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Jan/Feb 2018: First Looks Book Review - When the World Stopped to Listen: Van Cliburn’s Cold War Triumph, and Its Aftermath

New Music Reviews Closer Look As someone who was fortunate enough to study at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and to participate in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, this book was truly a delight. It not only brought back wonderful memories from Moscow and Fort Worth, but, more importantly, it gave me a much better historical ...
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Cliburn 2017

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Every four years, piano fans gather in Fort Worth, Texas, for one of the piano world's biggest parties: the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. At this year's Cliburn—the fifteenth—Yekwon Sunwoo, 28, earned the Gold Medal. Although a native of South Korea, Sunwoo has degrees from Curtis and Juilliard (and, yes, he played the Rach 3). The S...
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DIGITAL-ONLY CONTENT: A conversation with Pamela Mia Paul, pre-screening jurist for the 2017 Cliburn Competition.

Pamela Mia Paul
During January and February of 2017, five jurors traveled the world to choose the 30 finalists for the Cliburn competition. The initial screeners, Lydia Artymiw, Anton Nel, and Angela Cheng, read applications and listened to online videos from 290 initial applicants! That team pared the list down to 146. The pre-screening jury, consisting of Dmitri...
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Our woman at the Cliburn: Judgment is nigh

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"Dies Irae." Judgment Day. In Fort Worth, that day is tomorrow, June 10, when, at the end of the three-week Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, final judgment will be passed on the six finalists. How apt, then, that, in Friday's night concerto round, American Kenneth Broberg performed Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43....
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Our woman at the Cliburn: Brahms triumphant

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There's good, and there's Brahms. The Franck F-Minor Quintet and the Dvořák Op. 81 in A Major allow pianists to display their chops, but, baby, when Brahms enters the room, other composers might as well step aside. It takes intellect as well as musicality to play the Brahms Op. 34 Quintet in F-Minor, and Cliburn finalist Rachel Cheung possesses bot...
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Our woman at the Cliburn: Exposure on the concert stage

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Performing Mozart is precarious business. The pianist who tackles a Mozart concerto—in public, no less—is a brave person indeed.  To play Mozart is to risk exposure; so many things can go wrong. Miss a note, and there is no thick, Romantic, bulwark of harmony to cover your mistake. Minimize the shading, and the scalar passages sound like click...
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Our Woman at the Cliburn: Dvořák. And More Dvořák.

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​ How much Dvořák is an innocent listener expected to endure? Quite a bit, apparently, at least if the listener is attending this year's Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The competition has moved into the final rounds, and each of the six remaining contestants joins the Brentano Quartet in the Cliburn's chamber portion. The finalists co...
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