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Last night in Fort Worth, Texas, six pianists were chosen to progress to the final round of the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. They are as follows:

Kenneth Broberg, United States, 23
Rachel Cheung, Hong Kong, 25
Yury Favorin, Russia, 30
Daniel Hsu, United States, 19
Yekwon Sunwoo, South Korea, 28
Georgy Tchaidze, Russia, 29

Before announcing the winners, Leonard Slatkin (Jury Chair), gave a though-provoking speech, reminding us all that music has the power to transport us to a better place, and that the competitors all have the responsibility to advance the cause of great art.  Cliburn CEO Jacques Marquis, and Chairman Carla Kemp Thompson offered their thanks to all the competitors and the fantastic Cliburn team working so hard to make the competition such a great success for both Fort Worth, and classical music.

Image: Leonard Slatkin

The final round will begin on Wednesday at 7.30pm.  Each competitor performs twice: on June 7–8, each finalist will join the Brentano String Quartet for a piano quintet.   Then, on June 9–10, each will perform a concerto with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin.  Excitingly for the audience, no two competitors will play the same piano concerto, with repertoire consisting of: Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 and No. 3, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1, Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4, and Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

The winners of the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition will be announced in the Awards Ceremony, which begins  at 7.00pm on June 10. As always, the finals can be streamed live at cliburn2017.medici.tv.  Besides the performances, presenters Anderson and Roe give a fascinating insight into life backstage.  The finals will also be broadcast at a later date on Classic FM, who are the Cliburn’s Official UK Broadcast Partner.

Image: The six finalists of the Cliburn

Kat and James are currently in Fort Worth for the finals, and will be tweeting from @WildKatPR. Follow us for updates.

(Written on June 6, 2017 )

In today’s news: cast members and audience evacuated from the Royal Opera House London, and violinist William Schaub will be the next concertmaster of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. Paavo Järvi becomes new principal conductor of Tonhalle Zürich Orchestra, and 12 semifinalists are announced for the Cliburn Piano Competition.

BBC News

Royal Opera House cast and audience evacuated

Cast members and theatre-goers were evacuated from the Royal Opera House in London after a fire alarm went off mid-performance.

The Strad

Violinist William Schaub named Knoxville Symphony Orchestra concertmaster

The 24-year-old musician will take up the position from the beginning of next season

MixMag

20 Photos of Haçienda Classiçal at the Royal Albert Hall

The dance music orchestra lit up the iconic London concert venue

Dallas News

Cliburn Piano Competition names 12 pianists to advance to Semifinal Round

The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition announced 12 semifinalists Tuesday night.

Berliner Morgenpost

Museum der Moderne: “Die Musik kommt von innen”

Mit gleich vier Eingängen will sich das Museum der Moderne öffnen. Das soll Bewegung am Berliner Kulturforum schaffen.

Spiegel.de

Ariana Grande tritt mit Coldplay und Justin Bieber auf

Die US-Sängerin Ariana Grande wird am Sonntag ihr Benefizkonzert in Manchester geben. Unterstützt wird sie auf der Bühne unter anderem von Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus und Justin Bieber.

Concerti

Der Estländer soll’s richten

Paavo Järvi wird ab der Spielzeit 2019/20 neuer Chefdirigent und Künstlerischer Leiter des Tonhalle-Orchesters Zürich

Le Parisien

Spotify scelle un accord de droits avec des artistes américains

Le numéro un mondial du streaming Spotify a accepté de créer un fonds de 43,45 millions de dollars pour mettre fin à une procédure judiciaire potentiellement coûteuse avec des artistes américains, ont indiqué des avocats lundi.

El Mundo

Las escuelas de música y danza de Madrid piden un rescate

Suena una balada melancólica en las escuelas públicas de música y danza desde hace cinco años, cuando la Comunidad de Madrid dejó de financiarlas y los ayuntamiento aplicaron progresivos recortes en aquellos años de crisis que se cebaron con las dotaciones culturales.

Twitter

SWR lädt rund um Pfingsten zum Sommerfestival nach Stuttgart ein – vier Tage Festivalmeile auf dem Schlossplatz

 


Wer von euch hat sich schon die Elbphilharmonie als Tattoo stechen lassen!? Zeigt her eure Arme!

 

Daniel Ek, PDG de Spotify, à Tokyo le 29 septembre 2016 (AFP/TORU YAMANAKA)

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(Written on May 31, 2017 )

The 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition will be taking place at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, from 25th May to 10th June 2017.

We had the chance to catch up with Jacques Marquis, CEO of The Cliburn, to find out what makes The Cliburn so special, as well as how it aims to attract a wider global audience.

