2 locals to compete in international piano competition

Published: Sep. 5, 2023 at 4:11 PM EDT
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SACKETS HARBOR, New York (WWNY) - Pianists from across the country will be in Cape Vincent this weekend to take part in a three-day musical competition. For the first time in a decade, two north country competitors will be vying for the top prize.

For Erdem Lukomyanski of Sackets Harbor, getting ready for this year’s Thousand Islands International Piano Competition requires more than just knowing how to tickle the ivories.

“Because this competition was coming up in the fall, I just trained in the summer a lot because the summer is free and not much is going on,” he said. “Every day for about 5 or 6 hours most of the time.”

Fifteen competitors from across the country will make their way to Cape Vincent on September 8 for the three-day musical event.

“My hopes are at least just to play everything at my best skill level. I don’t ask to be first place, or second place, or third place, but that would be nice too. This is going to be my first year playing there so... high hopes,” said Lukomyanski.

Even though the Sackets Harbor sixth grader will be facing older challengers with more experience, he knows once he’s on stage it’s simply him and the 88 black and white keys.

“The reason why I don’t get scared that much is because I just think about the piece that’s all,” he said. “I just think about the music and I just go.”

Lukomyanski will be one the first north country students to play in the event in a decade.

Alice Pan, a 17-year-old senior from Immaculate Heart Central School, will also be competing at the Thousand Islands International Competition.

The competition is organized by the Cape Vincent Arts Council.