Japanese sisters Ayaka and Yuka Yamamoto, who have been performing together for four years as Duo Yamamoto, won the gold medal and $25,000 top prize Thursday night at the 12th Dranoff International 2 Piano Competition in Coral Gables. The pair triumphed with their interpretation of Poulenc’s Concerto for two pianos and orchestra in D minor.
The silver medal and $15,000 second prize went to Duo Yoo and Kim of South Korea. Germany’s Duo ImPuls, considered a favorite going into the finals after winning three best-performance prizes and the audience-favorite award, finished third, taking home $10,000.
Jurors were music educators Bernd Goetzke of Hannover Musikhochschule, John Perry of the University of Southern California and Wu Ying of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music; pianist Volker Stenzl and arts administrators Chloe Herteleer, De Singel Music Complex, Antwerp; Kate Monaghan, Lincoln Center, and Benjamin Schwartz, Boston Symphony Orchestra.
The Miami-based Dranoff International 2 Piano Foundation was established in 1987 by the late pianist and educator Loretta Dranoff, in memory of her husband and performance partner, Murray Dranoff; dranoff2piano.com.