The Cliburn

2017 Cliburn Competition Jury

The Cliburn proudly presents the jury for the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The jury assembled represents some of the most prominent pianists and educators from around the world. Each jury member actively shapes the classical music landscape through their performance and instruction.


slatkin squareLEONARD SLATKIN, Jury Chairman (United States)

Internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin is Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL). He also maintains a rigorous schedule of guest conducting and is active as a composer, author, and educator.

Mr. Slatkin’s more than 100 recordings have garnered seven Grammy® Awards and 64 nominations. His recent Naxos recordings include works by Saint-Saëns, Ravel, and Berlioz with the ONL and music by Copland, Rachmaninov, Borzova, McTee, and John Williams with the DSO. He has also recorded the complete Beethoven and Tchaikovsky symphonies with the DSO.

A recipient of the prestigious National Medal of Arts, he also holds the rank of Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor. He has received Austria’s Declaration of Honor in Silver, the American Symphony Orchestra League’s Gold Baton Award, and the 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award for his book, Conducting Business.

Mr. Slatkin has conducted virtually all of the leading orchestras in the world. He has held posts as Music Director of the New Orleans, St. Louis, and National Symphony Orchestras. He was chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and has served as principal guest conductor of London’s Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and the Minnesota Orchestra.


Cohen SquareARNALDO COHEN (Brazil)

Brazilian-born pianist Arnaldo Cohen came to prominence after winning First Prize at the 1972 Busoni International Piano Competition and making his debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Since then, he has been in demand internationally, appearing with such major orchestras as the Philadelphia, Philharmonia, and Cleveland Orchestras; Chicago Symphony; and Los Angeles and London Philharmonics. Recitals have taken him to important music centers around the world. Also dedicated to chamber music, he was a member of the acclaimed Amadeus Trio and has performed with many string quartets.

His recent recordings include the Liszt and Rachmaninov piano concertos with the Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, an all-Liszt solo disc, and his pioneering CD Three Centuries of Brazilian Music.

He currently holds a full professorship at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, having previously taught at the Royal Academy of Music. In October 2013, Mr. Cohen was appointed artistic director for the Portland International Piano Series.


Elton SquareCHRISTOPHER ELTON (United Kingdom)

Edinburgh native Christopher Elton is professor emeritus of the Royal Academy of Music in London—a position awarded him in 2011, following 24 years of service as head of keyboard. His international recognition has come largely as a result of his students’ successes. Many have won prizes in major international competitions, including the Cliburn, Tchaikovsky, Leeds, Shanghai, and Munich (ARD), and several are now recording artists with major concert careers.

Mr. Elton is in demand as a teacher and jury member internationally. He has given master classes in the Europe, the United States, Asia, and Australia and served on the juries of Moscow Tchaikovsky, Leeds, and others. As an adjudicator, he has worked both in festivals and on television in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Hong Kong.

A competitor prizewinner himself, Mr. Elton also studied at the Royal Academy, where he achieved the unusual distinction of the highest performing award, the Dip. RAM, on both piano and cello.


Hamelin SquareMARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN (Canada)

Born in Montreal, Marc-André Hamelin is among the elite of world pianists for his unrivaled blend of musicianship and virtuosity in the great works of the established repertoire, as well as for his intrepid exploration of the neglected music of the 19th and 20th centuries. An acclaimed recitalist and soloist, he has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras and in important venues throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

An exclusive Hyperion Records artist, Mr. Hamelin has released over 50 discs including concertos and solo piano works by such composers as Alkan, Godowsky, and Medtner as well as Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, and Shostakovich. For his recordings, Mr. Hamelin has been honored with nine Grammy® nominations, and was awarded a lifetime achievement award from the German Record Critic’s Association.

Although primarily a performer, Mr. Hamelin has composed music throughout his career; his works are published by Edition Peters.

He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Québec, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada. In 1989, Mr. Hamelin was awarded the Virginia P. Moore Prize, the highest honor bestowed by the Canadian Arts Council. He currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts.


KalichsteinsquareJOSEPH KALICHSTEIN (Israel/United States)

Born in Tel Aviv, pianist Joseph Kalichstein is acclaimed as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. With diverse repertoire ranging from Bach and Brahms to 20th-century works by Bartok, Prokofiev, and others, Mr. Kalichstein has collaborated with such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, James Conlon, Charles Dutoit, Zubin Mehta, Leonard Slatkin, Edo do Waart, and the late George Szell, among others, performing with the world’s most esteemed orchestras.

