Van Cliburn

April 19, 2013

Cliburn confidential: Meet Alessandro Deljavan

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1 of 30

A series of conversations with the Cliburn competitors

Alessandro Deljavan

(pronounced Ah-leh-SSAHN-dro DEL-jah-van)

Nationality: Italian

Born: Giulianova, Italy

Lives: Pescara, Italy

Age: 26

Why he sounds familiar: He is the sole pianist returning from a previous Cliburn competition; he was a semifinalist in 2009 and received the John Giordano Jury Chairman Discretionary Award.

Why he is returning for the 2013 Cliburn: "Because my mission in Fort Worth is not finished yet," he says. "Last time was a wonderful experience, and I missed very much my friend Jon Suder, who gave me hospitality [as his host] during the last competition."

On his hope for personal growth during the competition: "The possibility of being heard by a jury of great artists and by a qualified and friendly audience could help me find the best part of myself," Deljavan says in his Cliburn application. "I hope to be able to express fully my feelings and my emotions."

Early musical start: He says he began studying piano before age 2.

Favorite composers: Bach and Schubert.

Most memorable concert experience thus far: "When I was playing the complete Beethoven violin/piano sonatas with Daniela Cammarano with my teacher, Maestro William Grant Naboré," he says.

Hardest thing about being a talented musician: "To live every moment of my free time in anguish."

Hobbies: Cooking and watching movies.

Favorite popular artists: Michael Bublé, Elio e le Storie Tese [an Italian band that has been compared to Frank Zappa] and "the Boss," Bruce Springsteen.

Why he's looking forward to coming back to Fort Worth: "Meeting once again the friends that I made when I was there."

On why he loves teaching piano: "I like to transmit to young people the joy of music."

-- Punch Shaw, Special to the Star-Telegram

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