The Cliburn is pleased to announce the inaugural Junior Competition jury — an excellent assemblage of top international performing pianists and educators, each with a strong reputation for encouraging and inspiring young artists:
Since his dramatic 1997 Cliburn gold medal triumph, California native Jon Nakamatsu’s brilliant but unassuming musicianship and eclectic repertoire have made him a clear favorite throughout the world both on the concert circuit and in the recording studio.He maintains a very active touring schedule with orchestra performances, chamber collaborations, and solo recitals, performing widely in North America, Europe, and the Far East. Mr. Nakamatsu records exclusively for harmonia mundi usa, which has released nine CDs to date. www.jonnakamatsu.com
A prizewinner at the 1993 Cliburn and 1992 Busoni Competitions, Fabio Bidini is considered one of the top Italian pianists of his generation, sought after for recital, chamber, festival, and concerto engagements across the world. His discography consists of 13 recordings on renowned labels such as BMG. In 2009, he was appointed piano chair of one of the leading music schools in Europe, the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin. Mr. Bidini was one of the youngest graduates ever of the prestigious “Conservatorio Santa Cecilia” in Rome. http://www.fabiobidini.com
Edinburgh native Christopher Elton is professor emeritus of the Royal Academy of Music, London—a position awarded him in 2011, following 24 years of service as head of keyboard. His students have won or reached the finals in many top competitions, including the Cliburn, Tchaikovsky, Leeds, Shanghai, Taiwan, and Munich (ARD). A competition 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. www.christopherdelton.talktalk.net
Pianist Choong Mo Kang has performed to critical acclaim throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, including a monumental undertaking of performing the complete keyboard works of Bach over a 5-year time period. He has served on the piano faculties of the Peabody and the Korea National University of Arts in Seoul, and currently teaches at The Juilliard School and Toho Gakuen School of Music in Japan. His students have been prizewinners in prominent competitions, such as Cliburn, Leeds, Shanghai, and many more.
Mari Kodama has established an international reputation for profound musicality and articulate virtuosity at the keyboard, with powerful, yet elegant performances throughout Europe, the United States, and Japan. She recently completed her latest recording project—the complete 32 Beethoven Sonatas for the PentaTone label. Ms. Kodama serves as artistic and musical director for the Forest Hill Musical Days festival, curates a series for young musicians at the Bad Kissengen Festival, and appears annually at Les Folles Journées in Tokyo. www.marikodama.com
A veteran of the international concert stage, Jon Kimura Parker maintains a busy touring schedule as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. A true Canadian ambassador of music, Mr. Parker has given command performances for Queen Elizabeth II, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Prime Ministers of Canada and Japan—and is an officer of The Order of Canada, his country’s highest civilian honor. A committed educator, he is Professor of Piano at The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. www.jonkimuraparker.com
A consummate musician recognized for her grace, subtlety, and vitality, Orli Shaham has established an impressive international reputation as one of today’s most gifted pianists—hailed by critics on four continents for her interpretations of both standard and modern repertoire and recently referred to as “a first-rate Mozartean” (Chicago Tribune). Driven by a passion to bring classical music to new audiences, the Juilliard graduate maintains an active parallel career as a respected broadcaster, music writer, and lecturer. www.orlishaham.com