Have a look at the interview here!

Screening auditions are underway, having already visited London and Hannover. So far we’ve seen and heard many talented young pianists.

wildkat-pr-the-cliburn-2017-london

Photo from London screening auditions

Besides the screening auditions, The Cliburn also held a launch event in London, with The Cliburn 2013’s semi-finalist Jayson Gillham showcasing his beautiful playing in Bach arr. Rachmaninoff and Chopin.

wildkat-pr-the-cliburn-2017-launch-london

Photo: Pianist Jayson Gillham rehearsing at The Cliburn 2017 launch event in London

 

In addition, The Cliburn’s new partnership with medici.tv, who will be live-streaming the competition this year, will help realise the competition’s goal of reaching new international audiences.

WildKat PR sends its best wishes to this year’s participants! We can’t wait to see the 30 pianists that will make it to the Preliminary Round in Fort Worth, Texas, later this year.

Remember to follow WildKat PR on Twitter, and The Cliburn on Twitter and Facebook, for the latest news on The 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition!

(Written on January 13, 2017 )

Classical News

In today’s classical news, Paul Lewis and Adam Gatehouse, joint Artistic Directors of Leeds International Piano Competition, talk about the reinvention of the competition. David Teie, an US composer and cellist, released Music For Cats after years of research. Also, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra launched the “Classical Connections” program to study cognitive benefits of classical music.

The Guardian

Paul Lewis: how we’re transforming ‘the Leeds’ to nurture tomorrow’s pianists

The Leeds piano competition is being given a radical, creative reboot. Paul Lewis, one of its new directors – alongside Adam Gatehouse – explains the plan.

Today Online

Album for cats tops classical music charts

David Teie, an US composer and cellist, released Music For Cats after years of research.

Broadway World

Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra Launches Program to Study Cognitive Benefits of Classical Music

The Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra (SBCO) has launched “Classical Connections,” an innovative program to study the therapeutic benefits of classical music for individuals suffering cognitive or neurological impairment.

Classical Music Magazine

RSNO Composers’ Hub announces 2016/17 intake

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra has announced the second intake for its Composers’ Hub scheme.

Help Musicians UK announces latest career development grants

Help Musicians UK has announced the latest recipients of its career development bursaries.

Voice 2.0 – Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival 2017

The three-day festival, which will take place 24-26 February 2017 at Plymouth University, will showcase new technologies and novel approaches to composition, performance and participation in music under the theme VOICE 2.0.

Washington Post

Russian city cancels ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ after protest

A theater in Omsk, one of Russia’s largest cities has cancelled a planned performance of the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” following protests by an organization of conservative Orthodox Christians. Local group “Family, Love, and Fatherland” filed a complaint that the musical mocked religious faith.

24-Year-Old Conductor Makes History at Broadway

Madeline Smith made her Broadway debut October 14 conducting the Broadway production of Waitress. At age 24 she is believed to be the youngest woman to conduct in a Broadway pit.

Der Tagesspiegel

Iván Fischer verlässt das Konzerthaus nach 2018

Iván Fischer, Chefdirigent des Konzerthausorchesters Berlin, wird seinen Vertrag nicht über 2018 hinaus verlängern – zum Bedauern seiner Musiker. Mit neuen Formaten und spannenden Ideen konnte Iván Fischer das Konzerthausorchester profilieren.

Codex Flores

Heidelberger Frühling zeichnet einen Hotelier aus

Klaus Lauer, Gründer und Leiter der Römerbad Musiktage und Intendant der Badenweiler Musiktage, erhält den mit 10.000 Euro dotierten Musikpreis des Heidelberger Frühling 2017. Das Musikfestival vergibt die Auszeichnung jährlich an Persönlichkeiten, die sich «substanziell und nachhaltig für die Vermittlung von klassischer Musik einsetzen».

Musik Heute

Yuja Wang wird Musical Americas “Künstlerin des Jahres”

Die chinesische Pianistin Yuja Wang ist von “Musical America” zur Künstlerin des Jahres 2017 ernannt worden. Die Karriere der 29-Jährigen übersteige die jedes anderen Pianisten in der heutigen Öffentlichkeit.

Twitter

Classical Music @ClassicalMusic_ .@PRSFoundation announces New Music Biennial 2017 composer residencies & Minute of Listening

The Royal Opera @TheRoyalOpera How the musical tide turned against Shostakovich: http://www.roh.org.uk/news/knocked-b… #ROHnose

Classic FM @ClassicFM This clip of a Liverpool NHS Emergency Medical Technician casually belting out some opera is going viral: https://t.co/xVhfKz9ubX

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Photo: Leeds International Piano Competition

(Written on October 19, 2016 )

WildKat PR is very excited to announce that we are working with the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Established in 1962, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is widely-recognised as “one of the world’s highest-visibility classical-music contests” and remains committed to its original ideals of supporting and launching the careers of young pianists and sharing the transformative powers of music with a wide global audience. The Cliburn aims to advance 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 young artists.

