Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
May 25 - June 10, 2017

Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

Just the Beginning

On day one of the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the reverberating silence in Bass Hall flourished into vibrant melodies and compelling harmonies through the virtuosity of six brilliant musicians!


The technical prowess, virtuosic phrasing, and musical heart that are prerequisites for selection is the distinguishing factor for The Cliburn as an unparalleled opportunity in the musical career of chosen candidates. This first day brought out the best in the first six competitors. Each competitor put on a captivating performance which made for an invigorating first day of the competition. Today we heard Julia Kociuban, Madoka Fukami, Su Yeon Kim, Leonardo Pierdomenico, Alina Bercu, and Ilya Shmukler compete in their preliminary performances. The competitors brought their absolute best to the stage and mesmerized our viewers in the hall and around the world. 


While the focal point of this competition is the performing that takes place on stage, there is a great deal that takes place behind the scenes. From the production staff and The Cliburn's beloved "Stage Mom" making sure the comptetitors needs are met backstage to Anderson and Roe keeping audiences engaged in the performance on breaks as hosts for our #Cliburn2017 webcast, there is no shortage of energy off the stage as well! The city of Fort Worth, Texas receives competitors with open arms and competitor's host families provide them with a heaping helping of our famous southern hospitality. 


In the days leading up to the competition, the competitors completed their piano selection, press events, and the traditional Drawing Party! At the "Draw" Party, the order for the competition is determined. The purpose of the event may be to determine performance order, but the spirit of the dinner party is to bring everyone together in celebration before the intensity of the three week competition ensues. At the dinner, Martin Bartlett, competitor from the United Kingdom, was asked what his favorite part about Texas was so far. Bartlett's response, "I would have to say that I have been astounded by the southern hospitality. My host, Mr. Andrew Powell, has done absolutely everything he can to make sure I am comfortable. I am so grateful!" As I watched the competitors with their respective host families, I am certain I would have received similar responses from all thirty candidates considering that The Cliburn is the only competition that provides such caring accommodations. 


Today streamed a live webcast of the competition on our website. For anyone who might have had some technical difficulties, we do have the preliminary videos streaming on the website as well. Even if you did not have technical difficulties, we encourage you to watch the videos again. The performances were breathtaking and are absolutely worth a second (or third or fourth or...) viewing! Any individual who was in Bass Hall today could feel the energy. While the competitors are competing with one another, there was nothing but congeniality and class shared among them today. 


There will be a daily blog on the highlights of the day! We will share all the best news out of the competition and information that you cannot get from any other source! Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter for constant updates throughout the day! 

Thats all for tonight, folks! Be sure to tune in for the live stream tomorrow! 


By Katie Kelly

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The 2017 Cliburn webcast is presented by:

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