The Cliburn advances classical piano music throughout the world. Its international competitions, education programs, and concert series embody an enduring commitment to artistic excellence and the discovery of new artists. Established in 1962, the quadrennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is widely recognized as “the most prestigious classical music contest in the world” (The Chicago Tribune) and remains committed to its original ideals of supporting and launching the careers of young artists, ages 18–30. It shares the transformative powers of music with a wide global audience, through fully produced webcasts and by providing commission-free, comprehensive career management and concert bookings to its winners. Rounding out its mission, the Cliburn also produces the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival for exceptional 13 to 17-year-old pianists (second edition, June 2019), and the Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition for outstanding non-professional pianists age 35 and older (eighth edition, June 2020).
Over a four-year cycle, the Cliburn contributes to North Texas’ cultural landscape with over 170 classical music performances for 150,000 attendees, through competitions, free community concerts, and its signature Cliburn Concerts series at Bass Performance Hall, the Kimbell Art Museum Piano Pavilion, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. It presents 1,000 Cliburn in the Classroom in-school, interactive music education programs for more than 200,000 area elementary students. During the same time period, it garners the world’s attention with over 5 million visits from 170 nations for live concert and competition webcasts; 300 concerts worldwide booked for competition winners; more than 5,000 news articles about the Cliburn and its winners; and regular national radio broadcasts to 245 public radio stations.