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Classical 101

Yulianna Avdeeva First Woman in 45 Years to Win Chopin Competition

[DRAFT: INCLUDES COMMENTARY ON DEAD VIDEO LINK; IF WE KEEP WILL NEED TO RETRIEVE RIGHT VIDEO AND OK WITH JENNIFER] You know, it's the year 2010 (almost 2011), and I'm wondering why I'm still so enthused when a woman wins big. It's not that it hasn't been done before. I guess it's just that we (we girls, that is) lagged behind men in the realm of professional succes for, oh, a few millennia, and the thrill of seeing women make good on the opportunities we've carved out for ourselves is far from gone. So I am thrilled that 25-year-old Russian pianist Yulianna Avdeeva has won the 16th Chopin International Piano Competition, making her the first woman to take top honors at these "Olympics of the piano" since powerhouse Martha Argerich received the laurels in 1965. Here's some video of Avdeeva's performance in the Chopin Competition finals. Her playing is clean, some might say flawless. Her interpretation is sensitive yet unaffected. Her stage demeanor (and attire) is professional. If we can keep her away from marketers with fetishes for cleavage and beatific blank stares, she might just forge a new brand of female classical musician: one who is admired and revered not for her packaging but for her talent. Imagine that. But I digress. Here's Yulianna: [youtube 96kbYp8zKUc 490 344] If you're like me, you just cannot wait to hear more of her work. Yulianna, you've done womankind proud. You go girl! - Jennifer Hambrick