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WIPF is proud to present internationally acclaimed pianists as part of its concert series. The cost of tickets is included in the participants' tuition. The concerts are open to the community, and tickets to individual concerts can be purchased at the door or reserved by emailing us at washingtonpianofest@gmail.com.

Ticket Prices:
Adults: $20; Seniors and students: $10; CUA's students with a valid student ID: free admission

Young Pianists Showcase Concert (Ward Recital Hall, CUA, Sunday, July 27)
John O'Conor (Ward Recital Hall, CUA, Sunday, July 27)

Young Pianists Showcase Concert (Ward Recital Hall, CUA, Monday, July 28)
Chongxiao Liu-Wei Gong Piano Duo (Ward Recital Hall, CUA, Monday, July 28)
Young Pianists Showcase Concert (Ward Recital Hall, CUA, Wednesday, July 30)
Ralitza Patcheva (Ward Recital Hall, CUA, Wednesday, July 30)
Adult Pianists Showcase (Ward Recital Hall, CUA, Thursday, July 31)
Yoshio Hamano (Ward Recital Hall, CUA, Thursday, July 31)
Concerts of the 2014 WIPF Participants (Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, August 1 and 2)
Closing Concert of the 2014 WIPF Participants (Ward Recital Hall, CUA, Sunday, August 3)
Young Pinanist Showcase Concert: Winners of the 2014 Catholic University Piano Competition (Ward Recital Hall, CUA, Sunday, August 3)
Santiago Rodriguez (Ward Recital Hall, CUA, Sunday, August 3)


Young Pianist Showcase Concert: Winners of the 2014 Lancaster International Piano Festival Romantic Music Competition
Sunday, July 27, 6:45-7:15 pm, Ward Hall, CUA

Program TBA

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John O'Conor
Sunday, July 27, at 7:30 pm, Ward Recital Hall, CUA

Click here to view the program

Through his recitals, concerto appearances and critically acclaimed recordings, the Irish pianist John O’Conor has earned a reputation as a masterful interpreter of the Classic and Early Romantic piano repertoires. He has been praised for his formidable technique and through his eloquent phrasing, mastery of keyboard colour and, in particular, his unique sound he has been called a true Poet of the Piano.

He has performed in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand and has appeared with such orchestras as the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, l’Orchestre National de France, the Scottish and Stuttgart Chamber Orchestras, the Israel Camerata, the NHK, Yomiuri, Kyushu, Kyoto and Sapporo Symphonies in Japan, the KBS Symphony in Korea, the Singapore Symphony, the New Zealand Symphony and the orchestras of Atlanta, Cleveland, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Seattle, Montreal, Toronto, Tampa and Washington DC in North America.

He also appears frequently with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland (and was soloist with them on their inaugural tour of the USA in 2004) and with the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

He has given concerts in many of the world’s most famous halls including Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Wigmore Hall and South Bank Centre in London, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Dvorak Hall in Prague and the Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo. He also enjoys collaborating in Lieder Recitals and performing chamber music with many instrumentalists and ensembles such as the Cleveland, Tokyo, Vanbrugh, Vermeer, Takacs, Vogler, Ying, Audubon and Navarra Quartets.

Mr. O’Conor also continues to make significant contributions to the arts in his native country and has championed the works of Ireland’s leading 19th century composer, John Field. He has become a key figure in the development of young artists through his role as Director of the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and was a co-founder of the Dublin International Piano Competition of which he is Artistic Director and Chairman of the Jury.

John O’Conor first gained widespread attention in the United States in 1986 with the release of the initial volume of the complete recorded Beethoven Sonata cycle which was issued as a box set in 1994. CD Review described Mr. O’Conor’s performances of these sonatas as “piano recording of the highest calibre and Beethoven playing at its best” and went on to say “This Beethoven series should become the complete set of choice”.

Mr. O’Conor has made more than 20 recordings for the Telarc label including the complete Beethoven Bagatelles, which was cited by the New York Times as the best recording of these works; four volumes of Mozart Piano Concertos with Sir Charles Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra; numerous works of Schubert including the late A major Sonata, the complete Impromptus and Moments Musicaux, Waltzes and the Trout Quintet with the Cleveland Quartet; and two volumes of short piano pieces entitled “Piano Classics” and “Autumn Songs”. An avid proponent of his fellow countryman John Field, he has recorded most of the composer’s major works including the complete Concertos, Sonatas and Nocturnes. His recording of Field’s Nocturnes featured on Billboard’s classical charts for many weeks. He has also made a recording of his favourite Irish Airs with the Irish Chamber Orchestra entitled “My Ireland”.

