© 2023 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

Six Cliburn Finalists Still Playing For Gold In Fort Worth

Ralph Lauer
The Cliburn

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

The KERA radio story


It was almost midnight when the 12 semi-finalists appeared onstage one last time to give their bows. They accepted a standing ovation from several hundred grateful fans who stayed in the hall to learn who would advance.  Then the nervous dozen sat down as Jury Chair John Giordano named the six.

“The finalists for the14 thCliburnInternational Piano Competition, as I call your name, please come to the stage…”

Giordano named Sean Chen, 24,  from the United States,Fei-FeiDong, 22,  of China,VadymKholodenko, 26, from the Ukraine, Russian NikitaMndoyants, 24, BeatriceRana, 20, from Italy, and the youngest, at 19,TomokiSakata, of Japan, who was ecstatic to be a finalist.

“Wow, I’m very excited now.  And very happy because now I can play the concerto with the Fort Worth Symphony.”

AndSakatasaid “I think I will be good.”Fei-FeiDong wasn’t exactly sure how good she had been. Earlier Tuesday evening, her hour-long recital included Chopin’s challenging 24 Preludes, Opus 28.

“I wasn’t completely happy with my last recital I just finished. Because it’s a very new piece for me, Chopin Preludes. I learned it for the competition, so this was actually my first performance, a big performance of the piece,” said Dong.

The judges were obviously impressed. Now all pianists must get re-acquainted with the two concertos they’ll play, as they get ready for performances with the symphony.  The final round begins Thursday evening and ends Sunday afternoon in Bass Hall. A short time later, awards will be announced.  More than a week ago, the contest began with 30 pianists. 


Copyright 2020 KERA. To see more, visit KERA.

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues. Heâââ