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A series of conversations with the Cliburn competitors
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(Pronounced NEE-ko-lai Kho-zee-EYE-nov)
Born: Blagoveshchensk, Russia
From an early age: Khozyainov made his debut at age 7 in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.
Road-tested: Khozyainov has already appeared in Australia, Ireland, Hungary and Italy.
First trip to the U.S.: “I was in the United States in 2008 in Washington, D.C. I played at the Kennedy Center Recital Hall,” he says in his application essay. “The audience took me very warmly. There was a lot of applause. The time has passed. I have grown up and [become] a more experienced musician. But that warmth of the American people’s hearts I still remember very clearly.”
Thoughts on the Cliburn Competition: “Musicians and music lovers from all over the world are very interested in this competition, come to the concert hall, or listen to the competitors on the Internet,” he says in his application. “The Van Cliburn Competition is my first competition in the United States. I will always try to play sincerely, and give people only positive energy.”
— Tim Madigan