Shenandoah Conservatory graduate student Alexander Bernstein was awarded second prize at the 2015 Dublin International Piano Competition (DIPC) on May 26. He competed against 62 other pianists from around the world and advanced through all four adjudicated rounds. In addition to the monetary prize awarded to competition winners, Bernstein will receive substantial support from the organization in establishing a career as a concert pianist.
Bernstein was also awarded the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) Prize for best performance of a piece by the commissioned Irish composer in the semifinal round. Recipients of this award are given the opportunity to perform with the RTÉ NSO in an upcoming concert.
He was also the first prize winner in the graduate category of Shenandoah Conservatory’s 2015 Student Soloists Competition earlier this year. His achievement culminated in the performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Shenandoah Conservatory Symphony Orchestra later in March.
At the 2012 Dublin International Piano Competition, Bernstein was awarded fourth prize and the Ita Stephens Beethoven Prize. One year prior to that, Bernstein competed in the 2011 Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year Competition and won first prize.
Bernstein is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma (Piano) and studies with Distinguished Artist-in-Residence, Chair of Keyboard Division and Professor of Piano John O’Conor, Ph.D., D. Mus., Mus. D. Bernstein completed his master’s degree in piano performance at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin in 2012 under the tutelage of O’Conor and his bachelor’s degree in music from Harvard University in 2010 where he studied with Stephen Drury and Patricia Zander of the New England Conservatory.
About the Dublin International Piano Competition
The Dublin International Piano Competition is a triennial event founded in 1988. Since its inception, the competition has grown to rank high among international piano competitions and has established Ireland as a place for renowned and aspiring pianists. John O’Conor serves as the artistic director of the competition.
This year’s DIPC jury was comprised of 11 members representing countries around the world with O’Conor serving as chair. Jury members included James Anagnoson (Canada), Fumiko Eguchi (Japan), Thérèse Fahy (Ireland), Peter Frankl (Hungary), Pavel Gililov (Russia), Gregg Gleasner (United States), Max Levinson (United States), Anton Nel (South Africa), Soo-Jung Shin (South Korea) and Veronica McSwiney (Ireland).