In 2007 and 2008 he recorded the complete Piano Concertos of Beethoven with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andreas Delfs which have received great acclaim.

Mr. O’Conor’s early studies began in Dublin where his main piano teacher was Dr. J.J.O’Reilly. He was awarded an Austrian Government scholarship that enabled him to study in Vienna with the renowned pedagogue Dieter Weber. He also made a special study of Beethoven with the legendary German pianist Wilhelm Kempff. In 1973 John O’Conor was unanimously awarded First Prize at the International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna and in 1975 he won First Prize at the Bösendorfer Competition.

John O’Conor is deeply committed to the development of young pianists in Ireland and in other countries. As well as being Professor of Piano at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, he gives masterclasses and lectures in many of the places he performs as well as in many of the major music institutions including the Juilliard and Manhattan Schools in New York, Harvard, Yale, Temple, Rutgers, Indiana and Seattle Universities, the Ravinia Festival, the Adamant Music School in Vermont, the Hamamatsu Piano Academy in Japan, the National University of the Arts in Korea, the Australian National Academy and the Sydney Conservatorium in Australia, the Paris Conservatoire and the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music in London. He has been a member of the Faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School since 2006 and is a regular performer at the Festival.

He has been invited on the juries of most of the world’s most prestigious International Piano Competitions including those in Leeds, Moscow (Tchaikovsky), Vienna (Beethoven), Warsaw (Chopin), Tel Aviv (Rubinstein), Hamamatsu, Beijing, Shanghai, Munich, Bolzano (Busoni), Cologne, Vevay (Clara Haskil), Cleveland, Salt Lake City (Gina Bachauer), Sydney, Pretoria, London, College Park (William Kapell), Valencia (Jose Iturbi), Hilton Head and Seoul. His students have won many international prizes.

Since 1997 he has taken on the mantle of his revered professor Wilhelm Kempff and gives the annual Beethoven Interpretation Course in Kempff’s own villa in Positano, Italy where Kempff gave the course from 1957.

In August 2010, John O’Conor retired as Director of the Royal Irish Academy of Music after 16 years at the helm during which time he introduced Masters and Doctoral degrees in performance, oversaw a major refurbishment of the building itself, acquired many new instruments for the teaching rooms (including Steinway grand pianos) and persuaded the most prominent Irish musical personalities to join the teaching faculties of the Academy. Many students have had great successes in International Music Competitions and have gone on to forge major performing careers.

John O’Conor will continue to be Professor of Piano at the RIAM but has also taken on a new position as Distinguished Visiting Artist and Professor of Piano at Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. He has also recently been appointed Visiting Professor of Piano at the Showa University of Music in Kawasaki, Japan.

For his services to music John O’Conor has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by the National University of Ireland, by Trinity College Dublin and by Shenandoah University, Virginia and an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He has been decorated with the title “Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” by the French government, awarded the “Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst” by the Austrian government and has also been decorated by the Italian and Polish governments. Most recently, the Japanese government has awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun and Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon. Mr. O’Conor has also been decorated by the governments of Italy and Poland.

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Young Pianist Showcase Concert: Winners of the 28th International Young Artist Competition:
Monday, July 28, 6:45-7:15 pm, Ward Hall, CUA

Program TBA

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Chongxiao Liu-Wei Gong Piano Duo
Monday, July 28, 7:30 pm, Ward Recital Hall, CUA

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Chinese pianist Chongxiao Liu is a full-time piano professor at the Wuhan Conservatory of Music, China. He graduated with highest honors from China Conservatory of Music in Beijing receiving BM and MM degrees in Piano Performance. In 2012, he studied in Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory under Prof. Pavel Nersessian.

He is enjoying a busy performing career as a solo pianist, chamber musician and recording artist. He has performed in the United States, Russia, Germany, France, Bulgaria and many cities in China. He has recorded for Hong Kong Radio 4, and has been a concerto soloist with China Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as Beijing Film Orchestra.

Mr. Liu has performed and taught at Washington International Piano Festival in 2012. Many students of his are prizewinners of numerous competitions in China.

Chinese pianist Wei Gong received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees under Prof. Zhihong Guo from Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. During the past few years Ms. Gong has performed solo and chamber music recitals in many cities in China, such as Beijing, Wuhan, Qingdao, and Jinan, Ms. Gong has also performed in Cannes (France), and Karlsruhe (Germany), where she recorded chamber music of Schubert and Beethoven.

