2020 CLIBURN INTERNATIONAL AMATEUR PIANO COMPETITION
for outstanding, non-professional pianists age 35 and older
MAY 24–30, 2020 • FORT WORTH, TEXAS
Ralph Votapek, jury chairman
Damon Gupton, conductor
February 22, 2019–Online applications open
January 4, 2020–Tickets on sale
January 16, 2020–Applications due
March 12, 2020–Competitors announced
May 24, 2020–Amateur Competition begins
The eighth edition of the Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition, for non-professional pianists age 35 and older, will take place May 24–30, 2020, in Fort Worth, Texas, at Bass Performance Hall and Van Cliburn Recital Hall. Applicants must be at least 35 years of age as of May 24, 2020, and may not perform, teach, or compose piano music for their primary professional pursuit or financial benefit. Applications are now open, and are due January 16, 2020. 48 pianists will be selected as competitors. The competitors and festival participants will be announced March 12, 2020.
New this year, an additional 24 pianists will be selected as non-competing festival participants, for a total of 72 pianists. Festival participants will play up to 15 minutes for comments from jurors and participate in other activities and festival events.
Ralph Votapek, gold medalist of the First Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1962, will serve as jury chairman, and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will perform with each of six finalists under the baton of acclaimed conductor Damon Gupton. Select competition performances will be webcast live at Cliburn.org.
The Amateur Competition Festival will include a variety of public performances; a practical seminar on repertoire, practice, and performance techniques; four-hand and chamber readings with professional musicians; and a host of social events where they can form lasting relationships with people from around the world who share their same passion.
Inaugurated in 1999, the Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition was the first event of its kind in the United States. Hailed by the Boston Globe as “a celebration of music, and the people who have to make music no matter what;” the contest highlights the importance of music-making in everyday life and provides a forum for musicians age 35 and older who do not perform, teach, or compose piano music for their primary professional pursuit or financial benefit. The quadrennial competition brings together the best amateur pianists from around the world for seven days of performances, symposia, and social events.
ABOUT THE 2020 AMATEUR COMPETITION
- The Eighth Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition will be held at the Van Cliburn Recital Hall and Bass Performance Hall from May 24 to May 30, 2020. Competitors will be required to be present for the orientation and welcome party on May 23, 2020.
- The Cliburn will invite 48 competitors and up to 24 festival participants to take part.
- Competitors and festival participants will be responsible for their own travel and housing. Practice facilities and instruments will be available for all competitors during the week of the Competition.
- Competitors and festival participants will be required to pay a $120 US fee towards the cost of festival events and amenities.
- In some cases, foreign competitors will need visas and will be responsible for securing them. The Cliburn will assist as needed after competitors are announced.
- In addition to Competition rounds, the Cliburn will organize several performance and social opportunities for all participants throughout the week, including public recitals, chamber music readings, and symposia.
- Applicants must be aged 35 or over by May 24, 2020.
- Applicants may not perform, teach, or compose piano music primarily for professional pursuits or financial benefit.
- Previous first-prize winners of the Cliburn Amateur Competition (formerly known as the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs) are not eligible.
NON-COMPETING FESTIVAL PARTICIPANTS
Up to 24 pianists will be selected as non-competing festival participants. They will play up to 15 minutes for comments from jurors (recitals will be free and open to the public), and participate in other activities and festival events. Participants must also submit a full application.
APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR COMPETITORS & PARTICIPANTS
- All applications must be completed and submitted through the online system via cliburn.org.
- All applications are due by 11:59 CST / GMT-6 on Thursday, January 16, 2020. No late or partial applications will be accepted.
- All applicants must submit a nonrefundable application fee of $125 US, payable through the online application system.
- Applications will include uploads of:
- 15-20 minute video performance
- Birth certificate or equivalent proof of age
- High-resolution color photographs (300 dpi or higher), including one color headshot suitable for publicity purposes
- A current curriculum vitae
- An acknowledgment will be sent to each applicant upon receipt of the completed online application. Applicants will not be allowed to submit unless all information is complete.
- All applicants should retain copies of their submitted applications. The Cliburn will accept no responsibility for applications not received.
- All applications will be reviewed by a selection committee and treated as confidential. The Cliburn reserves the right to request additional information from or about an applicant.