Cliburn Competition identifies 30 finalists

Rachel Cheung

Almost since its inception more than a half-century again, the quadrennial Cliburn International Piano Competition — founded by (and named after) the legendary Fort Worth maestro Van Cliburn, who wowed the world with his interpretation of Tchaikovsky so impressively, he won a Russian-based contest at the height of the Cold War — has been a crown jewel in the world of classical music. It has also focused a lot of attention on North Texas as an arts hub, which ain’t a bad thing.

This morning, the Cliburn Foundation announced the names of the 30 finalists for the 15th competition, which will take place this summer. Nearly 300 pianists submitted applications, and 141 auditioned live in five cities from Budapest to Seoul. Sixteen nations are represented (including, of course, Russia) by the contestants, who will range in age from 18 to 30 (as of the final day of the competition). Nine women and 21 men will compete.

Cliburn died 0n Feb. 27, 2013, just as the 14th festival was about to announce its competitors, making this year basically the first to be finalized entirely after the gay maestro’s death.

Philipp Scheucher

Here are the competitors. The competition will span May 25–June at Bass Performance Hall.

Martin James Bartlett, United Kingdom, age 20

Sergey Belyavskiy, Russia, 23

Alina Bercu, Romania, 27

Kenneth Broberg, United States, 23

Luigi Carroccia, Italy, 25

Han Chen, Taiwan, 25

Rachel Cheung, Hong Kong, 25

Yury Favorin, Russia, 30

Madoka Fukami, Japan, 28

Mehdi Ghazi, Algeria/Canada, 28

Caterina Grewe, Germany, 29

Luigi Carroccia

Daniel Hsu, United States, 19

Alyosha Jurinic, Croatia, 28

Nikolay Khozyainov, Russia, 24

Dasol Kim, South Korea, 28

Honggi Kim, South Korea, 25

Su Yeon Kim, South Korea, 23

Julia Kociuban, Poland, 25

Rachel Kudo, United States, 30

EunAe Lee, South Korea, 29

Ilya Maximov, Russia, 30

Aloysha Jurinic

Sun-A Park, United States, 29

Leonardo Pierdomenico, Italy, 24

Philipp Scheucher, Austria, 24

Ilya Shmukler, Russia, 22

Yutong Sun, China, 21

Yekwon Sunwoo, South Korea, 28

Georgy Tchaidze, Russia, 29

Tristan Teo, Canada, 20

Tony Yike Yang, Canada, 18

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

KERA adds some distinct gay flair in September with specials on Clay Aiken, Ani DiFranco

We mentioned that KERA will be airing the documentary A Surprise in Texas about the Van Cliburn piano competition named for Fort Worth’s own acclaimed gay pianist this Wednesday. But the channel brings a little more gay to their September programming. They listed the following two specials as part of their September music programs.

Clay Aiken: Tried and True Wednesday, September 15 at 8:00 p.m.

American Idol star Clay Aiken hosts and performs with Linda Eder and Ruben Studdard in this PBS special from his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina. Tune in for tickets to Aiken’s March 1, 2011 concert at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie.

Live from the Artists Den – Ani DiFranco Thursday, September 23 at 10:00 p.m.

Songstress Ani DiFranco performs fan favorites and new songs from her recording Red Letter Year from the stage of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.

Even if it was unintentional, bravo to KERA for some diverse programming (you should see the other stuff). Yeah, Clay Aiken is a punchline at times but he’s always carried himself as a class act. I can appreciate that. Plus, I like the scoop on his show at Verizon next year. DiFranco has been a bit more fluid about her sexual identity, but she still holds a strong lesbian following. I’ve seen clips of this show and it’s worth a look.

—  Rich Lopez