2019 CLIBURN INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR PIANO COMPETITION
for pianists age 13 to 17
MAY 31–JUNE 8, 2019 • DALLAS, TEXAS
Laura Bush, honorary chairman
Alessio Bax, jury chairman
The winner of the Bernice Gressman Meyerson First Prize and a cash award of $15,000 is Shuan Hern Lee, Australia, 16
The winner of the Shirley Cox McIntyre Second Prize and a cash award of $10,000 is Eva Gevorgyan, Russia/Armenia, 15
The winner of The Horchow Family Third Prize and a cash award of $5,000 is JiWon Yang, South Korea, 17
Audience Award, $500—Avery Gagliano, United States, 17
Peer Award, $500—J J Jun Li Bui, Canada, 14
Press Award, $500—Eva Gevorgyan, Russia/Armenia, 15
Each of the semifinalists will also receive cash awards of $2,000.
2019 JUNIOR COMPETITION AND FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS AND RESULTS
ABOUT THE 2019 JUNIOR COMPETITION AND FESTIVAL
The second edition of the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival, for pianists age 13 to 17, took place May 31–June 8, 2019, in Dallas, Texas. The Preliminary through Semifinal Rounds and festival events took place on the campus of SMU. The Final Round was held at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, where the three finalists performed full concertos with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Ruth Reinhardt. Alessio Bax, remarkable pianist, winner of both the Leeds and Hamamatsu International Piano Competitions, and SMU artist-in-residence, served as jury chairman. All Competition performances can be seen at YouTube.com/theCliburn
The Junior Competition and Festival was established in 2015 as another means for the Cliburn to use its standing and expertise to encourage tomorrow’s great artists, to provide a valuable forum for them to express themselves, and to give them an entrance to the next step of their journeys. Key ingredients were top international jurors, the media and webcast, Final Round performances with orchestra, and the festival atmosphere, which included performance experience and artistic workshops—all put into place to make the program significantly useful for students with aspirations of being professional musicians.
“The last four years have been a time of growth for the Cliburn: we have fine-tuned or expanded many of our programs and added some as well—the Junior Competition being the most impactful of our new initiatives,” said Jacques Marquis, Cliburn president and CEO. “The first edition in 2015 was a great success and accomplished its intention, to help keep the Cliburn brand alive internationally over our four-year cycle and to connect us with the top international talent at an earlier age. With the second edition, we look to build upon that success.”
The 2019 Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival was held May 31–June 8, 2019 and drew 230 applications from 32 countries. Over 20 journalists, including several from Europe, covered the event in person, writing over 120 stories about the Competition and the 23 pianists who participated. Live and on demand webcast views have topped 500,000 for over 3.8 million minutes watched by viewers in 120 countries.
“One key to continuing the Cliburn’s strategic advancement is to continuously reach a broader community, both around the world and in our own backyard,” said Marquis. “We are pleased to be presenting the second edition of this still-new program in Dallas in 2019, and believe it will expose the Cliburn to a greater audience base in the region, as well as bring fantastic new partnerships with SMU, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and more to come. Fort Worth was Van Cliburn’s home and is the Cliburn’s permanent home. It will, in perpetuity, play host to the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. We have no intention of lessening our presence in Fort Worth; in fact, we have been increasing our programs in our hometown. Our offices are in downtown Fort Worth; our concert series are held in Fort Worth; our education program visits every elementary school in Fort Worth each year; and our community partnerships have never been stronger—including those with longtime, cherished collaborators TCU and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. We are proud to be adding to that robust Cliburn family now with the outstanding organizations and people of Dallas.”
THE SELECTION PROCESS
Applications for the 2019 Junior Competition, closed January 10, 2019. Applicants must have been born between June 8, 2001, and May 31, 2006.
A screening jury selected 24 competitors through online applications and video submissions, which were 15 to 20 minutes in length and included one etude, one movement of a Classical sonata, and one lyrical work. (Works performed in screening videos can be repeated during Competition rounds, but no works can be repeated within Competition rounds.) Competitors were announced to the public on March 13, 2019. New for the second edition, 14 additional pianists were accepted as non-competing festival participants and will had the opportunity to take part in master classes, private lessons, workshops, and other elective activities.
Competitors and festival participants were housed at SMU for the duration of the Competition and Festival.
The Junior Competition consisted of four rounds:
PRELIMINARY ROUND—23 pianists, each performing a 20-minute recital to include a virtuosic étude and one three- or four-voice Bach Prelude and Fugue.
QUARTERFINAL ROUND—14 pianists, each performing a 30-minute recital to include the first or last movement of a Classical sonata (some restrictions will apply).
SEMIFINAL ROUND—6 pianists, each performing a 40-minute recital (to include one large work of at least 18 minutes in length and a contemporary work) and one concerto movement with piano accompaniment (movement to be selected by the Cliburn).
FINAL ROUND—3 pianists, each performing one complete concerto with orchestra.
The festival is a crucial part of the Cliburn Junior experience and allowed the 23 competitors and 14 non-competing participants opportunities to engage with the local community and learn from some of the world’s top pianists and teachers through master classes, workshops, artist conversations, and community performances. And featured Daniel Hsu, Rachel Naomi Kudo, Sean Chen, Orion Weiss, Gilbert Kalish, Anne-Marie McDermott and Alexander Kobrin.