LSM Newswire

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Seventh Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition to be held June 19–25, 2016

JUNE 19–25, 2016


The quadrennial event, open to non-professional pianists age 35 and older, will be held at Van Cliburn Recital Hall and Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas. Finalists will perform with Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and Andrés Franco.

For Immediate Release

Maggie Estes, director of marketing and public relations,, 817.738.6536

FORT WORTH, Texas, March 9, 2015
—The Cliburn announces today the Seventh Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition will take place June 19–25, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas in Van Cliburn Recital Hall (330 E. 4th Street) and Bass Performance Hall (4th & Commerce Streets). 2001 Cliburn Gold Medalist and major concert artist Olga Kern will serve as jury chairman, and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will perform with each of six finalists under the baton of acclaimed conductor Andrés Franco. Competition performances will be webcast live at

“I am so happy and excited to be part of such a wonderful project as the Cliburn Amateur Competition,” said Ms. Kern. “It is very inspiring to see incredibly talented people of different professions playing piano so beautifully. And their incredible enthusiasm and love for music—it shows through in their performances! It touches our hearts as listeners and gives all of us so much positive energy—and, for professional musicians, it gives us the desire and inspiration to make music on a different, even higher level. It’s so important for the Cliburn and, of course, for me to support such great individuals, who are such pure and unconditional piano and music lovers, as well as a brilliant performers!”
“We are proud to carry on this rich tradition of encouraging outstanding amateur pianists with this top-level contest, which the Cliburn began in 1999,” said Cliburn President and CEO Jacques Marquis. “We are continuously evaluating each of our programs with an eye on keeping them fresh and serving our audiences the best way possible. In that spirit, we have made some adjustments for this seventh edition of the Amateur Competition. We’ll see some shifts in the repertoire requirements, most remarkably in the Final Round, where the finalists will have the chance to perform on the Bass Hall stage with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and Andrés Franco. And we proudly welcome the inimitable Olga Kern as jury chairman. One of today’s leading pianists, Olga is a special part of the Cliburn family who has a passion for amateur artists and has served on this jury in previous competitions.”
Applications will be open online beginning March 19, 2015, and will be due March 1, 2016. Applicants must be at least 35 years of age as of June 19, 2016. Applicants should be those who play piano for pleasure and for dedication to the instrument and its repertoire; they may not perform, teach, or compose piano music for their primary professional pursuit or financial benefit. The 72 pianists invited to compete in Fort Worth will be chosen through online applications, including a 15–20 minute video audition. Competitors will be announced April 1, 2016. Complete rules and requirements can be found HERE.
The Amateur Competition will consist of four rounds:
PRELIMINARY ROUND (June 19, 20) – Van Cliburn Recital Hall
72 pianists, each performing a recital program of 8–10 minutes
QUARTERFINAL ROUND (June 21, 22) – Van Cliburn Recital Hall
30 pianists, each performing a recital program of 15–18 minutes
SEMIFINAL ROUND (June 23) – Van Cliburn Recital Hall
12 pianists, each performing a recital program of 25–28 minutes
FINAL ROUND (June 25) – Bass Performance Hall
6 pianists, each performing one movement of a concerto with orchestra, to be selected from a list
Competitors are free to choose their own programs for all recital phases of the Competition, with some guidelines. Full requirements can be found HERE.
Competition Rounds will be open to the public; tickets will go on sale in early 2016.
The winner of the Richard Rodzinski First Prize Award will receive a cash prize of $2,000; second prize is $1,500; and third prize is $1,000. Other special prizes will also be awarded.
Competitors will be responsible for their own travel and housing arrangements. Practice facilities and instruments will be available for all competitors during the week of the Competition. Several social events, as well as opportunities for chamber music collaboration, community performances, and symposia, will be organized during the course of the Competition. 

“A celebration of music, and the people who have to make music, no matter what,” the Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition (formerly the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs™) is open to non-professional pianists age 35 and older who do not derive their principal source of income through piano performance or instruction (The Boston Globe). Established in 1999 as the first of its kind in the United States, the quadrennial festival promotes lifelong music-making as a vital part of daily life and draws more than 70 competitors.
Many past Amateur Competition participants have, at one time in their lives, received advanced piano degrees; others have never studied the piano professionally. Amateur Competition prizes have been awarded both to those with extensive public performing experience, as well as to those who have spent many hours playing mostly for their own enjoyment or for the pleasure of friends, family, and their local community. All, however, are united by their love of classical music and of sharing this passion with others of like mind.

