This evening Yury Favorin (30, Russia) went first out of the three competitors performing Prokofiev's Piano Concerto in G Minor. Following Favorin, Kenneth Broberg (23, United States) performed Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini. To conclude the evening's performance, Yekwon Sunwoo (28, South Korea) performed Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto in D Minor. Thunderous applause followed each performance. In fact, I am curious what the decibel level might have been in the hall following each performance. Perhaps there is an award for most deafening applause. Who would win that? I am not entirely sure, but I can say that the competition would be fierce.
Backstage there was a Cliburn reunion of epic proportions. Following Kenneth Broberg's performance, his former teachers greeted him with beaming smiles. Broberg's professor from the University of Houston and 1981 Cliburn competitor, Nancy Weems, was present and overjoyed! Broberg's current teacher at Park University and 2001 Cliburn Gold Medalist, Stanislav Ioudenitch, was thrilled and also there to greet Broberg after his performance! A stunning trio they are indeed! Rumor has it that Broberg was greeted outside of the Bass Hall doors to a crowd of shrieking fans. Broberg's experience is certainly reminiscent of Van Cliburn in this way!
Fans gathered in Sundance Square to see the medici.tv webcast streamed live! The crowd was huge and the energy in the air was electric. Attendees were even dancing to the performances! After each performance, the crowd applauded as if they were also sitting in Bass Hall watching the performances in person. This is yet another example of how the community in Fort Worth, Texas rallies around The Cliburn and values the legacy of Van Cliburn himself. I must admit, tonight is a lovely evening in Texas and viewing the competition outdoors is almost as appealing as being seated outside enjoying this beautiful night while being serenaded by potential Cliburn medalists.
Wrapping my head around tomorrow being the final day of the competition is difficult. Having all of the different cultures represented in Fort Worth for the duration of the competition has been a delight. As a native Tennessean, experiencing all of this first hand is an experience I will always treasure. Having developed relationships with staff and competitors, to say that I am ready for all of them to leave would be the absolute furthest statement from the truth imaginable.
Be sure to tune in tomorrow for the final day of the competition.
By Katie Kelly