Van Cliburn

Fort Worth piano teachers and students enjoy free tickets to Cliburn

Dasol Kim, South Korea, performs during the preliminary round of the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Piano teacher Reva Beck, 81, wants her students to see hand position, fingering and other technique elements when they visit the competition Tuesday.
Dasol Kim, South Korea, performs during the preliminary round of the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Piano teacher Reva Beck, 81, wants her students to see hand position, fingering and other technique elements when they visit the competition Tuesday. Ralph Lauer/Cliburn Foundation

In her almost three decades of teaching piano to young students in Fort Worth, Reva Beck, 81, has never seen the Cliburn piano competition in person.

But this year, thanks to an angel donor with the Cliburn, Beck, along with two of her students, will be sitting in the orchestra level listening to the quarterfinal piano recitals Tuesday morning.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “It will be a real privilege for me.”

Dozens of piano teachers and their students received free tickets from the Cliburn to attend preliminary and quarterfinal performances starting Saturday.

“We had a couple of donors step forward that really wanted to, in support of the Cliburn and attendance of early rounds and support of piano teachers, give their dollars in order to help piano teachers attend the competition with their students,” said Cliburn spokeswoman Maggie Estes.

The Cliburn notified teachers of the free tickets through the Fort Worth Piano Teachers Forum and got a great response, Estes said. More than 60 tickets were given away.

“They are some of the best seats in the house,” Estes said, noting that students must be over the age of 10 to attend with their teachers.

For those who have students under 10 who want to attend the competition, the Cliburn livestreams each performance at the Van Cliburn Recital Hall next door to Bass Hall. Anyone of any age can attend the livestream showings for free.

Beck said she had taken students to see the competition at the Van Cliburn Recital Hall in the past.

“I think it’s very important [that my students] see actually some of the things I’m teaching — fingering, hand positions and that kind of thing — in action when they go to the competition,” Beck said. “They get to hear and see the finest playing. I think it inspires them to work on the pieces they’re working on.”

Seventeen-year-old Paschal High School student Jacob Coffey and his younger brother, Stephen, 13, are the two students going with Beck to the quarterfinal performance. Their mom, Christy Coffey, said neither has seen the Cliburn live and they are looking forward to Tuesday’s recitals.

“You compare yourself to kids around you and you think you’re doing pretty well but obviously this is a whole other level,” Christy Coffey said. “We know that this is something you don’t get to see every day. This is just very special to Fort Worth.”

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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