The Cliburn launched a major new program in 2015—a competition and festival for pianists ages 13 to 17. The First Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival took place June 21–28, 2015, in Fort Worth, Texas, on the campus of TCU. 1997 Cliburn gold medalist Jon Nakamatsu served as jury chairman, and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra performed with each of three finalists under conductor Mei-Ann Chen. Competition performances were open to the public and all were webcast live at The 23 exceptional young pianists who competed—selected from an applicant pool of 160—represented 14 nations. “This competition helped us establish relationships with the top international talent at an earlier age,” said Jacques Marquis, Cliburn president and CEO. “But, just as important, this was another means for the Cliburn to use its standing and expertise to encourage tomorrow’s great artists. We have provided a valuable forum for them to express themselves and an entrance to the next step of their journeys. The top international jurors, the media and webcast, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the festival atmosphere — which included performance experience and professional career advice — all made the Competition and Festival significantly useful for a student who has aspirations of being a professional musician.”


June 21–28, 2015

First Prize
Alim Beisembayev, Kazakhstan, 17

Second Prize
Arsenii Mun, Russia, 16

Third Prize
Youlan Ji, China, 16

Audience Award
Misha Galant, USA, 17

Best Performance of a Classical Sonata
Misha Galant, USA, 17

Best Performance of a Lyrical Work
Adam Balogh, Hungary, 17

Jury Discretionary Awards
Clayton Stephenson, USA, 16
Tony Yike Yang, Canada, 16