The prestigious quadrennial competition was founded in 1962, in honor of Van Cliburn's victory at the first Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, and is held in the pianist's hometown. Previous winners include Radu Lupu, Jon Nakamatsu, and Olga Kern.
Starting at 1 p.m. CDT today and through the evening of May 24, each of the 35 competitors will give 50-minute recitals. From May 26 to 29, the 12 semifinalists will perform 60-minute solo recitals and a piano quintet with the Takšcs Quartet. Finally, from June 1 to 5, six finalists will perform a solo recital and a concerto with the Fort Worth Symphony.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony on June 5 at 5 p.m. Cliburn himself will host the awards ceremony, replacing the originally scheduled host, actor Anthony Hopkins.
Medalists will receive cash prizes, recordings contracts, and engagements all over the world. The Van Cliburn Foundation and IMG Artists will provide career management in the United States and Europe, respectively.
The entirety of the competition will be streamed live on the Internet. Audio and video streams of the competition will be available at www.cliburn.org, as will information about performers and repertoire. Free registration is required. Web listeners will be able to cast a vote for a separate new prize to be awarded to one of the finalists. The newly expanded site will also include the comments of two bloggers, educational material, and a gallery of children's art inspired by the competition.