Thursday, 5 January 2017

London launch of the 2017 Van Cliburn Competition

Jayson Gillham performing at the London launch of the 2017 Van Cliburn competition
Jayson Gillham performing at the London launch of the
2017 Van Cliburn competition
The Van Cliburn Competition is in town. The  international piano competition is being held in Fort Worth in May and June 2017, and currently the screening jury is listening to pianists to select those that go forward to the competition in Fort Worth. Last night (4 January 2017) there was a launch event at the Century Club in Soho, where Jacques Marquis (the competition CEO) introduced the competition and then we heard a short recital from London-based Australian pianist Jayson Gillham (an alumnus of the 2013 festival) who performed two movements from Rachmaninoff's arrangement of Bach's Violin Partita in E major, and the final movement of Chopin's B major Sonata.

The Van Cliburn Competition was founded in 1962 and takes place every four years in Fort Worth, Texas. It is named for the Texan pianist Van Cliburn who won the inaugural Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow in 1958.

For the 2017 competition there were over 290 applicants from 46 countries. These have been reduced to 125 and each of these are being listened to by the screening jury (Dmitri Alexeev, Michel Beroff, Janina Fialkowska, James Parker, Pamela Mia Paul) to select 30 pianist to go to Fort Worth for the main competition.

The competition is celebrating new partnerships, Universal will be recording the winners whilst Keynote Artists will be taking care of the winners, as part of the competitions mandate to support winning artists. This year's competition will be broadcast on Medici TV, in the hope of expanding the competition's base in Europe and Asia. In addition, the last two competition rounds will be shown live in 300 cinemas in the USA.

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