This may not be SNL and Christopher Walken may not be backstage asking for more cowbell, but if you were yearning for more Mozart, the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition has plenty!
On the third day of the semifinal round, we wrapped up the solo recitals with performances by Tony Yike Yang (18) of Canada and Yekwon Sunwoo (28) of South Korea. Yang performed a program consisting of Sonata in A Major, K. 212 and Sonata in D Minor, K. 9 both by Scarlatti. In addition to these works, Yang performed Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Minor, op. 35 by Chopin and Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky. Following Yang's performance, a Yekwon Sunwoo performed his semifinal solo recital which included Beethoven's Sonata No. 30 in E Major, op. 109, "Ramble on the Last Love-duet" from Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier by Strauss-Grainger, and concluded with Prokofiev's Sonata No. 6 in A Major, op. 82. Yang and Sunwoo had enthralling performances!
This evening Leonardo Pierdomenico, Kenneth Broberg, Daniel Hsu, and Dasol Kim performed Mozart Concerti with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Nicholas McGegan. The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra achieves exceptionally cohesive blending and their sensitivity is second to none. The orchestra absolutely provided the metaphorical floor upon which the soloists danced this evening. With Baroque and Classical specialist McGegan on the podium, The Cliburn has a winning combination to accompany these virtuosic artists. Pictured below is Kenneth Broberg during his performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 25 in C Major, K. 503!
A trademark of The Cliburn is the backstage experience. While the Backstage Moms are frequently mentioned, a significant part of the experience is actually the other competitors. Despite the heightening tensions, there has been only support and compassion from one competitor to another. Following his performance, Hsu quickly got out of the way of the cameras after shaking Dasol Kim's hand to avoid stealing a moment of attention away from Kim. While the competitors may function entirely off this program, they are perceptive enough to know when they are asking too much of the staff and when to support their fellow competitors despite their competitive nature.
The first performances of the Mozart Concerti were absolutely divine. Please join us online for the medici.tv webcast coverage of the remainder of the competition. We are active on Facebook, Instagram, and are live tweeting throughout the competition! Don't risk missing a defining moment! Tune in to the webcast!
By Katie Kelly