Venue Details

Notre Dame de Namur University Theatre
1540 Ralston Avenue Belmont, CA 94002
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Visit the website of Maestro Viardo.


There are several events taking place during the week as part of the Viardo International Piano Competition. Each is ticketed separately and requires its own admission.

May 28, 4 pm

: Master Class for high school pianists

May 29, 4 pm

: Master Class for College-aged pianists

May 30, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

: Junior Semi-finals

May 30, 7:30 pm

: Piano students of NDNU and Vladimir Viardo in Concert

May 31, 7:30 pm

: Junior Finals

June 1, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

: Senior Semi-finals

June 1, 7:30 pm

: Pianist Daniel Glover in Recital

June 2, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

: Senior Semi-finals (continued)

June 2, 7:30 pm

: International Russian Piano Music Competition winner in concert

June 3, 7:30 pm

: Senior Finals

June 5, 7:30 pm

: Viardo International Piano competition Winner’s Concert

Semifinalists representing six countries, including many from the United States, have been chosen to compete for awards of up to $3000. International contenders come from China, Ukraine, Ireland, Germany, and Mexico. National contestants also represent a large cross section of the United States, including Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and California. Several local pianists made the cut as well. Fifteen semifinalists were chosen in the Senior category, while twelve were chosen from the junior category.

Distinguished international jurors for the event include Bella Davidovich from New York, Anatoly Zatin from Mexico and Antonio di Cristofano from Italy. The jury also includes: Anna Poklewski, Thomas Hansen, Daniel Glover, Michael Schmitz, Jonathon Jou, and Vladimir Viardo.

On Monday, May 30, junior semifinalists (ages 12-17) will take the stage beginning at 10 a.m. in the Notre Dame de Namur University Theatre. From the eleven contestants, three will emerge as finalists after playing solo piano programs of 20 minutes each. The finalists will be announced at the evening concert featuring piano students of Notre Dame’s music department and of Vladimir Viardo. The evening concert will begin at 7:30 p.m.

On Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. the three young upcoming stars will compete for first, second and third place. Each will perform a 30 minute program of piano music. Top prize in the Junior Category is $1000, donated by Belmont and San Carlos Rotary Clubs. Foster City Lions and several community individuals have also contributed to the competition.

On Wednesday and Thursday, June 1 and 2, Senior semifinalists (ages 18-28) will have their turn. Beginning at 10 a.m. each day in the NDNU Theatre, these seventeen talented hopefuls will display their craft to the international team of judges. Each will play a program of 30 minutes. The Senior finalists will be announced Thursday evening during a concert featuring the International Russian Piano Music Competition winner from 2005 (being held in San Jose May 12-22).

The three senior finalists will compete for the top $3000 prize on Friday evening, in the NDNU Theatre, at 7:30 p.m.. Second prize is $1500, and third prize is $750. Each contestant will play a creative solo piano program of 40 minutes.

All junior and senior winners will be presented in a final concert on Sunday, June 5, at 7:30 the NDNU theatre.

Other special events of the competition include piano master classes and concerts. On May 28th Mr. Viardo will work with high school aged pianists, and on May 29th he will work with college age advanced pianists in master classes. These classes are open to the public. They will be starting at 4 p.m. on both days in the NDNU Theatre. Another concert of note is pianist Daniel Glover, who will perform on Wednesday evening in the NDNU theatre at 7:30 p.m.

About the The Distinguished Panel of Jurors:

Antonio di Cristofano was born in Grosseto, Italy in 1965. He completed his piano studies in 1986 at the Conservatory “L.Cherubini” in Florence, under the supervision of Maestro Antonio Bacchelli. He has won several awards in different competitions including the Franz Schubert Competition in Turin, and the 6th and 7th Exhibition Citta de Genova. He performs either as a piano soloist or in different musical ensembles, and has played with many of the orchestras in Italy, Russia, Romania, Mexico, and the United States.

He has recorded five CDs of contemporary music. He is the Artistic Director of the Institute of Music Comunale in Grosseto and the Alexander Scriabin International Piano Competition. He is often invited as a judge for many national and international piano competitions.

Bella Davidovich began studying piano when she was six years old. Three years later, she accompanied the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra performing Beethoven’s 1st Piano Concerto. In 1949 she won first prize at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw, an achievement that launched her on a very successful career in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. During her remarkable career in the former Soviet Union, she appeared with every major Russian conductor and performed as soloist with the Leningrad Philharmonic for 28 consecutive seasons.

In 1978 Bella Davidovich emigrated to the U.S., and she has established herself as one of her adopted country’s most popular artists, achieving worldwide renown. Her American debut at Carnegie Hall in 1979, before a standing room only audience, heralded a new chapter in a career of major importance.

