The piano ‘Yoda’ of Italy

Posted Saturday, May. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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As Luca Buratto was kicking off his first preliminary recital Friday night, one audience member was paying particularly rapt attention.

William Grant Nabore, as artistic director of the International Piano Academy-Lake Como, is not only one of Buratto’s primary music teachers and coaches, but he’s also the Yoda-like mentor behind four other of this year’s competitors: Tomoki Sakata of Japan, who played Saturday afternoon (the field’s youngest competitor at 19), Alessandro Taverna and Alessandro Deljavan of Italy (both of whom play Saturday night), and France’s Francois Dumont, who plays Monday morning.

But this year’s output of piano talent under his tutelage is hardly exceptional for Nabore. And he’s happy to volunteer the numbers to prove it: “My five students this year bring my total to 16 at the Cliburn since 1997,” Nabore said, while waiting for Buratto to begin his recital. “Over the years, I’ve had eight semi-finalists, four finalists and, in Stanislav Ioudenitch, one gold medal winner.”

Now that’s a stable of winners that’s hard to argue with.

— Andrew Marton, Special to the Star-Telegram

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