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SAIPC History

The San Antonio International Piano Competition was founded in 1983 by Dr. Richard Ferguson and a small group of fellow music lovers, some of whom still serve on the Board today. Articles of Incorporation, By-laws and official recognition by IRS were quickly established, and the first Competition was held at Trinity University’s Laurie Auditorium in October 1984.


Since the initial Competition nine more artistically and financially successful Competitions have taken place, all at Trinity University’s Ruth Taylor Concert Hall with the exception of 1986, when the events were held at UTSA’s Recital Hall. The Finals and the Winners’ Recitals of the 1997 and 2000 Competitions were videotaped and broadcast over educational TV station KLRN. These recitals were also recorded and broadcast over Texas Public Radio’s KPAC/FM.


Over the years some of the most distinguished concert pianists/educators have served as Judges, such as Abbey Simon, David Burge, Joseph Bloch, Ruth Laredo, Ann Schein, Peter Takacs, Ralph Votapek, Daniel Pollack, Robin McCabe and William Wolfram and Santiago Rodriguez.


In 1991 SAIPC inaugurated the custom of commissioning a new work of music, to be played by all Contestants during the Competition. Our first composer was Lowell Liebermann, who is today recognized as one of America’s leading composers. Since then, two San Antonio composers, Timothy Kramer and Elisenda Fabregas, have written works. Other composers include Henry Martin, Judith Zaimont, Ronn Yedidia and Joan Tower.


The year 1991 also saw the introduction of Master Classes, taught by our Judges to local students chosen by members of the San Antonio Music Teachers Association. These classes have become a highly regarded feature of the Competition Week.


Former Winners

Tenth Competition | 2009

Ryo Yanagitani (Canada) Gold Medal
Andrea Lam (Australia) Silver Medal
Christopher Atzinger (USA) Bronze Medal


Ninth Competition | 2006

Alexey Koltakov (UKR/AUS) Gold Medal
Grace Fong (USA) Bronze Medal
Michael Mizrahi (USA) Bronze Medal


Eighth Competition | 2003

Roger Wright (USA) Gold Medal
Young-Ah Tak (Korea) Silver Medal
Boris Feiner (UKR/Israel) Bronze Medal


Seventh Competition | 2000

Naoko Takao (Japan) Gold Medal
Michael Schneider (USA) Silver Medal
Gloria Chien (Taiwan) Bronze Medal


Sixth Competition | 1997

Mi-Jung Im (Korea) Gold Medal
Roger Wright (USA) Silver Medal
Molly Kiser (USA/Japan) Bronze Medal

Fifth Competition | 1994

Audrey Andrist (Canada) Gold Medal
Wei-Yi Yang (Taiwan) Gold Medal
(No Silver Medal awarded)


Fourth Competition | 1991

Richard Dowling (USA) Gold Medal
Bernadette Balkus (AUS) Silver Medal


Third Competition | 1988

Boris Slutsky (Russia) Gold Medal
Thomas Tirino (USA) Silver Medal


Second Competition | 1986

Kathryn Brown (USA) Gold Medal
Alan Chow (USA) Silver Medal


First Competition | 1984

William Koehler, (USA) Gold Medal
Ilan Rechtman, (Israel) Silver Medal