Laura Bush to be Junior Competition Honorary Chairman

The Cliburn is proud to announce that Former First Lady Laura Bush will serve as honorary chairman of the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival, for 13- to 17-year old pianists, taking place May 31–June 8, 2019, in Dallas, Texas. “Laura Bush’s lifetime commitment to education on the highest level continues in this association with the Cliburn Junior Competition, which is designed to encourage the artistic development of the greatest pianistic talent of tomorrow from around the globe,” said Cliburn President and CEO Jacques Marquis. “As the Cliburn hosts a major program in Dallas for the first time ever—the majority of which will be held on the campus of SMU—we are thrilled to have Mrs. Bush, a resident of the city and proud alumna of the University, lend her name. She also held a longtime friendship with our inspiration and namesake, Van Cliburn, making this connection particularly special.”

2019 Junior Applications Open Now

The Cliburn invites talented pianists to apply for the Second Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival, for pianists age 13 to 17, taking place May 31–June 8, 2019, in Dallas, Texas. Twenty-four pianists, age 13 to 17, will be invited to compete, and, new for the second edition, 14 additional pianists will be accepted as non-competing festival participants and will have the opportunity to take part in master classes, private lessons, workshops, and other elective activities.

2018 Classically Cliburn Gala to honor Van Cliburn

Join us April 6 at Ridglea Country Club as we pay tribute to the 60th Anniversary of Van Cliburn’s historic International Tchaikovsky Competition victory in Moscow at the height of the Cold War. A Russian Romance continues the Cliburn gala reputation of bringing together fabulous music and good friends to support the growth of all things Cliburn. It is these outstanding programs, and the tremendous reach of our competitions, that so richly enhance the lives of those in our local community and across the globe. We will also honor immediate past chairman Carla Kemp Thompson, and her husband Kelly, for years of tremendous service and dedication.

2019 Junior Competition Announced

The second edition of the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival will take place May 31–June 8, 2019, on the campus of SMU Meadows School of the Arts, culminating with three finalists performing full concertos with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at Morton H Meyerson Symphony Center! Alessio Bax will join us as jury chairman. Applications will open March 1, 2018.

Yekwon Sunwoo joins Keynote Artist Management roster

Keynote Artist Management announces today that pianist Yekwon Sunwoo will join the firm’s roster for worldwide general management, effective immediately.

In June 2017, Yekwon Sunwoo was named the gold medalist of the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, at 28 years of age. In addition to cash and other prizes, he received three years of guaranteed comprehensive career management from the Cliburn, including mentorship and international concert bookings from the London-based Keynote Artist Management. Keynote manager Claudia Clarkson was immediately struck by Mr. Sunwoo’s charisma and authority at the keyboard when she heard him in Fort Worth during the Competition, which, in part, led to this offer of worldwide management just 6 months after his win.

Mr. Sunwoo’s Decca Gold album, Cliburn Gold 2017, reached #1 on the Billboard’s Traditional Classical Chart its first week of release in August. Featuring his Competition-winning performances of Ravel, Haydn, and Rachmaninoff, the recording is available on all major outlets (including the Cliburn Shop at

Since then he has made an undeniable impression during his fall tour around the world, including his:

  • sold-out Chicago recital debut, lauded for “ravishing pianisim… a genuine poetic sensibility, a way of making the music his own and telling you things about it you had not heard before” (Chicago Tribune);
  • return to the Cliburn stage in Fort Worth, where “it was clear that something special was happening… I sensed emotional depths I’d never before imagined” (Dallas Morning News);
  • special performance, alongside Renée Fleming and Cynthia Nixon, for the New York Public Radio Gala 2017;
  • U.K. concerto debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and other performances across Europe, Asia, and North America.

For more about Yekwon, visit

Cliburn Gold 2017 Digital Album Released

Just 13 days after Yekwon Sunwoo was named the gold medalist of the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Decca Gold, Universal Music’s U.S. classical label, has released Cliburn Gold 2017! The digital album features a selection of Yekwon’s live solo performances from the Competition, including Ravel’s La Valse and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Sonata No. 2.

DOWNLOAD YOURS TODAY or PRE-ORDER THE CD, which drops August 18.

Read more about Yekwon Sunwoo HERE.