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So Cincinnati: World Piano Competition

Updated: Monday, October 28 2013, 04:00 PM EDT
CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- Last year it was the World Choir Games. This week it's the World Piano Competition. Actually, the World Piano Competition is in its 57th year in the Queen City, making it an event which is truly So Cincinnati. The competition has been under way all week at the University of Cincinnati.

Local 12 News Reporter Jeff Hirsh shows us the meaning of the event through one musician's experience.

"I started when I was about 5, even four and a half."

"By the time I was 12 maybe, I realized this is what I wanted to do and got much more serious about it."

Now all of 21, college student and Minnesota native Reed Tetzloff is one of 24 pianists from 9 different countries good enough to make it to the World Piano Competition.

Sara Danner Dukic, Event Director: "The prize money doubled this year thanks to an anonymous donor. The first prize is 20-thousand dollars."

Plus your own c-d on the Cincinnati Symphony's label ... and a concert at a high profile New York recital hall. Not bad for something which began 57 years ago when Cincinnati piano teacher Gloria Ackerman wanted more exposure for her students. That's a big part of competitions like this ... being seen ... And, of course, being heard.

"It is something that has to be internalized."

"You have to be in total control like an actor at all times, so you know what you're doing right now and the next second."

"It is a total immersion in the character of what you're playing."

New this year ... the competition is run in conjunction with UC's College-Conservatory of Music and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

"This is a powerhouse partnership."

"So, I called over here a few days ago to set up the story and they said sure, come on over, they're rehearsing in the hall. And I thought the hall? Next to the bathroom? Do they put a piano out here? And then it hit me ... The recital hall."

Where competitors get one last practice. Reed Tetzloff had a technician tweak his piano ... making it brighter, as he put it.

"The sound in this register ...Nat ... Was more subdued, I guess, compared to the others."

Win or lose here, musicians like Reed Tetzloff will continue to aim for just the right note ... today Cincinnati ...Tomorrow ... who knows?

"Of course, I want to perform as much as possible and see where that takes me."

Despite how good Reed Tetzloff is, he did not make the sold out finals tomorrow night at U.C. The World Piano Competition doesn't end this weekend. The younger crowd gets their turn with the young artists competition beginning July 22nd. So Cincinnati: World Piano Competition

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