The Cliburn Report 2: Preludes and Fugues

Image from cliburn.org

Ironically, only 5 of the 30 contestants are women

[I will be covering the final round of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in June. Meanwhile I’m picking highlights of the current press coverage for your dining and dancing pleasure.]

The first notes are only now being played by the first pianists in the preliminary round of recitals, which began yesterday at 11 AM central time (the order in which they’re playing having been determined by a lottery on Wednesday the 22nd), but there has already been plenty of press coverage. Here are a few interesting items.

Back on May 19th, Stephanie Allmon of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram assembled “14 Burning Facts About the 14th Cliburn Competition”, an article that is essentially a FAQ list for those attending in person.

The day before, Christopher Kelly of the New York Times did a brief piece on how the death of the competition’s namesake might affect it. He includes an overview of some of the controversies that have dogged the Cliburn over the years (including the high management turnover rate), which makes for interesting reading. A similar piece in the Idaho Statesman by Tim Madigan of the Star-Telegram is more sentimental and concentrates on memories of Cliburn by those who knew him.

Looking for a one-stop overview of the competition, including social media links? Dallas News music critic Scott Cantrell (who will be covering the entire event from start to finish) had a nice summary Thursday as did Katie Womack in The Dallas Observer yesterday. The day before the Observer had a profile of hometown contestant Alex McDonald by Ms. Womack, a fellow Dallas Music Teachers Association member.

Can’t get to Dallas but curious as to what the concerts look and sound like? Never fear. The Van Cliburn Foundation is streaming the entire business live. You might want to bookmark that one.

More to come.

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