Throughout her extraordinary career, Davidovich has performed with the world’s leading conductors, such as James Conlon, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Neeme Jarvi, Alexander Lazarev, Raymond Leppard, Riccardo Muti, Eugene Ormandy, David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich, Maxim Shostakovich, Leonard Slatkin, Yevgeny Svetlanov, and Yuri Temirkanov.

As a highly regarded master of piano pedagogy, she now concentrates her teaching activities at the Juilliard School in New York. She is a regular jury member at many of the world’s major international piano competitions. She has recorded for Philips, Orfeo, and Novalis.

Daniel Glover has performed in 42 states and 22 countries. He has trained with such luminaries as Eugene List, Abbey Simon, Jerome Lowenthal, Nancy Bachus and Thomas LaRatta. He holds a Master’s degree from New York’s Juilliard School. He has served on the faculties of New York University, University of the Virgin Islands, University of San Francisco, Notre Dame de Namur University, and the Summer Piano Workshop of Kent State University.

Among his numerous competition awards is first prize in the prestigious Liederkranz Competition in 1990. His successful 1992 Carnegie Hall recital was the result of winning the Artist’s International Competition. Mr. Glover has also appeared in Washington D.C.’s Corcoran Gallery and at the St. Petersburg Palaces Festival in Russia.

With a repertoire of fifty concerti and other works for piano and orchestra, Mr. Glover has appeared regularly with sixteen Bay Area orchestras, as well as numerous orchestras nationally and internationally. The Sudhessische Post, Germany hailed him for his “extraordinary technique, analytical understanding and determined phrasing from the first to the last bar.” The San Francisco Classical Voice remarked, “Brilliant, tender, whimsical, sparkling … Glover brought everything together into a well balanced, evenly measured medium … The elegance and civility of Glover’s approach was musically unimpeachable … Sensational cascades of octaves displayed technique to burn.” The Monterey Peninsula Review said, “He is a master of intricate details and can produce truly magical sounds.”

He has recorded five CDs, with the most recent disc entitled Romantic Russian Encores (2005). Previous recordings include the complete solo piano music by Ravel (2003), the Brahms Sonatas for Violin and Piano with New York violinist Matthew Reichert (2001), and an all-Chopin concert recorded live in 1999.

Thomas Hansen has earned enthusiastic critical and audience acclaim for his performances across the country. He began teaching himself piano at the age of four. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory and a Master’s from the University of Michigan. His principal teachers were Theodore Lettvin and Thomas LaRatta.

Mr. Hansen performed an all-Liszt recital in the Netherlands on an 1866 Steinway which Liszt himself often used for recitals. He has recorded three programs for the Grand Piano television show which appears on cable systems in over two hundred cities and towns.

Among his many performances with orchestra in the Bay Area are appearances with the Redwood Symphony, the Peninsula Symphony and the Merced Symphony. The Boston Globe wrote that his performance “Left no doubt about his fluency, and the cleanness and lack of hokum in his lively playing were most commendable.”

Dr. Jonathan Jou, a native of Taipei, Taiwan, started his musical education in elementary school. He received his BFA from the National Taipei University of the Arts. After moving to the United States in 1991, he studied with Mack McCray at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he received his MM degree in Piano Performance. He worked with Craig Sheppard at the University of Washington, where he received his DMA degree in Piano Performance.

In addition to his many appearances in the Bay Area, Dr. Jou’s deep love of piano performance has led him to participate in numerous concerts throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Taiwan, including the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and in recitals sponsored by the Bay Area Steinway Society. In 1991, as one of the ten pianists selected from around the world, he traveled to Sapporo, Japan, to participate in the Pacific Music Festival, an event which was founded by Leonard Bernstein. Music Director Christoph Eschenbach described his performances as follows: “A talented young pianist who had such deep thoughts and played with his heart.”

Anna Marie Poklewski, a member of the De Anza College Music Faculty, enjoyed a distinguished ten-year career as a concert pianist in Europe and Australia, before coming to the United States in 1974. She has performed as soloist on the British Broadcasting Company and on Polish radio and television. She has received great acclaim for her recitals and concerts with orchestras throughout England and major centers in Europe and in the U.S.

She is a graduate of both the University in Krakow, Poland and the Royal Academy of Music in London. During her long teaching career she gave master classes in many music institutions in the U.S. and in Europe. In May of 1999, 2000, and 2001 she had master classes in her alma maters in Krakow and in London. In 2002 and 2003 she was invited to give master classes for two weeks at the Music Conservatory in Beijing, China.

