Van Cliburn’s sensational victory at the first Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow in 1958 heralded a new confidence in the quality of American music-making, as well as a new era in cultural relations between East and West. The quadrennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, widely recognized as one of the world’s most important, was organized by a group of music teachers and citizens from Fort Worth, Texas in 1962 to commemorate his historic achievement and is dedicated to the discovery of the world’s finest pianists. The Cliburn presented the fifteenth edition May 26 - June 10, 2017 at Fort Worth’s Bass Performance Hall where the medalists were South Korean Yekwon Sunwoo (1st), American Kenny Broberg (2nd), and American Daniel Hsu (3rd).
In advance of the Competition, an esteemed screening jury travels around the world to hear pianists perform before a live audience. Few other competitions offer applicants the opportunity to showcase their talent through the intimacy and immediacy of a live performance, and none as comprehensively as the Cliburn. From these auditions, 30 of the world’s finest pianists will be invited to compete for the coveted Cliburn medals, cash prizes and awards, and three years of commission-free career management valued at over $1.3 million.
Cliburn President and CEO Jacques Marquis says: “We are looking for a true artist who can connect with audiences and touch their hearts. We give the competitors multiple platforms to present us with their artistic personality and communicative power. The winners will be offered an unparalleled opportunity to build a meaningful concert career, and we are honored to be a part of launching them onto the world stage and celebrating classical music.”
In its 50-year history, the Cliburn has identified and ushered a host of exceptional artists to international prominence, including Barry Douglas, Olga Kern, Radu Lupu, Jon Nakamatsu, and Cristina Ortiz. The winners of the 2013 Cliburn Competition have performed over 300 concerts, earning more than $1 million in fees; released nine critically acclaimed recordings for the harmonia mundi, Delos, Steinway & Sons, and Warner Classics labels; and garnered awards from Gramophone and International Piano magazines, BBC Radio, the Borletti Buitoni Trust, and the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund. The medalists have signed with some of the world’s foremost artist management agencies: Gold Medalist Vadym Kholodenko with Sulivan Sweetland Artists, and Silver Medalist Beatrice Rana with Primo Artists in North and South America.