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October 6, 2005
CONTACT: Carol Anderson
734.487.4400
carol.anderson@emich.edu

EMU pianist wins national piano competition

YPSILANTI - Sometimes you just know you’re at the top of your game. That was the case with Joshua Jobst, an Eastern Michigan University graduate student, who won the national “Best Interpretation of a Composition by Franz Liszt” award and second place overall at the William Garrison Piano Competition Sept. 24 in Baltimore, Md. He was the only pianist from Michigan to win.

“Joshua is only the second EMU pianist to be a prize winner in a major competition,” said Garik Pedersen, EMU professor of piano and Jobst’s piano teacher.

For most schools, it is rare to have students accepted into a major event, said Pedersen, since competitors are usually from such well-known music schools as Julliard in New York.

This year’s competition, sponsored by the American Liszt Society, included pianists from the Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, the Manhattan School of Music and Rice University.

“I felt it was the best I had ever played Liszt’s Sonata in B Minor,” said Jobst, who described the daylong competition as grueling. “I was so exhausted, but I played my heart out, and was surprised and happy to get the Liszt award. It meant more to me than the grand prize since it was a Liszt competition.”

In addition to the Liszt Sonata, Jobst’s program included Beethoven’s Sonata in A Major, Op. 101; Chopin’s Ballade in F Minor, Op. 54; and “Toward the Light” by George Flynn.

The William Garrison Piano competition is open to American pianists, 19-35 years old, and involves three rounds of competition. The preliminary round has applicants submitting CDs of their work for judging while the semifinal and final rounds are live and open to the public. This year, there were eight semifinalists who were narrowed to four finalists.

Jobst, of Belleville, was a semifinalist in the Viardo International Piano Competition in California and won the EMU Graduate Performance Award, both in 2005.

Jobst received a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Concordia University and plans to become a performing concert pianist.

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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