Dina Kasman from Vestavia, Alabama, won first prize in the Steinway Society piano competition on the Gulf Coast.
The regional competition was held last Saturday, January 23, in Mobile, Alabama, with face-to-face appearances. In addition to Alabama, students from Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi also took part.
Kasman is a junior music major at the College of Arts and Sciences Music Institute and is a student in the University Honors Program at UAB Honors College. She played works by Bach, Beethoven and Rachmaninoff and won the Upper College Solo Division.
Exactly a year ago, Kasman won the same competition in the College Piano Concerto department. Last fall, she was named the alternative winner of the state-run MTNA piano auditions. She is also the winner of the Birmingham Music Clubs Scholarship Auditions and second place winner in the Alabama Federation of Music Clubs.
The Gulf Coast Steinway Society is a non-profit organization founded to promote good music through education and performance.
Kasman is a student of her father’s, artist-in-residence and distinguished professor of piano Yakov Kasman, DMA. However, Kasman also teaches her own award-winning students – in the same competition in which she won the Upper College Solo Division, her own student won second place in the High School Solo Division. She has been a member of the Music Teachers National Association for several years and regularly presents her students at the concerts and competitions of the local Alabama Music Teachers Association.
Dina Kasman and Alumna Mira Walker were winners of a UAB and Alabama Symphony Concerto / Aria competition and were scheduled to perform as soloists last April. Unfortunately, this did not happen because of the pandemic.
Most music competitions have now been held virtually since the pandemic. Students keep records and submit them for the judges to watch on their computer screens and make their decisions.
“This is not ideal and makes it more difficult for both the students and the judges. However, for a while this was the only solution to staying afloat and keeping the music going,” said Yakov Kasman. “Now more and more events like this have the opportunity to play in person or through Zoom. With that in mind, I think our lives are very slow but are still taking a turn like it was before the pandemic.” “
Students must wear a mask for all live performances. This makes it even more difficult to perform, but “having the choice of appearing in a mask or not at all the choice is obvious,” he said.
This press release was produced by the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The views expressed here are the author’s own.