March 5, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thirty pianists from fourteen countries to compete this spring in
the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
Global event offers young musicians worldwide exposure and hundreds
of concert engagements valued at over $1,000,000
"...a competition which in the 21st century has become the most
prestigious in the world" (Pravda)
FORT WORTH, TEXAS, MARCH 5, 2009--The Van Cliburn Foundation has
announced the names of the thirty young pianists selected to
compete in the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano
Competition, to be held May 22-June 7 in Fort Worth's Bass
Performance Hall. The announcement follows two months of worldwide
screening recitals, which consisted of 151 auditions at six
locations in China, Europe, and the United States.
At stake is an unparalleled opportunity to perform throughout the
United States, as the six finalists share three years of concert
tours, including more than 300 engagements coordinated by the Van
Cliburn Foundation over the three years following the competition.
Fees received by the Cliburn winners from U.S. engagements will
total in excess of $1,000,000.
Considered "one of the music world's main events" (St. Louis Post-
Dispatch), the 2009 Cliburn Competition will showcase some of the
world's most talented pianists from all corners of the globe.
Korean pianist Yeol Eum Son performed by invitation at the
welcoming concert for the United Nations' new secretary general,
Ban Ki-moon, at the U.N. General Assembly Hall in New York City.
Czech pianist Lukas Vondracek gave his first concert at age four.
Italian Alessandro Deljavan recorded his first CD at age sixteen.
And, for the first time in the event's forty-seven-year history, a
blind pianist will compete (Japan's Nobuyuki Tsujii).
Five pianists were competitors in the 2005 Cliburn Competition:
American Stephen Beus, Chinese Di Wu, Korean Soyeon Lee, Canadian
Ang Li, and Russian Ilya Rashkovskiy.
Fourteen countries will be represented by competitors at the
Cliburn 2009: Australia (1), Bulgaria (1), Canada (1), China (7),
Czech Republic (1), Germany (1), Greece (1), Israel (2), Italy (2),
Japan (3), Korea (4), Russia (2), Ukraine (1), and the United
Thirteen of the thirty competitors are from Asian countries. With
seven competitors, China, for the first time in the Cliburn's
history, will have the largest percentage of representatives.
The pianists range in age from 19 to 30.
All thirty pianists (thirteen women and seventeen men) will perform
fifty-minute solo recitals in the Preliminary Round, May 22-26,
from which twelve pianists will advance to the Semifinal Round.
During the semifinals, May 28-31, each pianist will perform a
sixty-minute solo recital featuring one of the winning contemporary
pieces from the Foundation's third American Composers Invitational,
and a piano quintet with the Takács Quartet, one of the world's
premier string quartets. Six pianists will then advance to the
Final Round. The finals, June 3-7, will see the remaining pianists
performing fifty-minute solo recitals and two concertos with the
Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, led by Maestro James Conlon, one of
classical music's preeminent conductors and music director of the
Los Angeles Opera.
The winners will be announced during the Awards Ceremony on June
As part of the Foundation's goal to provide media exposure for all
pianists participating in the competition, the seventeen-day event
will be webcast live and on-demand, free of charge, starting May
22. Online audiences will have the opportunity to vote for their
favorite pianists at each phase of the competition. An official
blog will provide commentary. Registration to view the webcast
begins today at the Cliburn website.
The thirty competitors have already passed through an extensive
screening process: written applications were received from 225
pianists worldwide. The applications were then whittled down to
just over 150 pianists (representing thirty-seven countries) who
participated in the worldwide screening audition recitals in
Shanghai, China; Hannover, Germany; St. Petersburg, Russia; Lugano,
Switzerland; New York, New York; and Fort Worth, Texas, during
January and February. The auditions, free and open to the public,
consisted of forty-minute solo recitals of repertoire selected by
each pianist, and were presided over by a five-member jury, each of
whom is also a member of the Cliburn 2009 competition jury.
