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Pianist Spencer Myer Wins Two Competitions

Story and photo by Michael Chipman


Spencer Myer, a junior piano performance major from North Ridgeville, Ohio. He studies with Peter Takács, professor of pianoforte.
Pianist Spencer Myer, a junior from North Ridgeville, Ohio, recently won first place in the Akron-based Tuesday Musical Club Young Artsts Group Scholarship Competition, and was awarded the John Elvin Prize at Oberlin.

The Tuesday Musical Club, based in Akron, sponsors a scholarship competition every year for student singers, pianists and instrumentalists, with first and second place awards in each category. Myer says this was the first time the competition has been open to musicians from outside of Akron.

"It was a typical competition," says Myer. "Ten other pianists from all over Ohio participated. I prepared three pieces and began with one of my own choice, then the judges chose a second piece. My first choice was 'Tarantelle' by Liszt. The competition requirements also included a Bach prelude and Fugue and a sonata, so I prepared the prelude and fugue in C minor and Beethoven's 'Waldstein' sonata no. 53. We all played and they announced the winner at the end of the day."

The second round of the competition, in the form of a winners' concert, will take place in Akron on May 16, at which Myer says each of the first place winners in each category will compete for a grand prize of $2,000. "I will play the Liszt piece again for the second round. It's a good competition piece -- very showy," says Myer.

Just by coincidence, Monique Duphil, professor of piano studies, judged the Tuesday Musical Club competition. "She gave me a whole page of really helpful comments, which was nice," says Myer.

The John Elvin Prize is given to an outstanding junior pianist at Oberlin every year. "It's really simple," Myer says without pretence. "All junior pianists audition for the award (a cash prize) and the faculty chooses a winner. This year there were two winners -- Pelageya Reznichenko, from Moscow, and myself."

"I found out about these competitions from my teacher," says Meyer. He studies with Peter Takács, professor of pianoforte, who says of Myer's playing, "Spencer is one of the most natural pianists I have had the pleasure to teach. The music seems to flow out as a natural extension of himself."

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