The Cliburn

About the Competition

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 will present the fifteenth edition May 25–June 10, 2017, at Fort Worth’s Bass Performance Hall.

In advance of the Competition, an esteemed screening jury will travel 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. For the winners of the 2009 Competition, the Cliburn secured representation with some of the industry’s foremost artist management agencies: Nobuyuki Tsujii with Avex Classics International in Japan and IMG Artists elsewhere; and Haochen Zhang with KAJIMOTO and Opus 3 Artists in North and South America.

Our Mission

It is the mission of the Cliburn to advance 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 young artists.



The Cliburn is a not-for-profit organization governed by a board of directors, elected for a four year term. It is sustained by the generous support from individuals, foundations, corporations, the tireless efforts of volunteers, and embraced by the community of Fort Worth. The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is a proud member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions.


201 Main Street, Suite 100
Fort Worth, TX 76102


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