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June 1, 2009

Cliburn Competition finalists in home stretch; live Webcasts of their rehearsals and concerts this week

Cliburn Competition logoThe 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition -- still one of the leading keyboard contests in the world -- heads into the home stretch this week, with each of the finalists playing a solo recital and two concertos. The winners will be announced on June 7.

For the first time, the concerto rehearsals and performances by the six finalists will be streamed live on the Web, allowing piano fans from around the globe to experience the musical action in Fort Worth. (You have to download Microsoft Silverlight first.) Earlier rounds were streamed, too, and are now archived on the site. I've checked out some of these archives and ...

I've been impressed with the video and audio quality. Getting a chance to watch the rehearsals ought to be quite informative. There are also various interactive elements to "Cliburn TV," including voting by viewers. The first rehearsal of finals week begins at 11 a.m. EST Monday.

The finalists are neatly divided gender-wise. Three women: Yeol Eum Son, 23 (South Korea); Mariangela Vacatello, 27 (Italy); Di Wu, 24 (China). Three men: Evgeni Bozhanov, 25 (Bulgaria); Nobuyuki Tsujii, 20 (Japan); Haochen Zhang, 19 (China).


Posted by Tim Smith at 10:07 AM | | Comments (0)

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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