Mr. Kalichstein is a founding member of the famed Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2017. He also is a frequent guest with the Guarneri and Emerson String Quartets. He serves as the chamber music advisor to the Kennedy Center and artistic director of the Center’s Fortas Chamber Music Concerts. He continues to hold the inaugural Chamber Music Chair at The Juilliard School, where he also teaches a limited number of advanced piano students

His principal teachers included Joshua Shor in Israel and Edward Steuermann and Ilona Kabos at The Juilliard School. Prior to winning the 1969 Leventritt Award, Mr. Kalichstein had won the Young Concert Artists Auditions, resulting in a heralded New York recital debut, followed by an invitation from Leonard Bernstein to perform with the New York Philharmonic in a nationally televised concert. He served as a Cliburn juror during the 2005, 2009, and 2013 Competitions.


kodamasquareMARI KODAMA (Japan)

Pianist Mari Kodama has established an international reputation for her profound musicality and articulate virtuosity in performances of a broad repertoire across Europe, North America, and Japan. She has appeared with the Berlin, London and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras, the NHK Symphony, and Vienna Symphony orchestras and at the Aspen, Montpellier, Mostly Mozart, Ravinia and Verbier festivals.

Along with solo and concerto appearances, Ms. Kodama performs in duo concerts both with her daughter Karin Kei Nagano, and her sister, Momo Kodama. She marked a significant stage in her recording career in the fall of 2014 with the release of the complete Beethoven Sonatas box set on the Pentatone label, the culmination of a decade’s work. Her discography also features Carl Loewe’s Second Piano Concerto with the Russian National Orchestra (PentaTone); and Beethoven’s Piano Concerti Nos. 1-5 and the Triple Concerto with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Kent Nagano.

In addition to her performance activities, Ms. Kodama is the Artistic and Musical Director for the Musical Days in Forest Hill festival and curates a series for young musicians at the Bad Kissengen Festival.


Mcdermott squareANNE-MARIE McDERMOTT (United States)

For more than 25 years, Anne-Marie McDermott has balanced a versatile career as a soloist and collaborator, playing concertos, recitals, and chamber music in hundreds of cities throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. The breadth of her repertoire spans from Bach and Haydn to Prokofiev and Scriabin, as well as works by today’s most influential composers.

Ms. McDermott has performed with many leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota and Philadelphia Orchestras, and the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and St. Louis. She has been a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1995, and continues a longstanding collaboration with violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. She also enjoys performing with OPUS ONE, a chamber group with Ida Kavafian, Steven Tenenbom, and Peter Wiley; together they have commissioned over 15 new works.

Her passions have recently coalesced in several important projects indicative both of her popularity and the range of her musical interests: the presentation of the complete Prokofiev piano sonatas and chamber music as part of the Lincoln Center Festival; the premier of Charles Wuorinen’s Piano Sonata No. 6; and the performance and recording of Gershwin’s complete works for piano and orchestra with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, which was named Editor’s Choice by Gramophone magazine.Ms. McDermott also serves as artistic director of the Bravo! Vail Music, and Ocean Reef Chamber Music, as well as curator for chamber music at the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego.



Erik T. Tawaststjerna won the second prize at the Maj Lind piano competition in Helsinki in 1968 and has since given concerts around the world, including the first Finnish performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Age of Anxiety” in 1981. He has made numerous recordings, among them a series of eight recordings of the complete piano music of Jean Sibelius on the BIS label.

He began his musical education in Helsinki, took private lessons in Moscow, and graduated from the Vienna Music Academy, where he studied with Dieter Weber, as well as from The Juilliard School, where his teacher was Sascha Gorodnitzki. He also holds a doctorate from New York University, where he studied under the guidance of Eugene List. Mr. Tawaststjerna has taught since 1982 at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where he was appointed full professor of piano in 1986. He was named “Professor of the Year” in 2006 by the Finnish Professors’ League.

Mr. Tawaststjerna has served on the juries of international piano competitions in London, Vienna, New York, St. Petersburg, Dublin, and Barcelona, among other cities, and has given master classes at, among other places, the Guildhall School of Music in London, University of the Arts in Berlin, Tokyo College of Music, and at the Vienna University for Music.


toradze squareALEXANDER TORADZE (Georgia/United States)

Alexander Toradze is universally recognized as a masterful virtuoso in the grand Romantic tradition. He appears with the leading orchestras of North America, and overseas performs with the BBC Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, La Scala Philharmonic, London Symphony, Mariinsky Orchestra, and Orchestre National de France, among others. Festival engagements include BBC Proms, Hollywood Bowl, and White Nights in St. Petersburg.

Mr. Toradze has made lauded recordings for EMI/Angel, Philips, and Pan, including the complete Prokofiev piano concertos with Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra.

Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Mr. Toradze graduated from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and soon became a professor there.  He moved to the United States in 1983, and was appointed as the Martin Endowed Chair Professor of Piano at Indiana University South Bend in 1991. The Toradze Piano Studio has developed into a worldwide touring ensemble that has gathered critical acclaim for their performance projects in Europe and the United States.

Mr. Toradze is the 1977 Cliburn silver medalist.


Screening Jury

The Cliburn is excited to present our 2017 Cliburn Competition Screening Jury. The screening jury represents some of the foremost minds in music today, and will ensure that the 2017 Cliburn Competition is composed of the finest pianists in the world.


Dmitri Alexeev was born in Moscow and began to play the piano at the age of 5. A graduate of the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied with Dmitri Bashkirov, he was unanimously awarded first prize at the 1975 Leeds International Competition. Mr. Alexeev has performed with such orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Munich Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Philadelphia Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, and all five London orchestras, and has appeared in many of the world’s most esteemed venues.

