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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | May 12, 1996
Chopin, Sonatas Nos. 2 in B-flat minor ("Funeral March") and 3 in B minor, Liszt, Sonata in B minor, performed by pianist Coleman Blumfield (Sonoris SCD5157); Mussorgsky, "Pictures at an Exhibition," Rachmaninoff, Sonata in B-flat minor, Prokofiev, "Visions Fugitives" Nos. 10-17, Scriabin, Eight Preludes and "Feuillet D'Album," performed by pianist Evgeny Mogilevsky (IMP Classics PCD 1087)The sad case of Van Cliburn looms large in relation to both pianists on these new discs.The Russian Mogilevsky was the Evgeny Kissin of the 1960s -- a brilliant, precociously intuitive interpreter who played almost everything with an innate naturalness very similar to the playing of Cliburn at the time of his Moscow victory in 1958.
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By Kellie Woodhouse | August 30, 2011
In the living room of his Ellicott City home, Christopher Shih sits with his legs curled beneath him on a beige leather love seat. Relaxed in a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, he speaks humbly of his accomplishments as an amateur pianist. In the kitchen Shih's two eldest daughters, Nina and Elena, sing and play, and upstairs his youngest daughter, Sonia, sleeps. “During the six months prior to the competition, I essentially have no time,” Shih says, and then stops mid-thought after hearing a roar of laughter from one of his daughters.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | August 21, 1994
" There are no second acts in American lives," F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote. That maxim was put to the test earlier this year when pianist Van Cliburn announced, amid much fanfare, that he would make a comeback tour with the Moscow Philharmonic this summer.That tour -- the pianist's first after more than 16 years of a scarcely interrupted retirement -- ends today at Wolf Trap when Cliburn performs Tchaikovsky's First Concerto. From the beginning of his comeback attempt, however, it was clear that the wisdom of Fitzgerald's remark had been sadly, even pathetically, confirmed.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun music critic | April 15, 2008
With a lineage going back more than 550 years to the reign of Henry VI, the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, enjoys a sterling reputation for tonal beauty and technical polish. The current roster of boys and young men, led with impeccable taste by Stephen Cleobury, lived up to that reputation before a capacity crowd of 1,600 Sunday evening at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. People started arriving more than two hours early for the event, quite a testament to the choir's appeal. Presented, in a rare off-campus venture, by the Shriver Hall Concert Series, the ensemble explored repertoire that touched on various time periods and styles of sacred music.
FEATURES
By Tim Madigan and Tim Madigan,Fort Worth Star-Telegram | June 3, 1993
Italian crowd-pleaser Simone Pedroni, who brought a semifinal audience to its feet with a dramatic recital Tuesday afternoon, was one of six pianists selected later that night in Fort Worth, Texas, for the finals of the ninth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.The five other finalists selected are fellow Italian Fabio Bidini, Armen Babakhanian of Armenia, Belgian Johan Schmidt, American Christopher Taylor and Russian Valery Kuleshov.Mr. Taylor is the first American in the finals since 1981.
FEATURES
By M. Dion Thompson | June 17, 1999
Linda Gilbert is back from piano heaven, the glow of that experience still in her voice.She played a fantastic Steinway piano, competed against other pianists chosen for the Van Cliburn Foundation's competition of outstanding amateurs, and sat in on a talk given by Cliburn, one of her heroes of the keyboard. His words brought her to tears."It was great," she says. "He quoted from Rachmaninoff, and what he said is that music is enough for a lifetime. Music, all by itself, is enough for a lifetime.