Currently, Ms. Gong is a full-time piano professor at the Wuhan Conservatory of Music, China. Many of her students have won awards from their musical performances and competitions.

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Young Pianist Showcase Concert. Prizewinners from the piano studio of Irena Orlov: John Buser and Andrew Wu
Wednesday, July 30, 6:45-7:15 pm, Ward Recital Hall, CUA

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Ralitza Patcheva
Wednesday, July 30, at 7:30 pm, Ward Recital Hall, CUA

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Pianist Ralitza Patcheva has been called a “phenomenon” (The Washington Post) and praised for her “elegant pianistic technique”, “courageous, innovative interpretation” (Dolomiten, Italy) and “crystal tone; amalgamation of witty virtuosity, powerful expression and profound sensitivity” (Thuringer Landeszeitung, Germany). She is a prizewinner at the 51st International Competition Busoni in Italy, the Washington International Piano Competition and the National Symphony Orchestra Young Soloists competitions. She also won second prize at the International Chamber Music Competition “Accademia di Citta di Pinerolo” in Italy together with cellist Vasily Popov.

Ralitza Patcheva has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington DC, the Jena Philharmonic (Germany), the Haydn Orchestra (Italy), the Arlington Symphony, the Alexandria Symphony and the Williamsburg Symphonia. She has appeared in recitals at the Kennedy Center, the Phillips Collection, the Embassy Series, as well as major international concert venues the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, Gasteig and Villa Musica Mainz and Jubilee Hall in Aldeburgh.

In 2005 Ralitza Patcheva recorded a double CD with works dedicated to famous pianists of the turn of the 20th century. A copy of this album, titled "Dedicated to A Friend" is kept at the International Piano Archives of the University of Maryland. In 2007 she performed the piano version of the Enigma Variations by Sir Edward Elgar at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC. In 2009 she performed the Goldberg Variations of J.S.Bach in Washington DC. In 2013 Ralitza commenced a recital project called "A Room With a Symphony", the first part of which is performing the solo piano arrangements by Otto Singer II of the symphonies of Johannes Brahms.

Ralitza Patcheva has more than twenty concertos in her repertoire and a number of recital programs, encompassing major works of Schumann, Brahms, Liszt, Stravinsky, Bach, Schubert, Haydn, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Ravel as well as rarely performed compositions by F. Martin, K. Szymanowski, R. Hahn, P. Pabst etc. She is known for daring programming, like performing a harpsichord/piano recital at the Phillips Collection or premiering newly composed works. In 2001 Ralitza performed the world premiere of "Glasshouse", a piece for piano and electronic soundscape dedicated to her by the German composer Marco Hertenstein. In recent years she has enjoyed collaborations with composers Frances McKay, Stanislava Stoytcheva, Jessica Krash, Jonathan Bingham and Samuel Post.

At present Ralitza Patcheva is an associate chair of the chamber music program at Levine Music and adjunct faculty at Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at the Catholic University of America. She keeps and active performing schedule and has a private piano studio in Washington DC. She is the associate artistic director of the Bulgarian Music Society in Washington DC.

Ralitza Patcheva holds advanced degrees in piano performance and vocal accompaniment from the University of Maryland, the Hochschule fur Musik in Munich and Peabody Conservatory. Her early training took place at the Levine School of Music in Washington DC and the State Music School in Sofia, Bulgaria. She has studied with Andre Watts, Eliso Virsaladze, Santiago Rodriguez, Helmut Deutsch, Julian Martin, Irena Orlov and Nina Aladshem. She has also studied harpsichord with Webb Wiggins and Lois Narvey and organ with Harvey van Buren.

Dr. Patcheva has been a lecturer at the University of Maryland-College Park and adjunct faculty at the Hochschule fur Musik in Munich, Germany and the Georgetown University in Washington. From 2001 to 2003 she was a Young Artist at the “Villa Musica” foundation in Mainz, Germany.

Since 2002 she co-directs the Brown Bag Music Series at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington DC with cellist Vasily Popov. The series offer free noontime concerts on the first Thursday of every month.

