By Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News
The 30 competitors have been named for this year’s Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, to be held May 25 through June 10 at Fort Worth’s Bass Performance Hall. They were selected from 290 pianists who applied for the contest, one of the most prominent music competitions in the world.
Among the applicants, 140 were selected to perform in screening auditions in January and February in London; Hannover, Germany; Budapest, Hungary; Moscow; Seoul, South Korea; New York; and Fort Worth.
The 2017 competitors represent 16 nations, with one competitor, who holds dual Algerian/Canadian citizenship, counted twice: Russia (6), South Korea (5), the United States (4), Canada (3), Italy (2), and one each from Algeria, Austria, China, Croatia, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Poland, Romania, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. There are 21 men and nine women, the competitors ranging from 18 to 30 — the actual age range for eligibility.
The competition, held every four years, has been reorganized into four rounds: Preliminary (May 25-28): All contestants play 45-minute solo recitals. Quarterfinal (May 29-30): Twenty quarterfinalists play 45-minute solo recitals
Semifinal (June 1-5): Twelve semifinalists play 60-minute solo recitals, and a Mozart piano concerto with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, led by Nicholas McGegan.
Final (June 7-10): Six finalists perform a piano quintet with the Brentano String Quartet and a piano concerto with the Fort Worth Symphony, led by Leonard Slatkin.
The entire competition will be webcast live on cliburn.org. In addition, the final round will be broadcast in cinemas around the United States.