Despy Karlas Prize

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The Liszt-Garrison Festival and International Piano Competition is a prestigious four-day event that takes place biennially in Baltimore, Maryland. UGA professor Richard Zimdars, Despy Karlas Professor of Piano in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, has been a member of the Board of Advisors for the Liszt-Garrison Festival since 2006. In 2007, the “Despy Karlas Prize of the University of Georgia” was added to the Liszt-Garrison Competition. The winner is rewarded with a paid solo recital engagement in Ramsey Hall at the UGA Performing Arts Center. The prize includes air fare, lodging and an honorarium. The 2009 Competition was held in October and 27-year-old Liza Stepanova, pictured, stepanovawas selected as the recipient of the 2009 Despy Karlas Prize. Born in Russia, Stepanova studied in Germany and is presently a doctoral candidate at the Julliard School of Music. She has performed in major concert halls in New York City, Austria and Switzerland. Her winning program consisted of the following: Toccata in F-sharp Minor                                    Bach Sonata in G Major, Op.31, No.1                        Beethoven Mephisto Waltz                                                Liszt St. Francis Walking on the Waves                        Liszt The Fountains at the Villa d’Este                        Liszt Caténaires                                                            Elliott Carter “A prize of a concert appearance in a beautiful hall is often more valuable to a young artist than cash,” said Zimdars, who personally oversaw the selection of Stepanova for this year’s prize. “It is a pleasure to help Liza’s career in the name of Despy Karlas and the University of Georgia.”