It's been two years in the making and finally the musicians and judges have arrived from far and wide.
On the stage at the Eastbank Centre in Shepparton, the musicians gathered - shook hands and chatted about what's in store for the week ahead. Some are old friends and some have never met - only heard of each other.
Photographs were taken for the media and filming of their arrivals and interviews conducted, then upstairs to a special reception put on by the Australian National Piano Award. All the host families and friends of ANPA gathered, the Board ready to receive the musicians and Darryl Coote, President let the pianists know how the week will roll out and why they are considered so great. What we have found over the years is that the pianists are super humble about their achievements, they really just want to make great music.
Max Cooke, Artistic Director gave a beautiful speech and recognised the strength of the friendships that form throughout the week and explains why the repertoire requirements are so challenging and encouragement for all the pianists abilities. The Mayor Cr. Dinny Adem gave a very sincere and special welcome speech for the pianists and the judges - letting them know how important the Award is to the Greater City of Shepparton.
One by one the pianists went to the lectern, introduced themselves, gave a quick back-story and many gave us some laughs . . . We count you, Ben Austin, Peter de Jager and Aaron Lui in that!
Welcome to you all!