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NTD International Piano Competition
The NTD International Piano Competition is fairly new to the stage in the world of major classical music competitions. However, its unique focus on tradition and the different approach to repertoire have set it apart. The repertoire focuses strictly on the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods as their musical style, form and technique are very unique. "That's a difficult repertoire, you going to get the best," said Sara Faust. Sara is a classical pianist and the president of Faust Harrison pianos known for its rebuilding of Steinway pianos. As a judge herself for a number of competitions, she agrees that competitors should take a traditional approach to their craft. "As a juror what strikes me is not how louder, fast the pianist comply, but how personal and how musical it is," she added. The final round also includes a piece commissioned especially for the competition. As with the 2016 run, the jurists have commissioned D.F. to write music specifically for the competition. D.F. is the artistic director of Shen Yun Performing Arts, the premier classical Chinese dance company that has caught the world’s attention over the past decade. One of its notable features is the East-West take on its music. The company travels with a unique orchestra that blends Chinese instruments into an otherwise Western classical orchestra, and bel canto vocalists perform original songs in Mandarin. "The fact that you have a commission work I think it's important," added Sara. "The commission piece that they haven't heard. the piece they have to do all the interpreting it has to come from inside them...so I think commission pieces are terrific." Music With Higher Purpose "If we lose traditional music. We're going to lose so much of our great history," said Sara. One of Beethoven's famous quote says, “Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.” “Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets; art deserves that, for it and knowledge can raise man to the Divine.” Beethoven believed in a higher, spiritual purpose to music, and could appreciate its profound language—one that many people today would agree can only be felt in one’s heart, and not expressed in words. Sara said a good pianist can express their emotions through music. "So I think it is very important when you sit down and play, take a moment, hear the music in your head, center yourself and then play, because then the music can come from inside you, rather than just being a technical thing," she said. Applications for the NTD International Piano Competition close Aug. 9. The Epoch Times reporter Catherine Yang contributed to this report.