Each young pianist has chosen a piece to perform in the competition's semifinal round next month from among five works: Higdon's Secret and Glass Gardens, Kellogg's Scarlet Thread, Sebastian Currier's Scarlatti Cadences and Brainstorm, Jan Krzywicki's Nocturnals, and Ruth Schonthal's Sonata quasi un'improvvisazione.
Those works were selected from among 29 submissions in the competition within a competition called the American Composers Invitational. The jury, chaired by John Corigliano, included composers Lowell Liebermann and Robert Maggio and Michael Boriskin, a pianist and the director of Copland House.
The composer of the work performed by the most semifinalists will receive a $5,000 prize. The composers of the other four works will receive $2,500.
The American Composers Invitational was created four years ago to coincide with the 2001 Van Cliburn Competition. Liebermann won the first contest. Before its creation, competitors played works by such contemporary composers as Samuel Barber, William Bolcom, and Aaron Copland.
The Van Cliburn Competition runs from May 19 through June 5 in Fort Worth, Texas. Previous winners include Radu Lupu, Jon Nakamatsu, and Olga Kern.