The Jurow International Harpsichord Performance Competition
The Jurow International Harpsichord Performance Competition was established 30 years ago, with the generous support of Mae and Irving Jurow, in the interest of creating competitive activities for harpsichordists, since very few such opportunities existed in this country. The first competition was held at the 1982 Conclave in Tallahassee, Florida, and has occurred approximately every 4 years since. Karyl Louwenaar was its first director, followed by Charlotte Mattax until passing the directorship to Vivian Montgomery in 2010.
The Seventh Jurow International Harpsichord Competition was held March 21-24, 2012, during the Inaugural Meeting and Festival of the Historical Keyboard Society of North America, at the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) of the University of Cincinnati. Following the evaluation of applicants’ tapes, sixteen harpsichordists were chosen and invited to perform in the semi-final round, from which thirteen attended and participated. The competition judges were Ketil Haugsand (Hochschule für Musik, Köln), Dana Maiben (Longy School of Music, continuo judge), Mitzi Meyerson (Universität der Künste, Berlin), Vivian Montgomery (University of Cincinnati CCM), and Edward Parmentier (University of Michigan). The semi-finalists performed in Watson Recital Hall on Thursday, March 22, filling thmorning, part of the afternoon, and the next morning. Their repertoire included a Bach toccata (either D Major or E minor); Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre’s Violin Sonata in D minor, mvts 4 & 5; either J. P. Sweelinck’s Unter der Linden Grüne or William Byrd’s Jhon come kiss me now; and James Dorsa’s Jupiter’s Moons, mvt. 1, “Io.” Joining with the contestants on the sonata were Baroque violinist Martha Perry and viola da gambist Micah Fusselman, a telling experience for the contestants.
From the thirteen semi-finalists, the judges advanced six to the final round, namely Shin Hwang, Tami Morse, Mark Edwards, Jia Lim, Leon Schelhase, and Nadja Lesaulnier. Their one-hour programs took place in the larger Werner Recital Hall on Saturday, three in the afternoon and three in the evening. As before, each contestant performed both solo and ensemble, the latter with soprano Janet Youngdahl on Barbara Strozzi’s Lagrime mie or L’astratto. A post-concert reception took place at Lenhardt’s German and Hungarian Restaurant, during which the following judges’ decisions were announced by Vivian Montgomery: Nadja Lesaulnier of France (second prize); Jia Lim of Singapore and Switzerland (second prize); Mark Edwards of Canada (third prize); and Mo-ah Kim of Korea and the U.S. (Jurow prize for a promising non-finalist). No first prize was awarded.
The Mae and Irving Jurow Competition has established a secure reputation, attracting entrants from many countries and musical institutions. Thanks to the foresight and determination of Irving and Mae Jurow, this program, securely under the auspices of the Historical Keyboard Society of North America, will continue to attract talented harpsichordists to future competitions.
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