OLGA KERN, jury chairman
Now recognized as one of her generation’s great pianists, Olga Kern’s career began with her historic gold-medal winning performance at the Eleventh Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. She was born into a family of musicians with direct links to Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov and began studying piano at the age of 5.
Ms. Kern is a laureate of many international competitions, including her first place win at the first Rachmaninov International Piano Competition at the age of 17, and has toured throughout her native Russia, Europe, and the United States, as well as in Japan, South Africa, and South Korea.
With her vivid stage presence, passionately confident musicianship, and extraordinary technique, the striking Russian pianist continues to captivate fans and critics alike. Ms. Kern’s performance career has brought her to many of the world’s most important venues, including the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Symphony Hall in Osaka, Salzburger Festspielhaus, La Scala in Milan, Tonhalle in Zurich, Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York, and the Châtelet in Paris. She has appeared as a soloist with the Mariinsky Theatre, the Bolshoi Theater, the Moscow Philharmonic, London Symphony, St. Petersburg Academic Symphony, Russian National, China National Symphony, Stuttgart State, La Scala Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National, Torino Symphony, and Cape Town Symphony Orchestras. Ms. Kern has also collaborated with the most prominent conductors in the world today, including Valery Gergiev, Leonard Slatkin, Manfred Honeck, Christoph Eschenbach, Yuri Termirkanov, Antoni Wit, Pinchas Zukerman, Marin Alsop, Giancarlo Guerrero, and James Conlon.
In the 2014–2015 season, Ms. Kern performs with the NHK Symphony in Tokyo and Osaka, the symphonies of Detroit (playing all three Tchaikovsky Piano Concertos for an eponymous festival honoring the composer), Nashville, Colorado, Madison, Austin, Mobile, and Santa Rosa, along with the New Mexico Philharmonic, and will give recitals in Seattle and Louisville, as well as alongside star American soprano Renée Fleming in Boston and Washington, D.C.
Ms. Kern's discography includes harmonia mundi recordings of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Christopher Seaman (2003), her Grammy®-nominated recording of Rachmaninov’s Corelli Variations and other transcriptions (2004), a recital disc with works by Rachmaninov and Balakirev (2005), Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Warsaw Philharmonic and Antoni Wit (2006), Brahms Variations (2007), and a 2010 release of Chopin Piano Sonatas No. 2 and 3 (2010). Most recently, SONY released its recording of Ms. Kern performing the Rachmaninov Sonata for Cello and Piano with cellist Sol Gabetta. She was also featured in the award-winning documentary about the 2001 Cliburn Competition, Playing on the Edge, as well as Olga’s Journey, Musical Odyssey in St. Petersburg and They Came to Play.
“Call it star quality—music likes Kern the way the camera liked Garbo,” writes Ronald Broun in The Washington Post. “Her electricity at the keyboard is palpable, and though she generates it from the music itself, as it flows through her fingers, it takes on fresh voltage that is unmistakably hers.”
In addition to performing, Ms. Kern devotes her time to the support and education of developing musicians. In 2012, she and her brother, conductor and composer, Vladimir Kern, co-founded the “Aspiration” foundation whose objective is to provide financial and artistic assistance to musicians throughout the world.

