Aditya Deshpande ’22 performed Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major to win the 16th Cornell Concerto Competition, held Dec. 9 in Barnes Hall. He will perform the concerto with the Cornell Symphony Orchestra at a concert on campus in March.
A freshman computer science major, Deshpande is a highly accomplished pianist and is studying piano at Cornell with Ryan McCullough, a doctoral student in contemporary performance practice. As a high school senior, he placed first in three music competitions: a Steinway Junior Piano Competition in Houston in June 2018; the Clear Lake Symphony Youth Concerto Competition in January 2018; and the Symphony North of Houston Concerto Competition in December 2017.
In 2016, he was a finalist at the Seattle International Piano Competition, and in 2011 he placed first at the MusiQuest national level piano competition in India. He also has performed at the International Piano Competition in Ettlingen, Germany.
Judges selected two other finalists during the competition.
Pianist Orvill Delatorre ’19, an independent major in the College of Engineering, performed Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, Movement 1. Delatorre studies chemical engineering and computer science, and piano with Andrew Zhou, a doctoral student in critical keyboard studies. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.
Nicole Bradbury ’20, a linguistics and French major, performed Lars-Erik Larsson’s Horn Concertino No. 5, Movement 3. Bradbury is a member of the Cornell Wind Symphony and participated in its 2017 tour to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She studies French horn with Ilze Brink-Button at Cornell and is the treasurer of Hortus Forum, the undergraduate horticulture club.
The annual competition is sponsored by the Department of Music and is open to all student musicians at Cornell.
“Even after four years of working at Lincoln Hall, I’m still finding myself stunned by the high level of musicianship our students are displaying in lessons, rehearsals, competitions and concerts,” said the competition’s organizer, Timna Mayer, interim Cornell Chamber Orchestra director and visiting lecturer for violin and viola. “We had 11 outstanding musicians perform repertoire ranging from Gershwin to Liszt and Paganini. Even though only one of our competitors was actually a music major, they all performed with such professionalism and passion.”
The judges were: Malcolm Bilson, the Frederick J. Whiton Professor Emeritus of Music; Sonya Stith Williams, assistant concertmaster of Symphoria in Syracuse; and conductor Daniel Hege, music director of the Wichita Symphony and the Binghamton Philharmonic.