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MUSIC IN THE AIR AT HONENS FESTIVAL & PIANO COMPETITION

Love music? The Honens Festival and Piano Competition is a fun, classy and downright breathtaking concert experience. Ten of the world’s best emerging classical pianists compete in front of an audience and jury by giving the performance of their lives. Only one can win!

BERLIN LONDON NEW YORK CALGARY

Calgary is famous for its annual Stampede, one of my favorite events to survey. Did you know it’s also an international hot-spot for musical genius?

Esther Honens donated $5 million to create the ultimate piano competition in her hometown. It’s so popular that the quarterfinals were held in Berlin, London and New York. A single player will win the prestigious Honens Laureate award and half a million dollars in career development. Oh, and $100,000 in cash!

STEINWAY OR FAZIOLI? ONLY THE BEST BRANDS WILL DO

Musicians and sopranos collaborated with each player. Can you imagine playing multiple live concerts, gracefully trying to beat nine other experts?

Three finalists were selected, pianists from Italy, the US and Ukraine. Each chose complex pieces by composer Sergei Prokofiev. Event Professor Tip: When given the opportunity to show off, perfecting an acknowledged masterpiece is strongly advised!

After the last note had been played, we filed out into the lobby to a wonderful surprise: a stunning display of endless champagne flutes. Spectators forgot they were strangers, approaching one another to toast favorite moments or to speculate about the winner. After a week of watching performances and a couple glasses of bubbly, it seemed everyone was an expert!

When the bell chimed we all returned excitedly into the theatre.

Italian pianist Luca Buratto was awarded the Laureate prize.

Event Professor verdict: Every performance was outstanding, yet Buratto’s connection to the music and orchestra was what gave him an edge above the rest.

Bravissimo! Watch official Honens footage of Luca Buratto’s award-winning performance here.

BISON NOIR & POISSON ROUGE

Honens isn’t all about competition. Laureate hopefuls, alumni and Jury had the chance to loosen up and play at the “Bison Noir” evening, inspired by the famous Poisson Rouge arts cabaret in New York. Check out that little toy piano!

A TEDDY BEARS’ PICNIC IN THE SUN

On the last day, everyone gathered outside for a Teddy Bears’ Picnic, complete with live entertainment. We gathered in the sunshine and enjoyed a light-hearted serenade; it was both stylish and upbeat, a real treat for the eyes and ears.

What an exhilarating week! Honens production is in a class of its own. It was a musical experience I’ll never forget. Encore, encore!

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I have researched 800+ events worldwide and love to share stories. Please contact me if you want to discuss anything from visitor surveys to economic impact to sponsorship ROI measurement.

Talk soon,

Michael, The Event Professor

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