1985 International Bach Piano Competition/Concours International Bach de Piano 1985

The 1985 International Bach Piano Competition/Concours International Bach de Piano 1985. Held in Toronto 1-12 May 1985, it was designed to commemorate J.S. Bach's tercentennial year, and to celebrate one of Bach's great interpreters by benefiting the Glenn Gould Foundation. Conceived by its executive director Nicholas Goldschmidt, this unique, international event was announced 7 Mar 1984, and drew 166 applicants (who had to be under 35 years of age) from 38 countries. The screening committee - Helmut Blume, Leonard Isaacs, Valerie Tryon - selected 36 potential canadidates, 33 of whom took part in the competition. Nine were from the USA; five from Canada (Angela Hewitt, Arthur Rowe, Larissa Schneur, Joachim Segger, and David Swan; Tema Blackstone was selected but did not compete); three each from Japan and Germany; two from the United Kingdom, one each from Belgium, France, Greece, Haiti, Hungary, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, USSR and one stateless candidate. An international jury, chaired by Gilles Lefebvre, was composed of Hedwig Bilgram and Rudolf Fischer (Germany), Leon Fleisher and Claude Frank (USA), Yvonne Loriod and Olivier Messiaen (France), Renée Morisset (Canada), John O'Donnell (Australia), Rodion Shchedrin (USSR), and Takahiro Sonoda (Japan). The three test rounds took place at the Premiere Dance Theatre, Harbourfront, and candidates were required to perform from a repertoire list that included specific Bach works in each round. Each test eliminated half the contestants. The four finalists selected were required to perform one of three Bach concertos at a concert in Roy Thomson Hall, with Andrew Davis conducting members of the TS (11 May). Angela Hewitt was awarded the $15,000 first prize, a solo debut album on Deutsche Grammophon, 20 performance engagements in Canada and Europe and the complete new Bach edition from Barenreiter-Verlag; Constanze Eickhorst (Germany) received the $10,000 second prize; Evgeni Koroliev (USSR) the $5000 third; and Boris Slusky (USA) the $2500 fourth. These awards were presented by the Governor General at the prizewinners' concert, held in Roy Thomson Hall, 12 May, at which Eickhorst and Hewitt performed in an all-Bach concert with Andrew Davis and members of the TS.

The competition created great public interest and support at local, national and international levels. CBC Stereo broadcast many of the performances, and CBC TV provided coverage of the highlights. Because of this interest and the quality of the competitors themselves, the competition generated $139,000 for the support of the Gould Foundation. All of the administrative records, including submission tapes, were deposited at the National Library of Canada.