Young pianist from CIT Cork School of Music receives international prize

Young pianist from CIT Cork School of Music receives international prize
12-year-old Cork pianist Sylvan Mayer-Whitla won third prize in the inaugural John Field International Piano Competition.

A YOUNG Cork pianist from the Cork School of Music has won a top international music competition.

12-year-old Sylvan Mayer-Whitla won third prize in his age category in the inaugural John Field International Piano Competition, held at the Dundalk An Táin Theatre in Dundalk. 

His programme included pieces by Scriabin, Field, and Debussy. He was subsequently invited by the Chairman of the Jury, Viktor Ryabchikov, to perform in the final Gala Concert along with other prize winners.

Sylvan has been attending the CIT Cork School of Music since the age of five and is studying piano with Susan Čáp.

He is currently in sixth class in Beaumont Boys School. Sylvan won several prizes in local and national competitions, including Feis Maitiu, Feis Ceoil and CSM Competitions. He was also awarded a Medal for the most distinguished piano student in the Junior Cycle in the CIT Cork School of Music in 2016.

Sylvan enjoys performing and has participated in many concerts at the CIT Cork School of Music. He also studies percussion with Stephen Kelly and is a member of Junior Cork Youth Orchestra and the Cork School of Music Junior Percussion Ensemble.

The goal of the John Field International Piano Competition is to focus on the music of Irish composer John Field and his students, alongside other repertoire. 

Pianists were required to include one work by John Field in their chosen programme.

Born in Dublin in 1782, John Field studied with Clementi in London and later moved to Russia. He is considered by many to be the founder of the Russian Piano School, which is distinguished by its use of lyricism, melody, expression and virtuosic technique.

Students of John Field include many well-known Russian composers and musicians who in turn influenced Balakirev, Tchaikovsky, Rubinstein, Ziloti, Scriabin and Rachmaninov, among others. 

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