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27 pianists from 13 countries compete in Louisiana

ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana (AP) -- A chance to perform in St. Petersburg, Russia and at Carnegie Hall is bringing 27 pianists from 13 countries to compete in Alexandria.

The Louisiana International Piano Competition is also a chance for central Louisiana residents to meet and hear musicians from around the world, president David Holcombe told The Town Talk (http://bit.ly/rpNzv4). Countries represented include Bulgaria, South Korea, Israel, Macedonia and Russia.

``I think that component of this event is extremely important,” said Holcombe. ``Our area is a poor area. The per capita income is $24,000 a year. Folks in that income range can’t travel -- certainly not international travel. So any activity that brings the world to Alexandria is a positive social experience.”

The contest, plus workshops, master classes and a junior competition, has taken place every other year since 2005. This year it’s Oct. 10-15.

Each entrant lives with an area family for the week of the competition.

First through third prizes include a performance at Carnegie Hall and $6,000, $3,000 and $1,000 respectively. First prize also includes a performance in Russia with the St. Petersburg Symphony, recording of a solo CD, a recital in the nation’s capital as part of the Washington International Piano Festival, and recitals in Louisiana.
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