The Cliburn Report 5: Morning, Noon, and Night in Fort Worth

Nikolay Khozyaninov

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

Note-for-note coverage of Phase 1 of the preliminary round continues with Dallas Morning News music critic Scott Cantrell’s reviews of the Saturday afternoon and Saturday night recitals at the paper’s arts blog. None of his reviews are unqualified raves although his comments on Russia’s Nikolay Khozyaninov (age 20) include praise for his “pretty amazing performance of Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit.” He also singled out Italy’s Alessandro Taverna (age 29) for the way he “managed to find some surprises in that Cliburn cliché, the Three Movements from Stravinsky’s Petrushka.”

Lindsay Garritson

Meanwhile, my fellow member of the Music Critics Association of North America, Gregory Isaacs, continues his coverage of the first, second and third rounds on Saturday at the TheaterJones site. He has something positive to say about nearly everyone, but his favorites so far are Ukraine’s Oleksandr Poliykov (age 25; Mr. Isaacs loved his Pictures at an Exhibition); Taiwan’s Kuan-Ting Lin (21), who did well by Liszt; American Lindsay Garritson (25) whose performance of Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 7 in B-flat Major, Op. 83 earned a standing ovation; Nikolay Khozyaninov (he loved the pianist’s Ravel as much as Mr. Cantrell did); and Italy’s Alessandro Deljavan (27) whose outrageous stage persona (he grimaces and hums along, a la Glenn Gould) nevertheless appears to come with good musical judgment. “Weird facial expressions matter not a whit,” notes Mr. Isaacs, “and he received a standing ovation.”

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