Assaff Weisman wins Iowa Piano Competition


28-year-old Iranian Assaff Weisman won the 2006 Iowa Piano Competition this month, and wins $7,500 and a glass plaque.

When speaking of the finalists, Doug Gerhart, Sioux City Symphony Orchestra executive director, told of their professionalism

“They’re tremendous artists but also fine human beings,” Gerhart said.

Contest finalist Dmitri Shelest, a Ukraine native, said, “it’s always nice to be in a good, friendly environment.”

Prior to the winners being announced the trio of Weisman, Sean Kennard of Philadelphia, and Shelest of Highland Heights, Ky., hung out backstage as a close-knit group.

When it was announced that Shelest took third place the crowd gave a rousing applause.

Kennard then stepped forward to take second place, receiving a pat on the back from Weisman, who told him, “I’ll see you out there.”

It is unknown when the three musicians will meet again. But when they do, Weisman said, “the results will be different. I was surprised that I won.”

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