Italy - $3,000;

Outstanding Israeli Competitor: Ory Shihor - $5,000 - the Judith Eytan Fund

Best performance of an Israeli Composition: jointly awarded to Filippo Gamba (Italy) and Jong-Hwa Park (Korea) - $2,500 - donated by the Muszkatblit Family, in memory of Aliza Muszkatblit

The official announcement of the Ninth Competition marking its 25th Anniversary was followed by 800 enquiries from pianists from 53 countries. Of these, 180 candidates representing 39 countries submitted fully documented applications, as stipulated in the regulations. The selected competitors were 53 pianists (average age 25 years) from 21 countries, chosen by the Screening Committee (members of the Music Advisory Committee headed by Prof. Arie Vardi.

These candidates had already won significant prizes in various international piano competitions, and appeared in recitals and concerts in many different countries. Specific recommendations for their participation in the Rubinstein Competition had been received from an impressive array of international musicians, among them Sir George Solti, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Martha Argerich, Leon Fleischer, and Krzysztof Penderecki.

The contestants' superior pianistic standards were evident from the outset. The adjudicators, the critics and the music community at large shared the view that the heights reached by the 20 pianists who advanced to the Second Stage were exceptional and that the standards achieved in former years had been maintained.

For the Final Stage, six finalists appeared in 4 consecutive evening concerts, playing two concerti (romantic and classic) together with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Maestro Mendi Rodan, thus, turning the event into a truly competitive Festival in the Great Art of Pianoforte.

From the Second Stage on, the Competition was transmitted live through the radio's "Voice of Music" and followed up on Channel One TV.

The Gala Concert was attended by eminent public figures: the President of the State of Israel, H. E. Ezer Weizman, cabinet ministers, members of the Knesset, ambassadors and dignitaries of a great many countries, Jury members and official guests from all over the world.

Mme Nela Rubinstein, traditionally our Guest of Honour, was unfortunately unable to join us at the festivities for reasons of health; her children Eva, Alina and John, together with his daughter, Jessica represented her at the Competition.

We were also honoured by the presence of the Honorary Vice President of the Competition International Founders Committee, Mrs. Heide Wolf Kaufmann (Madrid).

For the celebration of our 25th Anniversary, many of our friends and colleagues from across the world came to Tel Aviv to share in the festive events and pay their personal tribute to the Rubinstein Competition

  • President of the World Federation of International Music Competitions
  • Mrs. Renate Ronnefeld (Geneva);
  • Presidents and directors of the
    -- Van Cliburn Foundation
    -- Leeds Competition
    -- Fryderyk Chopin Competition and representatives of its International Society (Warsaw)
    -- Maria Callas Competition (Athens)
    -- representatives of the Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon)
    --various notable international festivals, competitions, orchestras and artistic agencies.

Those who could not attend the Event personally sent their messages of support and tribute: heads and directors of the UNESCO - International Music Council, the European Festival Association, leading, world-renowned music competitions, as well as friends and benefactors of the Competition.

All the acknowledgments and greetings were published in the festive brochure-almanac of the 9th contest.

The Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition has been in continuous existence for 25 years, and in 1998 lit twenty five festive silver candles to celebrate the occasion.

A 25th Anniversary was a time for reflection, of looking back down the mountain to see how far up we have climbed.

We remain indebted to the Competition International Founders Committee - an admirable array of some of the best loved and most notable figures in the world of classical music - for helping us to forge the way ahead. We benefitted enormously from their personal judgment, encouragement and good will.

By 1977, the acclaimed success of the First and Second Competitions had already placed Israel prominently on the international map of important musical manifestations.

Ever since 1974, the year of our launching, when Maestro Arthur Rubinstein himself presented our first laureates with the Gold Competition Medals, our contest has continued to arouse great interest worldwide.

The extraordinary demands of our Competition have produced the most talented of laureates, some of whom, since their victory, have embarked on genuine artistic careers on an international scale. Among our first ranking gold medalists are Emanuel Ax, Gerhard Oppitz, Jeffrey Kahane, Giorgia Tomassi, Benjamin Frith, Ian Fountain, Alexander Korsantiya and, most recently Igor Tchetuev.

Moreover, our top prize laureates have also won first prizes in other international piano competitions: Tchaikovsky, Geza Anda, Dino Cianni, Van Cliburn, Leeds, Sydney and Bruxelles. These young masters have since created genuinely artistic careers, and in consequence they continue to be engaged by great orchestras in leading world venues.

Special Events

To celebrate our 25th anniversary, an Internet site was established a few months before the contest. All information on events was available on-line, including press releases announcing the results of each stage (http://www.arims.org.il).

"Hommage a Rubinstein" Special Concert

Martha Argerich and Mischa Maisky granted a special concert in tribute to Arthur Rubinstein (works by Schumann, Beethoven, Shostakovitch). The audience (3,000 music devotees !) expressed its loving admiration in a prolonged standing ovation. At the Prize Distribution Ceremony our Society presented the artists with the prestigious Arthur Rubinstein Gold Medal bearing the portrait of the Maestro drawn by his friend Picasso.

Master Classes
The Competition adjudicators, Dmitri Bashkirov, Michel Dalberto, Francois-Rene Duchable and Andrzej Jasinski held master classes in cooperation with the Israeli Conservatory of Music and the Tel Aviv Municipality,which took place at the Lin and Ted Arison Israel Music Conservatory, Tel Aviv.

Laureate Concerts

The first laureate prizewinner, Igor Tchetuev, played a recital on April 4th at the Ashdod Community Culture and Sport Centre, and also on April 5th at the Lin and Ted Arison Israel Music Conservatory, Tel Aviv.

The second laureate prizewinner, Vitaly Samoshko, played a recital on April 4th at the Levin Music Centre, Yafo. This concert was held in cooperation with the Arts Division of Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality.

Documentary Exhibition
On display at the Mann Auditorium -
A documentary exhibition of photographs and portraits dedicated to the life and artistic activities of Arthur Rubinstein and to the Competition bearing his name.


The Competition is organized by
The Arthur Rubinstein International Music Society
under the auspices and with the invaluable support and encouragement of the

Culture & Arts Administration of the Ministry of Education and Culture

and the

Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality

We are most sincerely grateful to

Mr. & Mrs. Ted Arison with great appreciation and gratitude for their generosity in supporting the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition Sponsoring and Financing Fund.

Mrs. Heide Wolf Kaufmann (Madrid), Honorary Vice President of the Competition International Founders Committee - who is to be commended for her dedicated, continuing support of our cause and financial assistance.

and to

The Ted Arison Foundation

The Arthur Rubinstein International Competition Sponsoring and Financing Fund

The Competition Circle of Friends and Benefactors

The Gutwirth Fund

The Judith Eytan Fund

for their financial support.


We owe a true debt of gratitude to

  • the distinguished piano manufacturers, Steinway & Sons, Kawai Company and Yamaha Corporation for their highly superior services in providing us with their choicest pianos throughout the 3-week event; and for sending to Israel their expert technicians who remained on hand to tune these instruments, which they did to perfection throughout the contest.

  • Kawai Company and its Israeli representative Marom Musical Instruments for providing the competitors with upright practice pianos in their hotel rooms.

and to

The Competition's Official Carrier

who offer the attending passengers special airfares to Israel.

With a global network of more than 50 destinations in five continents, a modern fleet and outstanding service, El Al's experienced staff will make sure that all participants arrive in Israel comfortably and refreshed before the competition.

For more information, visit our web site http://www.elal.co.il

English edition
Israel's Leading Daily Newspaper