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Adult Pianist Showcase Concert featuring adult pianists participating in the festival
Thursday, July 31, 6:45 -7:15 pm, Ward Recital Hall, CUA

Program TBA

Yoshio Hamano
Thursday, July 31, at 7:30 pm, Ward Recital Hall, CUA

Click here to vew the program

Japanese-Russian pianist Yoshio Hamano is currently studying with Prof Dmitri Alexeev, Professor of Advanced Piano, at the Royal College of Music as a Joseph Clover Scholar supported by a Pidem Award and Rohm Music Foundation. Yoshio has formerly studied with Dr Atsuko Okada at the Tokyo University of the Arts, Elena Ashkenazi, Vadim Sakharov, and Dr Nikita Fitenko.
He has been a prize winner of major international piano competitions, such as Nordic Piano Competition in Malmö, International Russian Music Piano Competition, Minoru Nojima Yokosuka Piano Competition, and most recently - 2013 Almaty International Piano Competition. Yoshio has been winner of Music Competition of Japan, the most prestigious national competition, and he became a semi-finalist of the 5th Sendai International Music Competition and was awarded the audience prize in June 2013. Past performances comprise appearances as soloist with orchestras and chamber ensembles, including Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Geidai Philharmonia, Lund City Orchestra, and Vienna Rasumofsky Quartet, solo recitals presented across Japan and in the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, and the CIS, as well as performances at festivals, such as Grachtenfestival (Amsterdam), Red Square Festival (Moscow), and Washington International Piano Festival. In 2012, Yoshio was named Chanel Pygmalion Days Artist and participated in the prestigious Pygmalion Days Concert Series.
In addition to performing, Yoshio works as an independent concert producer and also as the artistic director of Renaissance Projects Worldwide concert series.

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Selected WIPF Participants' Concerts (FREE ADMISSION)
Friday, August 1 and Saturday, August 2, at 6:00 pm
Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage

The concert, which will be directly webcasted online at www.kennedy-center.org, will be presented by the 2014 WIPF selected participants and will include both solo and piano ensemble music.

Auditions and the Catholic University Piano Competition (free and open to public) will be held on Tuesday, July 29, in Ward Recital Hall on CUA's campus.

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO WIPF PARTICIPANTS: Due to time limitations, we recommend to select a piece (group of pieces) that is 5-10 minutes in length.

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Closing Concert of the 2014 WIPF Participants (FREE ADMISSION)
Sunday, August 3, 11:00 am
Ward Recital Hall, CUA

Program TBA

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Young Pianist Showcase Concert: Winners of the Catholic University of America Piano Compeititon
Sunday, August 3, at 3:15-3:45 pm
Ward Recital Hall, CUA

Program TBA

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Santiago Rodriguez
Sunday, August 3, at 4:00 pm
Ward Recital Hall, CUA

Click here to view the program

Santiago Rodriguez has been called “a phenomenal pianist” (The New York Times) and “among the finest pianists in the world” (The Baltimore Sun). He has performed internationally with leading orchestras, including the London Symphony, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Weimar Philharmonic, the Yomiuri-Nippon Symphony Orchestra of Japan, the Tampere Philharmonic of Finland, the Berliner Symphoniker, the Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, Baltimore, Seattle, Indianapolis, American Composers’, and Houston Symphony Orchestras, the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, D.C., and the American Symphony Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall in New York. Mr. Rodriguez has appeared in recital at the Schauspielhaus in Berlin, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Montreal’s Theatre Maisonneuve, the Santander Festival in Spain, Alice Tully Hall in New York, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Herbst Theater in San Francisco, the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, and at the prestigious Ravenna Festival in Italy where the critics proclaimed that “he conquered the audience.” Mr. Rodriguez made his Carnegie Hall debut under the baton of Dennis Russell Davis, and also traveled to Finland for a series of concerts with Eri Klas, conducting. In recent seasons, Santiago Rodriguez has returned for engagements in Korea and Taiwan.

As a chamber musician Mr. Rodriguez has enjoyed collaborations with illustrious ensembles such as the Guarneri String Quartet and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He also toured extensively as member of a piano trio with Ruggiero Ricci and Nathaniel Rosen; and performed with such distinguished musicians as Walter Trampler, Ransom Wilson, Gervaise de Peyer, Aurora Nátola-Ginastera, and Robert McDuffie. A recent highlight was fulfilling his life-long wish to collaborate in a performance of Schubert’s Winterreise; a wish realized in partnership with the renowned Swiss artist, Françoise Loup. In a highly laudatory review of one of two sold-out engagements at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at Maryland, Tim Page, writing in the Washington Post, called the evening “A ‘Winterreise,’ Exquisitely Chilled.” He summarized Mr. Rodriguez’ contributions as “ [he] was a splendid partner, whether roaring through heroic passages or emphasizing Schubert's harmonic daring with little pointillist stabs.” In a recent radio interview, Santiago Rodriguez described the song cycles of both Schubert and Schumann as “…the most-perfect and sublime of human creations, and the ultimate musical and technical challenges for any performer.”

