Column: Hometown musical competition starts this summer


This summer, the Palladium will fill with the notes of Chopin’s Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Rachmaninov’s Sonata No 1 and even Beethoven’s Hammerklavier. Young fingers capable of musical magic will float atop black and white keys displaying their results from months of practice.  But more than their desire to create beautiful classical music on a piano, is their drive to win.

For most of the 150 young competitors hailing from three continents and eight states, the opportunity to perform in a facility such as the Palladium is a once in a lifetime dream. But that break will only come to the best of the best. The second annual Carmel Debut International Piano Competition takes place June 29 through July 2 for ages 5 to 19.  Prelims take place in the Tarkington Theater with those who are good enough, advancing to the Palladium for the finals in front of a live audience.

Local piano teacher Irina Gorin emigrated from Ukraine in 1993 and has long imagined a competition right here in her new hometown.  She wanted a competition for her students that met her high standards and challenged her pupils to extend themselves.

She said, “Our first competition last year was highly praised and very well received.  All performances were in the Tarkington and moving to the Palladium is a big step for us.”

Moving to the Palladium means higher expenses and the committee is now in full planning mode.  They are seeking sponsors, volunteers and donations to ensure the second edition of the event exceeds the success of the first.

Kumiko Brunson, a member of the committee and the person in charge of fundraising said, “The committee members are immigrant women who built successful businesses and wish to leave a legacy of cultural awareness.”   She also said, “We are actively searching for sponsors who agree with this goal.”

Tatyana Komarova, Executive Director of the International Talent Academy is providing organizational support for the competition.  She is well known in local arts circles and her school is critical to arts skills training for Carmel’s children.

Even Mayor Brainard is praising the women’s efforts by saying, “The decision to base this artistic initiative in our city is a welcome addition, further enhancing our mission to make Carmel a Midwest destination for cultural arts.”

To learn more about the event or to get involved as a sponsor, visit