The Ninth Mae and Irving Jurow International Harpsichord Competition
The Ninth Mae and Irving Jurow International Harpsichord Competition, sponsored by the Historical Keyboard Society of North America, was held August 4–7 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The competition included contemporary repertoire, continuo, improvisation, and performance of a Bach concerto with the Lyra Baroque Orchestra, Jacques Ogg, artistic director.
The semifinal round was held on August 5, livestreamed from The Baroque Room in St. Paul. Ten contestants performed diverse repertoire. The semifinalists were Anastasia Chin (Singapore), Curtis Pavey (United States, a member of The Diapason’s 20 Under 30 Class of 2021), Duangkamon Wattanasak (Thailand), Elena Zamolodcikova (Russia), Weronika Kłosiewicz-Paine (Poland), Zuguang Xiao (China), Steve Bergeron (Canada), Han Cheol Kang (Korea), Caitlyn Koester (United States), and Michael Delfín (United States, also a member of The Diapason’s 20 Under 30 Class of 2021).
The finalists were Steve Bergeron, Anastasia Chin, Michael Delfín, Han Cheol Kang, and Zuguang Xiao. The one live-audience event of the competition was the non-finalists concert. Five twenty-minute recitals were given by Lena Zamolodchikova, Duangkamon Wattanasak, Weronika Kłosiewicz-Paine, Caitlyn Koester, and Curtis Pavey on August 6 at the Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church art gallery.
The final round included forty-minute solo recitals performed by the five finalists on August 7 at Sundin Music Hall, Hamline University. Repertoire included music by Frescobaldi, C. P. E. Bach, Partitura improvisation on Bernardo Pasquini, and Three Dances by Dina Smorgonskaya. That evening, each of the finalists performed the D-major harpsichord concerto by J. S. Bach with members of Lyra Baroque Orchestra.
Prizes were announced that night at a reception and awards ceremony for judges and contestants. The 2021 Jurow Harpsichord Competition winners are Michael Delfín and Anastasia Chin (tied for second prize), Steve Bergeron and Zuguang Xiao (tied for third prize), and Elena Zamolodchikova (Jurow Prize for a Promising Non-finalist). No First prize was awarded. Second prize is $2,500; third prize is $1,500; and the Jurow prize is $750. The judges were Jaap ter Linden, Frances Conover Fitch, Jacques Ogg, Peter Sykes, and Elisabeth Wright. The competition was directed by Vivian Montgomery.
The Mae and Irving Jurow International Harpsichord Competition (formerly SEHKS International Harpsichord Competition) has occurred approximately every four years since the first in 1982. It has been held in Tallahassee, Florida (1982 and 1996), Washington, D.C. (1986), Winston-Salem, North Carolina (1991), Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (2002), Denton, Texas (2007), Cincinnati, Ohio (2012), and Oberlin, Ohio (2016). Karyl Louwenaar was its first director, followed by Charlotte Mattax Moersch and Vivian Montgomery, who assumed the role in 2010.