Van Cliburn

Catch the Cliburn piano competition from home

Elizabeth Joy Roe and Greg Anderson host the webcast on the second day of the semifinal round of the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Friday.
Elizabeth Joy Roe and Greg Anderson host the webcast on the second day of the semifinal round of the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Friday. rmallison@star-telegram.com

Whether you’re in China, Russia or Tarrant County, you can watch the Cliburn competition, even without a ticket to Bass Hall.

For the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition this year, the Cliburn partnered with French music webcast company, Medici.tv, to expand its webcast to more countries and more viewers.

“We had 600,000 views so far [through the quarterfinals],” said Cliburn chief executive Jacques Marquis, adding the competition had reached 2.3 million through social media. “That’s more than the entire competition in 2013.”

Medici.tv typically produces and broadcasts more than 1,800 programs a year, but the Cliburn is the first U.S. competition the company has worked on.

With a specialized video player and editorial content in English, Russian, French and Chinese, Medici.tv has employees providing information via social media while viewers are watching the live feed.

“It’s essential to create an experience for the audience,” said Hervé Boissière, founder of Medici.tv, in a phone interview from Paris. “I hope this Cliburn success will open doors to other festivals.”

The webcast is produced by the Cliburn’s technical director Brenton Henry and features piano duo Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe as hosts when the competitors are not performing.

Henry said he has a small crew working 10 different cameras, including three robotic cameras, and deployed more than 1.5 miles of cable throughout Bass Hall for the webcast.

“We’re manning everything out of essentially a 40-foot room from the Bass Hall loading dock,” Henry said.

And for the semifinal and final rounds, Medici.tv has brought in a concert director who is familiar with the concerto scores to direct the cameras when the competitors are playing with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.

While Medici is helping the Cliburn expand its reach around the world, the Cliburn has also partnered with Fathom Events to bring the last day of the competition into 300 U.S. movie theaters.

Fathom Events vice president of programming Kymberli Frueh said the Cliburn has a built-in audience that wants to see the performances live and on the big screen. As part of the broadcast, Fathom Events will also have an exclusive interview with conductor and jury chairman Leonard Slatkin.

“Marketing in the last week has really gotten underway,” Frueh said. “I would say we’ve seen a tremendous uptick [in ticket sales] in the last week.”

Henry said they added more microphones around Bass Hall to capture the piano and symphony from several directions.

“The cinema broadcast, which will be in full 5.1 surround sound, will give everybody the opportunity to listen to the Fort Worth Symphony and really feel like they are in Bass Hall,” Henry said. “It will be the best experience you can have next to being in the hall.”

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @andreaahles

FIFTEENTH VAN CLIBURN INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION

Through June 10

Bass Hall, Fort Worth

Complete competition subscriptions: $600-$3,000.

Semifinal round: Through Monday. 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: Wednesday-June 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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