Van Cliburn

Meet the Cliburn Junior competitors, Part 1

Misha Galant
Misha Galant The Cliburn

Gavin Bala

16, Singapore

Bala will make his Carnegie Hall debut in December. He is also an award-winning math whiz and avid chess player who speaks English, Chinese and French.

Adam Balogh

17, Hungary

Balogh, who has performed recitals from Berlin to Philadelphia, is a student at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music’s Preparatory School for Exceptionally Gifted Children.

Alim Beisembayev

17, Kazakhstan

When this well-traveled veteran of the concert and piano competition stage is not at the keyboard, Beisembayev’s spare-time pursuits include ballroom dancing, acting and foreign language study.

Anna Boonyanit

16, United States

A fan of the San Francisco Giants and a budding journalist, Boonyanit has performed at Carnegie Hall and has triumphed at several previous competitions, including the International Russian Music Piano Competition in 2013.

Eoin Fleming

17, Ireland

The Dublin-born Fleming has been performing since age 7 and has a movie credit, as a “child pianist,” in the 2009 film Parked. His interests beyond the piano include languages, cooking and film.

Misha Galant

17, United States

This California native has excelled at the keyboard and in the water. Galant, who favors math in the classroom, has been referred to as one of “the top swimmers for his age” on the Pacific Coast.

Youlan Ji

16, China

A student of well-known teacher Yoheved (Veda) Kaplinsky at The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division, Ji has taken prizes at several competitions. When not playing the music of the masters, she enjoys movies and swimming.

Jeong Min Kim

17, South Korea

Another student in The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division, Kim’s outside pursuits include table tennis and golf.

Yukine Kuroki

16, Japan

Kuroki has performed or competed in Japan, Russia and Vietnam (among other countries), and enjoys calligraphy and monochrome drawing.

Anna Larsen

15, United States

A composer as well as a performer, Larsen has multiple CD recordings and appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Xiaoxuan Li

13, China

The youngest pianist in the competition, Li has already performed and competed widely. He also enjoys reading and football.

Wei Luo

16, China

A student at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music, Luo has studied with a who’s who of great pianists that includes Gary Graffman, Richard Goode and Leon Fleisher.

Source: The Cliburn

These 23 pianists, ages 13 to 17, represent 13 countries around the world. To view an interactive map of the journeys they’re taking to Fort Worth and to watch performance clips, visit