Santiago Rodriguez’ vast repertoire of concertos and recital programs reflect his great versatility and musical interests. Commanding a repertoire of over sixty-five (65) concertos, he has performed concertos of Bach, Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Gershwin, Liszt, Schumann, Franck, Mendelssohn, Prokofiev, and Rachmaninov over his 35-year performing career. His all-encompassing list also includes the more unusual works of Khachaturian, Strauss, Saint-Saëns, MacDowell, Falla, Pónce, Surinach, Albéniz, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and Previn. His recital list, displaying a stunning variety of solo works, ranges from the music of J.S. Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, and Debussy, to Scriabin, Prokofiev, Albéniz, Granados, Ginastera, Chávez, and Lecuona.

One of today’s foremost interpreters of the music of Sergei Rachmaninov, Santiago Rodriguez has performed all of the composer’s major piano works in concert. He is currently recording The Rachmaninov Edition, which, when completed, will encompass the entire catalog of Rachmaninov’s original solo piano compositions. The three volumes which have been released have received international acclaim: In reviewing Volumes 1 and 2, Bryce Morrison of Gramophone stated that “Santiago Rodriguez, the Cuban-American virtuoso, is born for Rachmaninov, and I doubt whether any of the works on these two discs have often been played with such a spellbinding mix of high-born virtuosity and poetic glamour.” Volume 2 was awarded the Washington Area Music Award for best classical recording of 1995, and Volume 3 was selected by Classical Pulse as one of the best recordings of 1995.

Santiago Rodriguez’ other recordings of repertoire from Bach to Ginastera, all on Élan Recordings, have been acclaimed for their “blazing conviction, tremendous technical strength, unswerving concentration and galvanic excitement...” (American Record Guide). National Public Radio’s Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection recommends three of Mr. Rodriguez’ recordings as “the best available” performances, and his recording of the Rachmaninov and Prokofiev Third Concertos has been internationally acclaimed as one of the best in recorded history; the Chicago Tribune spoke of “the enormous sweep and impeccable control,” and American Record Guide concluded that “this Rachmaninov Third goes immediately to the top of the list.” Mr. Rodriguez has recorded numerous world premieres, including Piano Concerto No. 1 by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco; the Concertino for piano, strings, and cymbals of Carlos Surinach; Leonard Bernstein’s Touches; piano concertos from the movies Nightsong and Phantom of the Opera, both of which are featured on his release, Piano in Hollywood, and the Piano Sonata No. 2 of Alberto Ginastera, which was premiered by Mr. Rodriguez at Alice Tully Hall in New York. Santiago Rodriguez’ latest project took him to Berlin where he recorded Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Berliner Symphoniker and Stephen Gunzenhauser, conducting. This is his 14th recording for the company.

Santiago Rodriguez was born in Cárdenas, Cuba and began his piano studies at age four. After Castro seized power in Cuba, his parents sent Mr. Rodriguez and his younger brother to America under the care of the Catholic Charities. He spent the next six years in an orphanage in New Orleans. Fortunately, his mother had concealed money along with a note begging the nuns to continue his musical education. Two years after his arrival, he made his concert debut at age ten performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 with the New Orleans Philharmonic. His international career was launched in 1981 when he won the Silver Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition; he also received a special prize for the best performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Touches, a work commissioned for the competition. Mr. Rodriguez’ unique life and artistry were profiled on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Kurault in 1993. He has also been featured numerous times on the ABC, NBC, PBS, CNN, BBC, and CBC television networks.

Santiago Rodriguez also enjoys a distinguished reputation as a teacher and master-clinician. Since 1980, he was a member of the Piano Division at the University of Maryland where he held the rank of Professor and Artist-in-residence. Beginning in September, 2009, he accepted the position of Professor and Artist-in-residence at the Frost School of Music, University of Miami.

Santiago Rodriguez holds a masters degree from the Juilliard School, where he studied on full scholarship as a pupil of Adele Marcus, and he completed his undergraduate studies magna cum laude with William Race at the University of Texas.

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