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Press Releases

Martha Argerich and Sergei Babayan to Perform in Cleveland

May 16, 2017 | By Jonathan Eifert
Founder, Jonathan Eifert Public Relations
The Cleveland International Piano Competition (CIPC) announced today that it will present legendary pianist Martha Argerich in a piano duo performance with her friend and colleague Sergei Babayan on Monday, October 30, 7:30 pm in Severance Hall. It is a first-ever Cleveland appearance for Ms. Argerich.

The two virtuosos, who have been performing together for several years, will present a spectacular program that includes works for two pianos by Mozart and the U.S. premiere of Mr. Babayan’s two-piano transcriptions of works by Prokofiev.

Ms. Argerich is widely regarded as one of the greatest pianists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Born in Buenos Aires in 1941, she has garnered an extraordinary list of accolades, culminating in December 2016 with a Kennedy Center Honors recognition of lifetime artistic achievement.

Mr. Babayan was born in Armenia in 1961. He came to the United States for the first time as a contestant in the 1989 Cleveland International Piano Competition (formerly the Robert Casadesus International Piano Competition). He won first prize, and chose immediately to remain in Cleveland, making it his permanent home. He is a pianist and teacher of worldwide renown with a robust solo career.

“I remember once standing in line for hours for tickets to see Martha Argerich when I was a young piano student,” said CIPC President and CEO Pierre van der Westhuizen. “We’re absolutely delighted to present her in Cleveland – and having her play with a CIPC winner who has gone on to have his own spectacular career makes it beyond special. ‘Once in a lifetime’ is so overused, but in this case the words really apply.”

Tickets are $30 to $120 and will be available at on June 1.

The concert is part of the 2017 CIPC Concert Series, a full year of concerts that is presented in the year following either the Cleveland International Piano Competition or the CIPC for Young Artists competition.


W.A. MOZART (1756 – 1791)

Sonata for Two Pianos, K. 448

Larghetto and Allegro for Two Pianos, K. deest.

S. PROKOFIEV (1891 – 1953)/trans. S. BABAYAN (b. 1961)

Suite from “Romeo and Juliet,” Op. 64

Selections from incidental music to “Hamlet,” Op. 77 (U.S. Premiere)

Selections from incidental music to “Eugene Onegin,” Op. 71 (U.S. Premiere)

Film music from “Queen of Spades,” Op. 70 (U.S. Premiere)


The Cleveland International Piano Competition is an organization dedicated to supporting the young artists who have made our musical heritage their life’s work. This is accomplished through four major programs and events, including the Cleveland International Piano Competition and Festival, the CIPC for Young Artists Competition and Institute, the CIPC Concert Series, and ArtsConnect, a music-based community outreach program.

Within this framework, the organization presents two major internationalcompetitions: First is the Cleveland International Piano Competition for artists ages 18 to 30, which was founded in 1974. It attracts the best young piano talent from around the world to compete for top prizes; engages an audience of 10 to 15,000 over a period of 15 days; and culminates in two sold-out performances at Severance Hall that feature the four finalists performing with The Cleveland Orchestra. Second is CIPC for Young Artists, for pianists ages 12 to 17. CIPC for Young Artists is an international competition designed to provide a top-level competition and learning experience for very young pianists who have the talent and potential to engage in successful performance careers.




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