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Piano competition strikes a few chords
Publish: 2009.11.16 Source: Singapore EEBO|Music Teaching|Piano Training|Secondhand Piano|Music Books-Http://www.eeboedu.com Click:
CITY HALL — Downtown Glendale could host an international piano competition for young adults under a proposal the City Council will review next month.

A special committee, made up of Arts & Culture and Parks, Recreation and Community Services commissioners, voted unanimously Friday to recommend that the City Council approve hosting the competition, which requires an initial city commitment of $50,000, in addition to assembling a fundraising committee to raise $50,000 more for the event’s $240,000 budget.

Organizers of the Rachmaninoff Junior Piano Competition approached the city earlier this year about hosting the first junior version of the international competition, which they said would bring the city cultural prestige, but city officials have been hesitant because of the financial commitment.

The competition, which would be open to pianists younger than 18 from around the world, would take place in October at the Alex Theatre, according to the proposal from Armen TerTatevosian, president of International Competitions and Festivals Inc., the contest’s organizer.

Under the proposal, Glendale Arts, the nonprofit that runs the Alex Theatre, would control the funds raised for the event. TerTatevosian said regardless of fundraising results, the competition would occur in Glendale once the fundraising process started.

“Once the project is started, the project will be delivered,” he said.

The committee’s recommendation will come to a City Council that has committed to improving the city’s artistic and cultural offerings. In September, the City Council voted unanimously to move forward with talks on moving the Los Angeles-based Museum of Neon Art into a city-owned building on South Brand Boulevard — pledging up to $1 million in city redevelopment funds in the process.

Committee members said they recognized that the recommendation comes at a time when city finances are tight, but said it was beyond their purview to decide whether the city could spare the money.

“Fifty-thousand dollars can feed a lot of homeless,” said Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commissioner Stephen Ropfogel. “It’s a large chunk of change.”

Still, committee members said the competition would help improve the city’s cultural standing compared with neighboring cities, such as Pasadena.

In 2002, Pasadena hosted the first Rachmaninoff competition, with the mayor personally raising 20% of the competition’s $1-million budget, TerTatevosian said. Since then, two more competitions have been held in Los Angeles.

The junior competition could bring people from across the region into the city, commissioners said. Arts & Culture Commissioner Arman Keyvanian cited a city study showing that arts events bring increased revenue at nearby businesses.

“I think really what’s in it for Glendale is it will be a regional event,” Ropfogel said. “It will get people to use our restaurants and things like that.”
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