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The author conducted principal historical research at the Gina Bachauer Archive at Brigham Young University, the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation office in Salt Lake City, and through a personal interview with Dr. Paul C. Pollei, Founder and Artistic Director of the competition. The repertoire programmed by each year's contestants was entered into a database, and tables document the selections presented most often by all competitors in comparison with those performed by the top-ranking finalists. The review of the Bachauer's development revealed that along with the Artists Competition, which receives international recognition for its high performance standards, adjudication procedures, prize packages and career support for the laureates, it is the Bachauer Foundation's educational focus and outreach programs that are central to its effectiveness and longevity. Repertoire findings suggest that the relationship between a competition winner's choice of literature and that of the other contestants changes as the performers advance pianistically, moving from the junior-level contests to the mature artist-level events, with the playing field being more technically balanced in the older contestants.
The document contains six chapters, a bibliography, and appendices. The first chapter introduces the topic, discusses the purpose, need, scope and limitations of the study. Chapter two provides a review of related literature, with the third chapter consisting of a brief history of selected keyboard competitions to the present day, establishing a context for the 1976 entry of the Bachauer into the arena of international competitions and its continuing growth and development. Chapter four discusses the development of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition from its introduction in 1976 as part of the Brigham Young University Summer Piano Festival in Provo, Utah, to its current status as part of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation, an independent, non-profit organization. Chapter five contains the repertoire survey and chapter six presents conclusions and recommendations for further study. Finally, appendices provide complete lists of the various competitions, the competitors and the judges by year as well as questions prepared for an interview with Paul Pollei.