Because of her Polish heritage, she is especially sensitive to the music of Chopin, and her interpretation of his works has been termed as “outstanding.” She also gives many lectures on the teaching ideas of Heinrich Neuhaus, as well as those of Rychard Bakst, with whom she also studied.

Her students take first or second prizes in national and international competitions. In 1991 she was awarded the “Distinguished Teacher Award” from the White House, given by President George Bush.

Dr. Michael Schmitz is the Chair of the Music Department at Notre Dame de Namur University. He received both Bachelor and Master degrees in music from then College of Notre Dame, working with Thomas LaRatta. He then earned his Doctor of Music Arts degree from University of Arizona, where he studied with Ozan Marsh and Paula Fan. His dissertation revealed Asian influences in the piano music of Claude Debussy.

Schmitz has played concerts across the United States and in Mexico to high acclaim. He has been the winner of numerous competitions in the Southwest, and has performed as soloist with the Master Sinfonia Orchestra, the University of Arizona Orchestra, Catalina Chamber Orchestra, and Orchestra Nova. Composer Richard Faith specifically adapted his Concerto #3 for Schmitz to perform, adding a challenging cadenza for him. His performances have been broadcast live in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and in Mexico. He is renowned as a performer and pedagogue in the San Francisco Bay Area, giving frequent recitals and master classes throughout the Peninsula.

Dr. Schmitz has developed an excellent studio of talented piano students, many of whom have won competitions, performed with major orchestras, and went on to earn music degrees. He is in frequent demand as an adjudicator at notable national and international competitions. He is also director of the NDNU Summer Music Camp, which brings talented pianists and string players together with distinguished faculty to study and perform chamber music.

Vladimir Viardo exhibits a unique artistry which has made him among the world’s most celebrated pianists. International acknowledgement came to him at the age of twenty-one, after winning a “Grand Prix” and the “Prix du Prince Rainier” in the 1971 Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris. Two years later, competing with sixty-six of the best pianists from twenty-one countries, Viardo received the top prize in the 4th Van Cliburn International Competition.

An extraordinary and celebrated teacher, Viardo is a custodian of the Heinrich Neuhaus method, a technique credited for producing such extraordinary 20th century Russian keyboard masters as Gilels and Richter.

Vladimir Viardo’s tours have taken him to all leading cities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, South Africa, and Central and South America. He has appeared as soloist with many prominent conductors including Kondrashin, Mehta, Kitaenko, Maazel, Spivakov, Comissiona, Maxim Shostakovich, Jordania, and Penderekci, among others. He has held concerts to much acclaim at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln and Kennedy Centers, Alice Tully Hall, Salle Pleyel, Concertgebouw, Whigmore Hall, Casals Hall of Tokyo, Fundacao Gulbenkien, and in all major halls in Russia, Ukraine, Finland, Romania, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.

Anatoly Zatin: pianist, composer, conductor, and professor, graduated from the Conservatory of St. Petersburg in 1977, with a doctorate in composition in 1983. He was the first-prize winner at the Kiev Competition for Young composers and Pianists, and the second prize winner at the Prokofiev International Competition. He received an Honorary Prize from the Brass Wind Association for the Triple Concerto for trumpet, horn, piano, and orchestra. He is a permanent member of the Union of Composers of the USSR.

Zatin participated in the Spring International Music festival of Leningrad and twice received a prize from the Association for Theatre Music Artists of the USSR for the best musical of the year. In 1990 he was awarded the Medal of Honour given by UNICEF in Italy for his activities as director and pianist. He was the Master Director at the Sverdlovsk Musical Comedy Theatre and Artistic Director of the Bach Chamber Orchestra. He has participated in many international festivals including the International UNESCO festival in Leningrad, the International Mozart Festival, the International Piano Duet Festival in Ekaterinburg, the International Silvestrov Festival, the Black and White Piano Festival in Mexico, and in the International Music Festival of San Miguel de Allende.

His recordings include a series of concerts for Central USSR Radio while acting as the Director of the Leningrad State Orchestra, several recordings for the Melodia Company, CDs with the Bach Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Festival Symphony Orchestra for Azzura Musica in Italy, and with flutist Shigeyuki Takano in Tokyo, where he permanently plays concerts.

He is currently Director of the Music Department at the Colima University in Mexico. His students have won several national and international competitions. The Anatoly Zatin International Piano Competition for young pianists is celebrated every two years in the Ukraine since 2001. He is also a permanent jury member of the International Horowitz Debut Competition for Young Pianists in the Ukraine, as well as a professor at the International Summer Music Academy in Kiev.

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