The Cliburn competitors in their own words

05/19/2013 12:00 AM

05/15/2013 4:40 PM

Nikita Abrosimov

Russia

Age 24

“I strongly believe that entering the competition will stimulate enormously my artistic and pianistic growth. Preparation for the competition makes me work hard and be very focused on music.”

Luca Buratto

Italy

Age 20

“I’ve always dreamed to be part of this big family, and wished one day to take part in this Olympic Games for pianists. Not just for the great visibility it gives and the great chance of career it is, but also for feeling this magic experience.”

Sean Chen

United States

Age 24

“I am a great lover of making music, and there is no better place to do that than at an event dedicated to music making.”

Alexey Chernov

Russia

Age 30

“It is in this spirit of stretching myself to achieve my highest level of artistry that I am entering the Van Cliburn.”

Sara Daneshpour

United States

Age 26

“An artist, in my opinion, has a responsibility to use their craft and talent to improve upon the world around him or her, no matter how small or large the improvement may be.”

Alessandro Deljavan*

Italy

Age 26

“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. I hope to be able to express fully my feelings and my emotions.”

Fei-Fei Dong

China

Age 22

“Regardless of the outcome of the competition, I hope to be able to play a lot of good music and to share my musical passion with the most enthusiastic audiences on the international platform provided by the competition.”

Francois Dumont

France

Age 27

“The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is one of the world’s most renown (if not the most renown) competition. Being accepted as a competitor is an honor and also an incredible responsibility to oneself.”

Yury Favorin

Russia

Age 26

“The most important thing for every pianist is to be on stage, to have an opportunity to share his own delight with many different people, to feel the moment when everybody forgets his own reality and difference between each other and start to live in music.”

Lindsay Garritson

United States

Age 25

“If one is not self-disciplined and ready to make a lot of sacrifices, forget a solo career. But I love the drive and energy this profession demands. In the end, it’s worth it.”

Jayson Gillham

Australia

Age 26

“Beneath my friendly, smiling, pleasant (nice) exterior, I am bursting with emotions so vivid, so real, so strong, that I want to reach out and hug everyone in the entire world and celebrate with them the joys and sorrows of life through the medium of music.”

Giuseppe Greco

Italy

Age 23

“I want to participate in your prestigious piano competition because it could be a great opportunity to know and meet other competitors and especially … to give all my best about piano playing!”

Claire Huangci

United States

Age 23

“In my career, I have had the pleasure of meeting and knowing a number of Cliburn prize winners, spanning many years, and from each I heard the same message: The Cliburn competition is a life-changing experience.”

Ruoyo Huang

China

Age 24

“I am lacking competition experience, so my preparation is not as strong as the other more experienced competitors. I’ll try my best. I hope this is a process that will make me improve.”

Vadym Kholodenko

Ukraine

Age 26

“Communication between musician and audience is the most important thing from my point of view. I hope this challenge will help me to achieve a new level of music experience and maturity.”

Nikolay Khozyainov

Russia

Age 20

“Participation at the competition for me is first of all a communication with people. I love playing for people. It is a supreme pleasure for me.”

Marcin Koziak

Poland

Age 24

“I feel that I am able to tell people who are listening to my performances many things through music, and my only vocational goal was — and still is — to play more beautifully, to give truth and joy to the people and to develop in it.”

Kuan-Ting Lin

Taiwan

Age 21

“For I believe in the healing powers of music, in troubled times for a better and brighter world. This future I see reflected often on the faces of my audiences.”

Steven Lin

United States

Age 24

“Over the years, I’ve come to realize that I long to bring others to a sense of unity through a similar love, which for me is classical music.”

Alex McDonald

United States

Age 30

“Pursuing the Van Cliburn is entirely in keeping with my mission to educate, enlighten and heal the world through music.”

Gustavo Miranda-Bernales

Chile

Age 22

“Having the opportunity to play chamber music and concertos with such amazing musicians also makes me deeply enthusiastic about entering the competition, hoping to achieve great music making experiences.”

Nikita Mndoyants

Russia

Age 24

“This competition provides a lot of invaluable opportunities for the pianist participating in it, by helping young performers share their talent with the world.”

Oleksandr Poliykov

Ukraine

Age 25

“Music is my life. It’s constantly sounding in my home, all kinds of it, symphonic, opera, instrumental, chamber.”

Beatrice Rana

Italy

Age 20

“I love playing and sharing my music with people, and Van Cliburn Competition is that kind of chance that would give me the opportunity to do what I love at the maximum levels.”

Tomoki Sakata

Japan

Age 19

“I like Mozart’s harmony very, very much. I used to play with feeling and listening to his harmony very often, when I was very little. After I turned 12 years old, I decided to study classical music seriously.”

Scipione Sangiovanni

Italy

Age 25

“When I play, the most important thing is for me to feel free to express myself. I feel sad if I don’t feel free. When I play, I try every time to see only the music, musical expression. That’s what I will try to do at the Cliburn.”

Yekwon Sunwoo

South Korea

Age 24

“Through conveying my own ideas of great composers, it is my intention and hope to be able to get to go places and let the people feel this truly wonderful beauty of music, and let them recollect their memories and shudder by long-lost forgotten emotions.”

Alessandro Taverna

Italy

Age 29

“To take part in such an important music event of international relevance and worldwide resonance means, in a sense, to make a step in contributing to the history of the most prestigious piano competition in the world.”

Jie Yuan

China

Age 27

“When I enter a competition, I never think competitive thoughts. I just want to play my best and make the audience happy. It is about the music.”

Eric Zuber

United States

Age 27

“These days I’m either practicing, eating or sleeping. I’ve had an enormously busy last two months with six different concerti to play with orchestras. We really don’t have time to do much else.”

*2009 Cliburn competitor

— Compiled by Courtney Ortega from recent Star-Telegram interviews and the competitors’ Cliburn applications

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