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 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.
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.
RULES AND PROCEDURES FOR THE COMPETITION
- The Competition will consist of three separate rounds: Preliminary, Semifinal, and Final.
- The selection committee will invite 48 pianists to compete. The jury will not advance more than 20 pianists to the Semifinal Round, or more than 6 to the Final Round.
- The order of appearance of pianists in the Preliminary Round will be determined by the Cliburn. The Semifinal Round of Competition will follow this order except for reasons of accident, illness, or other unusual circumstances at the discretion of the president of the Cliburn. The order of appearance in the Final Round will depend on rehearsal scheduling, program content, and administrative requirements, and may vary from that of the Preliminary and Semifinal Rounds. All phases of the Competition will be open to the public.
- A Steinway concert grand piano will be provided for pianists’ performances. All competitors will have 10 minutes to try out the piano in the performance hall prior to the Competition.
- Competition performances may be webcast live and recorded for subsequent broadcast, video, or audio recording use. Crews may photograph and audio/visually record all Competition events. Neither the Cliburn nor its assignees or licensees may be held liable for any payments to pianists arising out of materials derived from Competition performances. Applicants are required to sign a release form yielding all rights on such materials to the Cliburn, its assignees, or its licensees.
- Pianists may not contact or speak with any member of the jury as long as they continue to compete in the Competition. Any violation of this rule may disqualify the pianist.
ROUNDS & REPERTOIRE REQUIREMENTS
May 24–26, 2020- Preliminary Round (Van Cliburn Recital Hall)
48 competitors will each present a solo recital not to exceed 15 minutes in length, of repertoire of their choosing.
May 27–28, 2020- Semifinal Round (Van Cliburn Recital Hall)
20 competitors will each present a solo recital not to exceed 28 minutes in length, of repertoire of their choosing.
May 30, 2020- Final Round (Bass Performance Hall)
6 competitors will each perform one concerto movement, selected from the list below, with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and conductor Damon Gupton
BACH Keyboard Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1052: I. Allegro
BACH Keyboard Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1052: III. Allegro
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, op. 15: I. Allegro con brio
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, op. 15: III. Rondo. Allegro scherzando
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, op. 19:I. Allegro con brio
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, op. 19: III. Rondo. Molto allegro
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, op. 37: I. Allegro con brio (NEW)
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, op. 37: III. Rondo. Allegro (NEW)
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, op. 58: III. Rondo. Vivace (NEW)
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, op. 73: III. Rondo. Allegro
GRIEG Piano Concerto in A Minor, op. 16: I. Allegro molto moderato (NEW)
GRIEG Piano Concerto in A Minor, op. 16: III. Allegro moderato molto e marcato (NEW)
MENDELSSOHN Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, op. 25: I. Molto allegro con fuoco (NEW)
MENDELSSOHN Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, op. 25: III. Presto—Molto allegro vivace
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat Major, K. 271: I. Allegro
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat Major, K. 271: III. Rondeau. Presto
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467: I. Allegro maestoso
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467: III. Allegro vivace assai
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488: I. Allegro
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488: III. Allegro assai
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, op. 26: I. Andante—Allegro (NEW)
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, op. 26: II. Tema con variazioni. Andantino (NEW)
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, op. 26: III. Allegro, ma non troppo (NEW)
SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, op. 22: I. Andante sostenuto
SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, op. 22: II. Allegro scherzando
SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, op. 22: III. Presto
SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No. 5 in F Major, op. 103: I. Allegro animato
SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No. 5 in F Major, op. 103: II. Andante
SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No. 5 in F Major, op. 103: III. Molto allegro
SCHUMANN Piano Concerto in A Minor, op. 54: I. Allegro affettuoso
SCHUMANN Piano Concerto in A Minor, op. 54: III. Allegro vivace
SHOSTAKOVICH Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major, op. 102: I. Allegro
SHOSTAKOVICH Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major, op. 102: III. Allegro
TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, op. 23: III. Allegro con fuoco (NEW)
RULES RELATED TO REPERTOIRE
- Competitors are free to choose their own programs for all recital phases of the Competition. Applicants may perform any work written for solo piano by a classical composer of any era, including contemporary music. It is suggested that the repertoire reflect a variety of musical periods and composers. Returning competitors are encouraged to present repertoire that they have not performed at previous competitions.
- If an applicant also composes original music in a classical style, s/he may include such works, but at least 75% of the repertoire timing must be written by another composer and published.
- Broadway show tunes, movie music, jazz, folk, and other forms of popular music generally will not be eligible for consideration.
- No works may be repeated in subsequent rounds.
- Total performance times must include applause and pauses, and will be strictly enforced.
- Individual movements of larger works will be accepted but must be performed in their entirety.
- Repeats are at the discretion of the pianist.
- Works do not have to be memorized (a page turner can be provided).
- If requested, the pianist must supply a copy of the edition of the score used in preparation of each work performed to the jury.
RULES RELATING TO PRIZES
- The prizes and awards specified on the Cliburn website will constitute the only prizes and awards of the Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition. No other prizes, awards, or remunerations will be permitted, except by express decision of the Cliburn.
- Taxes will be deducted from prizes according to the United States tax laws in effect at the time of the Competition.
RIGHTS AND RESERVATIONS
- Applicants may not commit any act or do anything which might tend to bring himself/herself into public disrepute, contempt, scandal, or ridicule, or which might tend to reflect unfavorably on the Cliburn, or any sponsor, donor, or partner of the Cliburn. If, at any time, an applicant is involved in any such situation or occurrence during the application process, the period between the selection of competitors and the Competition, and/or during the Competition, the Cliburn has the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action it deems appropriate, including but not limited to disqualification from the Competition or revocation of any awards.
- All rounds and auxiliary events of the Competition may be audio/visually recorded and/or photographed. The Cliburn reserves the right to duplicate, distribute, broadcast, display, and otherwise use all recordings, and the names and/or likenesses of all competitors, for any purposes on any platform, whether now known or yet devised. Neither the Cliburn, nor its assignees or licenses may be held liable for any payments to pianists arising out of materials derived from any Competition performances and/or events. All participants are required to sign a release form yielding all rights on such materials to the Cliburn, its assignees, or licenses.
- All information contained in this document is correct at the time of publication. However, the Cliburn reserves the right to make any changes if circumstances dictate.
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