The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (The Cliburn) is an American piano competition by The Cliburn, first held in 1962 in Fort Worth, Texas and hosted by the Van Cliburn Foundation. Initially held at Texas Christian University, the competition has been held at the Bass Performance Hall since 2001. The competition is named in honour of Van Cliburn, who won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition, in 1958.
The Van Cliburn Competition is held once every four years, in the year of United States presidential inaugurations. The winners and runners-up receive substantial cash prizes, plus concert tours at world-famous venues where they are able to perform pieces of their choice. While Cliburn was alive, he did not serve as a judge in the competition, provide financial support, or work in its operations. However, he attended performances by competitors regularly and greeted them afterwards on occasion.
Contestants draw lots for their performing place in the competition. The competition began on-line audio streaming of the performances in 1997. In 2009, the competition webcast all of the performances live for the first time in its history.
Amateur and Junior competitions
In 1999, the competition added an amateur edition, which allows high-performing pianists aged 35 or above to participate, provided that they do not earn their main source of income through piano pedagogy or performance. Amateur competitions have been held in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2011, and 2016. Originally, the 2016 Amateur Competition was to be held in 2015, but was canceled, due to the inauguration of a junior version of the Cliburn Competition, which attracts top-performing teenage piano students from around the globe. Like the regular Cliburn Competition, the amateur and junior competitions consist of solo rounds, followed by concerto performances with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in the finals.
- Van Cliburn Foundation
- List of classical music competitions
- World Federation of International Music Competitions
- Anthony Tommasini (February 27, 2013). "Van Cliburn, Cold War Musical Envoy, Dies at 78". New York Times. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- "1962 Cliburn Competition – The Cliburn". www.cliburn.org. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- Future competitions are scheduled thus for 2025, 2029, and so forth.
- Bernard Holland (June 13, 1989). "After the Cliburn: A Career Still to Be Built". New York Times. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- Bernard Holland (March 27, 1989). "Van Cliburn: Man Behind the Contest". New York Times. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- Christopher Kelly (May 18, 2013). "With Cliburn Gone, Competition Tries to Adjust". New York Times. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- Bernard Holland (May 27, 2013). "Tensions on Eve of Cliburn Contest". New York Times. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- Benjamin Ivry (June 10, 2009). "What Was the Jury Thinking?". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 3, 2010.
Horowitz, Joseph (September 1990). The Ivory Trade: Music and the Business of Music at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (1 ed.). Summit Books.
- The Van Cliburn Foundation – History and information on the competition.
- Directory of International Piano Competitions
- Piano Competitions & Music Competitions at Bakitone International