A dream has finally come true!
Ten years ago, Paul Pollei, the founder and director of the Gina Bachauer Piano Competition in USA, came up with the idea of a piano competition in Tromsø, “the most exotic place in the world!”
It was a great national cultural event when the first Top of the World International Piano Competition took place in Tromsø June 14-19 2009.
361 pianists from 56 countries applied to come to Tromsø to participate. When Gustav Alink in the Alink-Argerich Foundation heard that, he wrote to me; “It is really fantastic! So many applicants. Yes, this is highly exceptional. It might even be the first competition ever, in the entire world, to attract so many applicants, the very first time it is held, you might get a mention in the Guinness Book of Records…!”
It has been a great privilege to listen to all these outstanding and marvelous pianists, and I feel deeply honored and grateful for the great interest each one of them has taken in applying for the competition in Tromsø. I am convinced the audience will have a thrilling week of listening to the 24 pianists invited to take part, each one of them representing a highlight of pianism and artistry!
I want to express my sincere gratitude to The RDA II-Board, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sparebank1 Nord-Norge, Tromsø Kommune, Troms Fylkeskommune, The Norwegian Barents Secretariat, Thron Irby Steinway-Service as and The University of Tromsø for their financial support, making the competition possible. My deepest gratitude to Director Arne Eidsmo, NHO Troms, the piano competition’s mentor in every aspect.
I also want to express my gratefulness to the distinguished jury, both national and international, the Alink-Argerich Foundation and the Karelia Philharmonic Orchestra who on short notice changed their plans to participate in the finale June 19. A warm thank you for the great co-operation with The Northern Light Festival and the Music Conservatory, University of Tromsø.