The Thirty Competitors
Mr. Stephen Beus, United States, 27
Mr. Evgeni Bozhanov, Bulgaria, 25
Mr. Yue Chu, China, 25
Mr. Ran Dank, Israel, 27
Mr. Alessandro Deljavan, Italy, 22
Ms. Yoonjung Han, Korea, 24
Ms. Kyu Yeon Kim, Korea, 23
Ms. Naomi Kudo, United States/Japan, 22
Ms. Natacha Kudritskaya, Ukraine, 25
Mr. Eduard Kunz, Russia, 28
Ms. Andrea Lam, Australia, 27
Ms. Soyeon Lee, Korea, 29
Ms. Ang Li, Canada, 24
Mr. Michail Lifits, Germany, 26
Mr. Spencer Myer, United States, 30
Mr. Ilya Rashkovskiy, Russia, 24
Ms. Mayumi Sakamoto, Japan, 26
Ms. Yeol Eum Son, Korea, 23
Mr. Victor Stanislavsky, Israel, 26
Mr. Chetan Tierra, United States, 25
Mr. Nobuyuki Tsujii, Japan, 20
Ms. Mariangela Vacatello, Italy, 27
Mr. Vassilis Varvaresos, Greece, 26
Mr. Lukas Vondracek, Czech Republic, 22
Ms. Di Wu, China, 24
Ms. Amy J. Yang, United States/China, 25
Mr. Feng Zhang, China, 23
Mr. Haochen Zhang, China, 19
Mr. Ning Zhou, China, 21
Ms. Zhang Zuo, China, 20
The Cliburn 2009 officially begins for the thirty competitors on
May 20 with the Gala Opening Dinner and Draw Party at the
Renaissance Worthington Hotel. Additional events during the
competition open to the public include symposia at the Van Cliburn
Recital Hall in the Maddox-Muse Center and a Piano Marathon in the
McDavid Studio, where non-advancing competitors will perform their
remaining repertoire. The event culminates with the Awards Ceremony
on the evening of June 7.
The Foundation manages engagements in the United States for all
finalists of the competition on a commission-free basis. The gold
medalist is offered additional concert engagements in Europe and
Asia, in conjunction with IMG Artists, Europe. During the 2009-2010
season, the gold medalist has been invited to perform at
prestigious music festivals in Germany, Poland, and the United
States, and will be a featured soloist with Orchestra Europa at
London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, as well as with ten U.S. orchestras,
including the Colorado, Santa Fe, and Utah Symphony Orchestras.
(For a complete listing of the confirmed awards for the Cliburn
2009 winners, please visit the Foundation's website.)
To purchase subscriptions to the competition, please visit
www.cliburntickets.org or call 800.462.7979.
Individual tickets to the competition will go on sale Friday, March
13 at 10:00 a.m. To purchase individual tickets, please visit
www.centralticketoffice.com or call 800.462.7979.
Jurors for the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano
Marcello Abbado*, former director of the Milan Conservatory and
founder of the Symphonic Orchestra Verdi in Milan
Dmitri Alexeev, internationally acclaimed pianist and the first
Russian artist to become the first-prize winner of the Leeds
International Piano Competition (1975)
Michel Beroff, pianist and faculty member of the Paris
Conservatoire, he is credited with more than fifty recordings and
is establishing a career as a conductor
Hung-Kuan Chen*, chairman of the Shanghai Conservatory piano
department and director of its International Piano Academy, is a
gold medal winner of both the Arthur Rubinstein and Busoni
Competitions and was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in
Richard Dyer*, writer, lecturer, former chief music critic for the
Boston Globe for thirty-three years, and two-time recipient of the
ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for distinguished music criticism
John Giordano, Chairman*, jury chairman for the Van Cliburn
International Piano Competition since 1973, former music director
of the Fort Worth Symphony and Chamber Orchestras for twenty-seven
years, music director of the Corpus Christi Symphony
Joseph Kalichstein, the first chamber music adviser to the Kennedy
Center and a founding member of the acclaimed
Yoheved Kaplinsky*, chair of the piano department at the Juilliard
School in New York, as well as professor of piano at Texas
Christian University in Fort Worth
Jürgen Meyer-Josten, former head of music of Bavarian Radio in
Munich for more than two decades, and director of the International
Music Competition of the Broadcasting Companies of Germany in
Munich since 1967
Menahem Pressler, pianist and founder of the Beaux Arts Trio
Tadeusz Strugala, prominent Polish conductor, professor at the
Krakow Music Academy, and guest conductor of orchestras in Warsaw,
Prague, and Vienna
(*denotes member of screening audition jury)
ExxonMobil is the Principal Corporate Sponsor of the Van Cliburn
Foundation. American Airlines, Bank of America, City of Fort Worth,
J.P.Morgan, Star-Telegram, Steinway & Sons, and XTO Energy Inc.
are Official Corporate Sponsors, and RadioShack Corporation is the
Cliburn's Corporate Sponsor. Official Sponsors are the Amon G.
Carter Foundation, Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County,
Beaumont Foundation of America, the Burnett Foundation, and the Sid
W. Richardson Foundation. Star-Telegram is the principal media
partner and WRR 101.1 FM is the official radio station of Cliburn
Contact: Laura Grant