Van Cliburn | Texas Public Radio

Van Cliburn

At the height of the Cold War in 1958, Van Cliburn, a curly-headed kid from Texas, won the International Tchaikovsky Competition. He was hugged by Nikita Khrushchev and heralded like Elvis Presley when he returned.

The 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, which takes place every four years, begins later this spring in Fort Worth, Texas. For the past six weeks, judges have been traveling the world to hear potential competitors audition. One notable stop is Moscow — where the American pianist for whom the contest is named stunned the world 59 years ago, winning the International Tchaikovsky Competition at the height of the Cold War.

Audition judges for the next Van Cliburn International Piano Competition heard young pianists play for a career-making break in the Russian capital of Moscow last month. Cliburn himself won his big competition in Moscow 59 years ago, and Russians remember.  

Who Are The Amateurs At The Cliburn Competition?

Jun 23, 2016

color:#333333">All week long, Art&seek has been reporting on The Cliburn Amateur Competition in Fort Worth. 


color:#333333">Late this evening, we’ll find out who will make it to the semifinals. [We'll post the results here when we get them.] The competitors all have day jobs, but they also have a passion for piano. So we went down to the competition chat with a few of the folks vying for the top prize and learned that it takes countless hours of practice to call yourself a Cliburn amateur.

A 17-year-old from Kazakhstan won the top $10,000 prize Sunday at the first-ever Cliburn International Junior Piano competition in Fort Worth.

Last year’s gold medal winner of the Van Cliburn Piano Competition was Vadym Kholodenko, and he's coming to San Antonio for a performance.

"I am very proud to be one of the Cliburn winners and this competition is very important, actually," Kholodenko said. "It stands as one of the four or five biggest competitions in the world."

Arts San Antonio is bringing Kholodenko to the Lila Cockrell Theater this Thursday, April 17. He’s playing solo, but he’ll also be doing some duets.

Vadym Kholodenko, a 26-year-old Ukranian, won the top prize Sunday night at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth. A 20-year-old Italian, Beatrice Rana, was named runner-up, and third place went to Sean Chen, 24, the first American to reach the Cliburn finals in 16 years.

Six finalists for the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition were announced last night in Fort Worth, Texas. For the first time since its inception more than 50 years ago, the contest is taking place without its namesake. Cliburn died in February of cancer, and the competition is dealing with his loss and other changes as well.

Six finalists of the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano competition were named late Tuesday night. They include four men and two women, each from different countries.

Twelve young pianists have advanced to the semi-final round in the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth. The musicians are playing for a top $50,000 prize and three years of worldwide concerts.

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