The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: After the recent death of its namesake, the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is being held May 24-June 9 in Fort Worth, Texas. Here are links to many kinds of information, including live webcasts of performances, lists of competitors and repertoire, and blogs of the competition rounds. Plus, the Middleton Community Orchestra closes out its season Wednesday night.

May 28, 2013
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A REMINDER: Tomorrow night (Wednesday, May 29) at 7:30 p.m. in the Middle Performing Arts of Middleton High School, the Middleton Community Orchestra (below, performing under conductor Steve Kurr) will wrap up its third season with a performance of  “Romantic Favorites” that include Schumann’s “Julius Caesar” Overture, Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto No. 1 with UW-Madison student Mark Bridges as soloist, and Tchaikovsky’s famous and final Symphony No. 6 (“Pathetique”). Tickets are $10 for adults, free for students and young people. The box office opens at 6:30 p.m. and the doors open at 7 p.m. Here is a link to more information in a post I did late last week that also includes a review of last season’s closer:

Middleton Community Orchestra Steve Kurr conducting

By Jacob Stockinger

The 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, which takes place every four years, is underway. The playing started last Friday, May 24, and will run through Sunday, June 9.

The competition seems to be facing some challenges, including possible conflicts of interest between teacher-judges and contestants.

But perhaps the biggest challenge is maintaining its high public profile after the death in February at age 78 from bone cancer of its world-famous namesake, the virtuoso pianist Van Cliburn (below, performing in 1993.).


Here is a fine background story about the challenges and problems facing the competition after the death of its namesake in The New York Times:

And here is a link to a story by famed critic Norman Lebrecht (below) about why there are five Chinese competitors, but none from Britain, Germany or Austria and why all the names are unfamiliar to the general public or even most serious piano-philes:


Here is a link to the competitors:

If you want to see the repertoire list of what all 30 competitors will perform, you have to take a roundabout way.

Go to the Competitors page at the foundation’s home website and click on their name. Then you have a choice of links to Biography and or to Competition Repertoire for each phase. I find the repertoire list valuable and fascinating for its psychology of building up to a win. A lot of the choices make sense, but some seem pretty far out and risky.

There are SEVEN American contestants – almost one-quarter of all the contestants. Check them out:

Here is a link to the performance schedule:

2013 Van Cliburn competition 2013

Here is a link to the blog on the foundation’s website:

Here is a link to the live webcasts: (Below is a YouTube video of Claire Huangci performing Kapustin’s Concert Etude, Op. 40, No.1, during the Preliminary Round).

Here is a link to story in the Fort Worth Star Telegram

And here is a link to the Dallas Morning News, which has both news stories and a daily blog about the compeititon

Both newspapers feature daily blogs of various rounds and contestants with some pretty informed judgments.

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