The Cliburn launched a brand new program in 2015—a competition and festival for 13 to 17-year-old pianists. The First Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival, took place June 21-28, 2015, in Fort Worth, Texas in Ed Landreth Auditorium and PepsiCo Hall on the campus of TCU. 1997 Cliburn Gold Medalist, in-demand touring artist, and esteemed adjudicator Jon Nakamatsu served as jury chairman, and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra performed with each of three finalists under the baton of dynamic conductor Mei-Ann Chen. Competition performances were open to the public. All performances were webcast live at Cliburn.org. Concerts are available on demand on the Cliburn’s YouTube channel. Those with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will be on demand for one year only.
“This competition helped us establish relationships with the top international talent at an earlier age,” said Jacques Marquis, Cliburn president and CEO, “but, just as importantly, this was another means for the Cliburn to use its standing and expertise to encourage tomorrow’s great artists. We have provided a valuable forum for them to express themselves and an entrance to the next step of their journeys. The top international jurors, the media and webcast, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the festival atmosphere — which included performance experience and professional career advice — all made the Competition and Festival significantly useful for a student who has aspirations of being a professional musician.”
The 23 exceptional young pianists selected to compete in Fort Worth were announced March 12, 2015. They hailed from all over the world, representing 14 countries: the United States (9), China (5), Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Tajikistan. They ranged in age from 13 to 17. A selection committee chose the competitors from an impressive applicant pool of 160 young pianists, through online applications and video submissions of 15 to 20 minutes. CLICK HERE for competitor bios.
The competitors were housed on campus at TCU for the duration of the Competition and Festival. The Cliburn’s distinctive and dedicated volunteer force supported the event in areas such as hospitality, transportation, publicity, ushering, and gift shop–including a significant commitment of time from the Junior League of Fort Worth, the Cliburn’s partner since 1966.
The Cliburn offered a variety of events aimed at the artistic advancement of the competitors and other pianists—seminars, symposia, chamber music collaboration, and more—as well as at sharing the gifts of elite young pianists with the community, through free recitals across Fort Worth. CLICK HERE to see the Festival schedule.
Junior Competition Corporate Sponsors:
Fort Worth Convention & Visitor’s Bureau
Pier 1 Imports
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Steinway Hall – North Texas / Houston
The Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel