HARTFORD, Conn. — The Hartford Chopin Foundation sponsors the annual Chopin International Piano Competition. Now in its 14th year, the 4-day event (March 8 to 12) drew 85 aspiring pianists of various ages. This year’s edition saw participating pianists representing the US, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, China, South Korea and Armenia.
In the Professional category, pianist Seiran Tozlian of Armenia received the second prize. Along with a cash prize, the distinction included invitation for performances in Poland. Tozlian, 20, presented a range of compositions by Chopin, Debussy, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff and Ligeti in the preliminary and final rounds of the competition. He is also a prize winner at the Anselmo Academy of Music’s Fifth International Competition in New York and a semi-finalist at the 2023 Boesendorfer-Yamaha International Piano Competition. Tozlian, who currently studies at the Manhattan School of Music with Alexandre Moutouzkine, is also a prize winner at the Anselmo Academy of Music’s Fifth International Competition in New York and was a semi-finalist at the 2023 Boesendorfer-Yamaha International Piano Competition.
In the “Young Artists” category, Massachusetts resident Vartan Arakelian won second prize among 24 pianists ages 13 to 17. He is a ninth grade student at the Buckingham, Browne and Nichols high school in Cambridge and studies piano privately with Lilit Karapetian-Shougarian. He presented works by Bach, Chopin and Janacek in his audition. The prize included a cash award as well as an invitation to participate in the International Chopin Festival for young artists in Busko-Zdroj in Poland this summer. Arakelian was also the winner of the first prize in the Mildred Freiberg Middle School Competition in April 2022, an event sponsored by the New England Piano Teachers Association in collaboration with M. Steinert & Sons of Boston.
The international jury consisted of pianists Krystian Tkaczewski of Poland and the US, Josephine Koh of Singapore,. Philippe Raskin of Belgium, Adolfe Vidal of Venezuela, Mina Perry of Japan, Michael Bulychev-Okser of the United States, and Mikhail Voskresensky of Russia.
Both Arakelian and Tozlian appeared in the Winners’ Gala concert on March 12 at the Asylum Hill Congregational church in Hartford.