In addition to the competition, the Cliburn established the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs in 1999, which The Boston Globe proclaimed “a celebration of music, and the people who have to make music, no matter what.” Then in January 2014, it announced the inaugural Cliburn International Junior Competition and Festival.

Since its inception in 1962, the Cliburn has remained committed not only to identifying young pianists who represent the highest in artistic achievement, but also to nurturing these artists and launching their careers. To this end, the Cliburn arranges for hundreds of recital, festival, and orchestra concert engagements across the United States for the winners in the three years following the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Medalists are also available for solo, chamber, and orchestra concerts, as well as for master classes, outreach activities, and other education programs.

Vadym Kholodenko, age 26 Ukraine, performs in the first Preliminary Recital of the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition at Bass Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, USA on Saturday May 25, 2013. (Photo Ralph Lauer/The Cliburn)

(Photo: Ralph Lauer/The Cliburn)

WildKat is looking forward to working with Cliburn on its launch event taking place in London in January 2017, as well as running press campaigns in the UK and Germany for the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, which will run from 25th May to 10th June 2017.

See the Cliburn’s website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as WildKat PR Blog, for its latest news .

(Written on October 7, 2016 )

On the evening of Wednesday 1stJuly, the pianist Lucas Debargue was awarded an unexpected 4th prize in the final of the fifteenth edition of the Tchaikovsky International Competition. The self-taught pianist was not expected to win when the contestants reached the final concerto stage since he had never played with an orchestra before, and his incredibly unconventional jazz technique irritated more than a few orthodox piano teachers and judges. Two eminent Russian judges on the panel praised him as a wonder for all his flaws though. Dmitri Bashkirov, even declared that Lucas Debargue will soon be considered one of the greatest pianists of our times.

The Moscow Music Critics Association, unsatisfied by the judgement, presented him with its prestigious award for his performances during the competition, which “has become an event of genuine musical significance” and to salute a pianists “whose incredible gift, artistic vision and creative freedom have impressed the critics as well as the audience.” Lucas Debargue stole the heart of the Russian public during the competition, even astonishing chairman Valery Gergiev, who broke the protocol by inviting him to play alongside the winners in a recital at the Mariinsky on 14th July.

lucas_debargue_Blogpost

Photo credit: Bernard Bonnefon

The self-taught young pianist started playing with friends as a child before being accepted into a conservatoire, but didn’t learn any instrumental technique there! He used to learn Prokofiev’s sonatas by heart and played it faultlessly, admitting himself, “for Rachmaninoff’s 3rd concert it’s impossible, we can’t learn 15 000 different directions. […] But I always learn by ear!” He gave up the piano at the age of 16 and worked in a supermarket to pay for his literature studies. He finally restarted at the age of 20 in a disciplined, professional way to prepare for the Tchaikovsky International Competition and ended up four years later in 4th place, playing with what the media defined as an “unmissable style

Since the competition, the enthusiasm of the audience and the media has grown, enhanced by a wave in social media. Aside from the unusual path he has taken, it’s his personal interpretation of the music that marvels. Recently he has given interviews with both France Musique and Parlons Piano to talk about interpretation. “I think there is a sacrifice to made” he said, “If you want to perfectly execute a piano piece, then you will have to sacrifice the music. Because the pianist puts himself under the spotlights and says “look how well I can play”, but there is no music and the truth is that when you play, you should not know what is coming next in the music”. He explains, that after working hard for hours on a piece, after knowing all the notes, silences and nuances, the only thing to be done is to jump without a parachute, submerged in the music. “ I don’t pursue technical perfection in a difficult piece […]. What is important, is to be carried by the music, to be active in its reception without anticipating what is coming next at all.” And quoting Aristotle, he added “the more violent act between letting an object fall and catching it again, is to catch it, because there is nothing more natural on earth than gravity. With music, it’s the same.”

lucas_debargue

Photo credit: Mariinski Theatre

In any case, in this strict orthodox world that is the pianistic sphere, it is nice to have this different approach being recognized for a change. Interpretation and music should speak over technique and the difficulty of a composition. After all, if music is understood as an infinite space of freedom of speech, we should be welcoming a pianist who is already proposing an original and unique language.

(Written on August 19, 2015 )