He has worked with such eminent conductors as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Pierre Boulez, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Mariss Jansons, Riccardo Muti, Antonio Pappano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yuri Temirkanov, and Michael Tilson Thomas, to name a few. Also in demand as a chamber musician, he has worked with Yuri Bashmet, Joshua Bell, Lynn Harrell, Barbara Hendricks, and Mstislav Rostropovich, among other noted artists.

Mr. Alexeev has recorded for EMI, BMG, Hyperion, several Russian labels, and Virgin Classics, which released his complete Rachmaninov Preludes, winning the Edison Award in the Netherlands.

Dmitri Alexeev has served as a juror for many prestigious international piano competitions, including the Beethoven, Geneva, Leeds, Santander, and Tchaikovsky, among others. He served on the Cliburn jury in 2009 and 2013.


Michel Beroff graduated from the Paris Conservatory in 1966, and the following year won first prize at the first Olivier Messiaen International Piano Competition. He then went on to perform with the world’s most prestigious orchestras, under the direction of such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Charles Dutoit, Kurt Masur, André Previn, Mstislav Rostropovich, Sir Georg Solti, and Michael Tilson Thomas, among others. As a chamber musician, he has partnered with Martha Argerich, Barbara Hendricks, Lynn Harrell, Jean-Philippe Collard, Augustin Dumay, and Pierre Amoyal.

An exclusive EMI artist for over 20 years, Mr. Beroff has published more than 50 recordings, among them the complete works for piano and orchestra by Liszt, Prokofiev, and Stravinsky, conducted by Seiji Ozawa and Kurt Masur. For Deutsche Grammophon, he has recorded Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand with the London Symphony Orchestra and Claudio Abbado. He has received the Grand Prix du Disque five times in recognition of his outstanding recording work.

Mr. Beroff currently teaches at the Paris Conservatory and recently expanded his professional activities to include conducting. He served as a Cliburn juror in 2009 and 2013.


With a career spanning almost 40 years, pianist Janina Fialkowska is recognized for her sterling musicianship and profound sense of musical integrity. She is particularly distinguished as one of the great interpreters of Chopin and Mozart, and has won acclaim as a champion of Liszt as well as 20th-century Polish composers.

Her career was launched in 1974 after winning the Rubinstein Master Piano Competition in Israel. She has since performed with the foremost North American and European orchestras under the baton of such conductors as Lorin Maazel, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Georg Solti, and Leonard Slatkin. In the 2015–2016 season, Ms. Fialkowska tours Japan, Germany, Canada, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom as part of her “Birthday Celebration Tour” on the occasion of her 65th birthday.

Her discography includes recordings for RCA Red Seal, Naxos, CBC Records, and Opening Day, and since 2008 she has worked exclusively with ATMA Classique, which has released 11 successful discs so far. She is the subject of two acclaimed documentaries produced by the CBC (1992 and 2013).

She founded the International Piano Academy held at the Bavarian Music Academy, which commences its fourth edition in May 2016, and is sought after for master classes worldwide.

Ms. Fialkowska is an Officer of the Order of Canada and is the first woman instrumentalist to be honored with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement in Classical Music, Canada’s foremost honor for excellence in the performing arts.


One of Canada’s most sought-after pianists, James Parker’s musical roots can be traced to the Vancouver Academy of Music and the University of British Columbia. He then went on to receive his master’s and doctoral degrees at The Juilliard School, and continues the teaching tradition as the Rupert E. Edwards Chair in Piano Performance at the University of Toronto.

Prizewinner of several awards early in his career, Mr. Parker is recognized as a soloist, chamber musician, and recitalist. He is pianist for Canada’s foremost chamber ensemble, the Gryphon Trio, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. He has appeared as soloist with most of the major Canadian orchestras, and has performed throughout North America and Europe. He has received three JUNO recording awards and many other nominations from his vast discography, and makes frequent appearances on CBC Radio Canada, the CanWest Global Network, and on myriad stations across the globe.

PAMELA MIA PAUL (United States)

Pianist Pamela Mia Paul has garnered praise both for standard repertoire and her interpretations of 20th century piano concertos. A champion of new work, she has commissioned and premiered several works for piano, including Robert Beaser’s Piano Concerto, which had its world premiere with the St. Louis Symphony conducted by Leonard Slatkin. On stage, she has performed with many of the world’s major orchestras, including the Detroit, Dutch Radio, Houston, Minnesota, New York Philharmonic, and Vienna Symphony. In both orchestral performances and recitals, she has appeared in such important venues as Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Veinna, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

As a chamber musician, she has been invited guest artist at the Aspen, Bregenz, Salzburg, and Music Mountain Festivals. Quartets with whom she has collaborated include the Brromeo, Miró, and St. Petersburg.

Internationally sought after as a pedagogue, Ms. Paul has taught and presented master classes throughout Europe, China, South Korea, and the United States. Her students have won prizes in several major competitions and hold teaching positions throughout the United States and Asia. She is currently Regents Professor of Piano at the University of North Texas.

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.


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