ANDRÉS FRANCO, conductor
Now in his fifth season as principal conductor of Caminos del Inka and his third season as artistic director of the Concerts in the Garden Summer Festival, Andrés Franco has established himself as a conductor to watch. Scott Cantrell concurred, writing in The Dallas Morning News, that “Mr. Franco displayed striking eloquence; one hopes to hear more from him soon.” Among Mr. Franco’s 2014–2015 highlights are subscription debuts with the Columbus, Fort Worth, and Signature Symphony Orchestras, as well as return engagements with the Houston, St. Louis, and Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestras.
A frequent guest conductor in the United States, Europe, and South America, Mr. Franco has appeared with the Elgin, El Paso, Eugene, Lake Forest, Mississippi, Springfield, and Stockton Symphony Orchestras, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León/Spain, the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru, as well as with the National Symphony, Bogota Philharmonic, Medellin Philharmonic, and EAFIT Symphony Orchestra in Colombia. He has also participated in the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Oregon Bach Festival, and the Wintergreen Music Festival.
Mr. Franco formerly served as music director of the Philharmonia of Kansas City (2004–2010), as associate and resident conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (2009–2014), and as Leonard Slatkin’s assistant conductor during the Fourteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (2013).
A native of Colombia, Mr. Franco is dedicated to preserving and performing the music of the Americas. As principal conductor of Caminos del Inka, he has led many performances of Latin American music by composers of our time, such as Jimmy López, Diego Luzuriaga, and the popular Argentine composer, Astor Piazzolla. Also committed to the education of young musicians, Mr. Franco serves as conductor of the Fort Worth Youth Philharmonic. He has also conducted the Eastern Washington University Symphony, the University of Kansas Symphony Orchestra, and served, during a sabbatical year replacement, as director of the TCU Symphony Orchestra.
Born into a musical family, Andrés Franco began piano studies with his father, Jorge Franco. An accomplished pianist, he studied with 1985 Cliburn Gold Medalist José Feghali and attended piano workshops with Rudolph Buchbinder in Switzerland and Lev Naumov in France. He studied conducting with Marin Alsop, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Kurt Masur, Gustav Meier, Helmut Rilling, Gerard Schwarz, and Leonard Slatkin.
Mr. Franco holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, as well as Master of Music degrees in piano performance and conducting from TCU. Andrés Franco lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with his wife Victoria Luperi, Principal Clarinetist in the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.

Since its beginnings in 1912, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (FWSO) has been an essential thread in the city’s cultural fabric and the very foundation of Fort Worth’s performing arts. Today, the FWSO is one of the most successful orchestras in the United States, performing an impressive 200 concerts each year for an audience of 250,000 adults and children from all walks of life. Now in his 15th season, Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya has transformed the FWSO into an ensemble that is recognized and admired the world over for its artistic excellence and commitment to community engagement.
As the principal resident company of the acoustically superb Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall, the orchestra performs a broad range of symphonic and pops concerts and is admired nationally for the strength and uniqueness of its collaborations with other organizations including the Fort Worth Opera, Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the Children's Education Program of Bass Performance Hall, and various local professional choruses. The orchestra’s annual summer music festival, Concerts in the Garden, has grown to be one of the largest and most successful summer outdoor festivals of its kind in Texas, attracting an annual audience of nearly 45,000.
The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra is also a national leader in music education. Adventures in Music, the orchestra’s education and outreach program, inspires, educates and entertains more than 65,000 children through more than 100 engaging programs each year in Fort Worth and across the state of Texas.


The Cliburn advances classical piano music throughout the world. Its international competitions, education programs, and concert series embody an enduring commitment to artistic excellence and the discovery of new artists. Established in 1962, the quadrennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is widely-recognized as “one of the world’s highest-visibility classical-music contests” and remains committed to its original ideals of supporting and launching the careers of young pianists, age 18 to 30. It shares the transformative powers of music with a wide global audience, through a fully-produced webcast and by providing commission-free, comprehensive career management and concert bookings to its winners. Rounding out its mission, the Cliburn also produces the Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition for outstanding non-professional pianists 35 and older, and will hold its inaugural Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival in June 2015, for exceptional 13 to 17-year-old pianists.
Over a four-year cycle, the Cliburn contributes to North Texas’ cultural landscape with over 170 classical music performances for 150,000 attendees, through competitions, free community concerts, and its signature Cliburn Concerts series at Bass Performance Hall, the Kimbell Art Museum Piano Pavilion, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. It presents 1,000 in-school, interactive music education programs for 200,000 area elementary students. During the same time period, it garners the world’s attention with over one million visits from 155 nations for live concert and competition webcasts; 300 concerts worldwide booked for competition winners; more than 5,000 news articles about the Cliburn and its winners; regular national radio broadcasts to 245 public radio stations; and a PBS documentary airing in a potential 105 million households.

Detailed information about the Cliburn and its programs is available at

Official Sponsors of the Cliburn are:
Amon G. Carter Foundation
Ann L. & Carol Green Rhodes Charitable Trust, Bank of America, Trustee
Arts Council of Fort Worth & Tarrant County
BNSF Railway Foundation
Crystelle Waggoner Charitable Trust
Edith Winther Grace Charitable Trust, J.P. Morgan, Trustee
ExxonMobil / XTO Energy

Jane and John Justin Foundation
Mercedes T. Bass Charitable Corporation
Sid W. Richardson Foundation
Steinway & Sons – North Texas / Houston
The Burnett Foundation
Exclusive Print Media Sponsor:

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home