Cliburn Masterpiece is a new series that examines the who, what, when, where, and how of the greatest piano works. Cliburn laureates and other esteemed specialists, in and outside the field of music, join host Buddy Bray to lead us through the story of each piece—the composer, the background, the narrative, the characters, the technical difficulties, and more. Each episode ends with a standout, full performance of the piece from a past Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

If you enjoy watching Cliburn Masterpiece, please consider making a donation here to support this programming. The Cliburn now has text-to-give capabilities! Donate to the Cliburn by texting CAH2021 to 44-321.


New episodes premiere at 2 p.m. CT on the dates listed.

April 25 

SCHUBERT Sonata in C Minor, D. 958
featuring Yekwon Sunwoo, 2017 gold medal

May 9   

MENDELSSOHN Fantasy in F-sharp Minor, op. 28 (“Scottish Sonata”)
featuring Dasol Kim, 2017 jury discretionary award

May 23

“ENCORES” featuring seven great encore pieces with introductions from pianists





PROKOFIEV Sonata No. 8 in B-flat Major, op. 84
featuring Georgy Tchaidze, 2017 finalist
Dr. Peter Kupfer, SMU associate professor and chair of musicology

RAVEL Gaspard de la nuit
featuring Haochen Zhang, 2009 gold medal
Marc-André Hamelin, pianist

SCRIABIN Sonata No. 5, op. 53
featuring Sean Chen, 2013 third prize
Jerome Lowenthal, pianist


SCHUMANN Kreisleriana, op. 16
featuring Rachel Cheung, 2017 finalist and audience award winner
Dr. Jeffrey Todd, TCU professor of modern languages and literature



MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition
featuring Daniel Hsu, 2017 Cliburn bronze


BACH Toccata in C Minor, BWV 911
featuring Kenny Broberg, 2017 Cliburn silver

VINE Sonata No. 1
featuring Steven Lin, 2013 Cliburn jury discretionary award winner + Carl Vine, composer

CHOPIN Preludes, op. 28
featuring Fei-Fei, 2013 Cliburn finalist



STRAVINSKY Trois mouvements de Petrouchka
featuring Vadym Kholodenko, 2013 Cliburn gold + Marin Alsop, conductor