Van Cliburn

Twenty quarterfinalists continue after cut at Cliburn competition

Twenty competitors who made the first cut (down from 30 gather around a Steinway piano on the stage of the Bass Performance Hall at the close of the preliminary round of competition on day four of the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Sunday at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth.
Twenty competitors who made the first cut (down from 30 gather around a Steinway piano on the stage of the Bass Performance Hall at the close of the preliminary round of competition on day four of the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Sunday at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth. Special to the S-T

On a rainy afternoon in Fort Worth, 10 young pianists had their dreams dashed while 20 others were ecstatic to learn they would get to play at Bass Performance Hall at least one more time.

The Cliburn competition narrowed the field of competitors for the quarterfinals, choosing three women and 17 men to move on. Four of the seven Russian pianists advanced, along with four of the five South Korean competitors.

“You provided us with thrills, adventures, colors and sounds, new ways of thinking about music,” said jury chairman Leonard Slatkin before announcing the quarterfinalists.

The judges clearly enjoyed Sunday’s preliminary performances — all six competitors who played advanced to the next round, including American pianist Rachel Kudo.

“I just don’t want to have any regrets and just play my heart out and I think I was able to do that,” Kudo said, who plans to take it easy Monday since she does not play her quarterfinal recital until Tuesday.

The youngest competitor, Tony Yike Yang, an 18-year-old from Canada, advanced to the quarterfinal. He also made it to the semifinals of the Cliburn junior competition two years ago.

“I’m very grateful to be able to make it into the quarterfinals out of so many outstanding pianists,” Yang said. “I think all 30 of us should have been in the quarterfinals.”

This time only 10 competitors were cut — in past competitions the field was narrowed from 30 competitors to 12.

German pianist Caterina Grewe, who did not advance to the quarterfinals, said one never knows what the judges expect at a competition.

“I think we are all prepared for any result,” Grewe said. “It is what it is. We’ve all been lucky before and we’ve all been unlucky before. To get here was already hard enough.”

British pianist Martin James Bartlett, 20, said he was thrilled to make the finals and is prepared to play at 4:25 p.m. Monday.

“I was counting as people were going up to the stage and I realized there were 13 slots called, so I had my fingers crossed,” Bartlett said. His name was the 15th out of 20 called during the announcement ceremony.

The remaining 20 pianists will each perform a 45-minute recital during the quarterfinals Monday and Tuesday. The first quarterfinal recital — performed by Su Yeon Kim — will begin at 10 a.m. Monday.

In honor of Memorial Day, the Cliburn is offering free tickets to Monday’s performances to active and retired military personnel who have a military ID card.

The field narrows again on Tuesday evening, this time to 12 semifinalists. Six finalists will be named June 5, and the final awards ceremony for the medalists is June 10.

The quarterfinalists are:

Martin James Bartlett, 20, United Kingdom

Sergey Belyavskiy, 23, Russia

Kenneth Broberg, 23, United States

Luigi Carroccia, 25, Italy

Han Chen, 25, Taiwan

Rachel Cheung, 25, Hong Kong

Yuri Favorin, 30, Russia

Daniel Hsu, 19, United States

Alyosha Jurinic, 28, Croatia

Dasol Kim, 28, South Korea

Honggi Kim, 25, South Korea

Su Yeon Kim, 23, South Korea

Rachel Kudo, 30, United States

Leonardo Pierdomenico, 24, Italy

Ilya Shmukler, 22, Russia

Yutong Sun, 21, China

Yekwon Sunwoo, 28, South Korea

Georgy Tchaidze, 29, Russia

Tristan Teo, 20, Canada

Tony Yike Yang, 18, Canada

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @andreaahles

FIFTEENTH VAN CLIBURN INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION

May 25-June 10

Bass Hall, Fort Worth

Quarterfinal round: May 29-30. Twenty competitors play a 45-minute solo recital. $80-$150 round subscription; $15-$40 per concert.

Semifinal round: June 1-5. Twelve competitors will play a 60-minute solo recital and a Mozart piano concerto with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. $280-$450 round subscription; $30-$120 per concert.

Final round: June 7-10. Six competitors will play a piano quintet with the Brentano String Quartet and a concerto with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. $150-$260 round subscription; $45-$180 per concert.

Awards presentation: 7 p.m. June 10. $30-$40.

The entire competition will be webcast live, hosted by pianists Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe, at Cliburn2017.medici.tv. Content also will be available on demand. The final round will be broadcast in movie theaters around the country. For information and tickets, visit www.FathomEvents.com.

For more information, scheduling and tickets, visit Cliburn.org. Follow complete competition coverage at Star-Telegram.com

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