FEATURES
By M. Dion Thompson and By M. Dion Thompson,SUN STAFF | May 17, 1999
Some things you do for money, others because they are as necessary as eating and breathing.So it is for 94 amateur pianists around the world now preparing for the Van Cliburn Foundation's first International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs. They are doctors, lawyers, one is a former Miss Minnesota, another is a hairdresser from Denver, yet another is the head of gaming tables at Harrah's casino in Reno, Nev.Like Linda Gilbert, an accountant in Baltimore County and one of the chosen, they have careers.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | June 15, 1997
Last Sunday, when the jury of the quadrennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition announced the winners, the news was met by the usual chorus of critical dismay: The Cliburn rewarded pianists who bored and ignored those who didn't.I was among those unhappy with the decision. I had just made my first visit to Fort Worth, Texas, for the finals of the competition, in which six pianists perform 12 concertos over three evenings. The three pianists I thought most interesting were not those deemed worthy of medals by the Cliburn jurors.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | June 9, 1997
FORT WORTH -- Yesterday evening in Fort Worth, Texas, Jon Nakamatsu, a 28-year-old high school German teacher from Sunnyvale, Calif., was lifted from obscurity to world fame when he was named the first-prize winner of the 10th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The Cliburn, which is held every fourth year in this city and was created 35 years ago to honor native son Van Cliburn, ranks among the most prestigious competitions in the world and is certainly the richest in rewarding its winners.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 7, 1997
The title of "Playing with Fire," tomorrow night's PBS documentary about the Van Cliburn Piano Competition, may suggest otherwise, but burning out -- rather than being burned -- is the biggest problem that confronts a pianist today.For evidence, Jon Nakamatsu, the 28-year-old Californian who won first prize last June, need look no further than the careers of two pianists who appear in Washington this month. The older generation should supply role models for the young, but one doubts that Nakamatsu would want to follow the examples set by John Browning, who gives a recital tonight in the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater, or by Cliburn himself, who performs the Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1 on Oct. 25 in a gala concert celebrating the re-opening of the center's renovated Concert Hall.
NEWS
June 6, 2005
QUOTE OF THE DAY "Everybody's second or third choice may accumulate more votes, because another pianist alienates part of the jury." James Conlon of the Cliburn Competition, commenting on the grumbling that often surrounds selection of the piano contest's (Article, Page 1C) NATIONAL Professor faces terrorism charge Sami Al-Arian, a former University of South Florida professor, and three co-defendants will be in court to face terrorism charges in a case that began percolating a decade ago but took on new significance after the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | June 6, 2005
FORT WORTH -- Every four years, optimists, realists and skeptics alike gather here to witness an intense rite not entirely unlike the great cattle drives that once rolled through this friendly city. A strong stock of eager, tightly focused musicians parade past a seasoned jury, an enthusiastic public and a sizable contingent of the domestic and foreign press as they take their best shot at fame and fortune in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, probably the best known and most closely watched event of its kind in the world.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 5, 2004
An expert in waste-water treatment, two pathologists, a tennis coach, an acupuncturist, the wife of a Canadian senator, a flight attendant, and a computer network administrator from Baltimore will be among the contestants in the Van Cliburn Foundation's Fourth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs in Fort Worth, Texas, beginning May 31. "It's a great opportunity to meet other people crazy enough to be doing what you're doing," says...
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 24, 2002
The great "Emperor" will be gracing Annapolis with a visit this weekend. But before you begin reviewing the proper etiquette for bowing to royalty, or sprucing up the State House dome with a fresh coat of paint, be advised that this "visiting monarch" is, in fact, the grand, dashing 5th Piano Concerto of Ludwig van Beethoven that history has dubbed the "Emperor." That great concerto will be performed by the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra this weekend under the baton of its music director, Leslie B. Dunner.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 17, 2001
When a gangly young Texan pianist named Van Cliburn won the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow in 1958, in the midst of the Cold War, he became an instant American hero. The irony of his career is that he couldn't top that moment in history; within a decade, questions were being raised about limited repertoire and limited interpretive imagination. He never really lost his status as a legend; he just had trouble living up to it. The same has been said of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, which he founded in 1962.
FEATURES
By Knight Ridder/Tribune | June 2, 2001
FORT WORTH, TEXAS - Amy Brown is the scorekeeper at the 11th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition here. The job has nothing to do with counting the points jurors award each pianist. Brown rides herd on all the musical scores required during the 17-day contest. Multiply the 30 competitors and dozen jurors by the number of pieces being played - easily in the dozens - and you get some idea of the magnitude of the task. Greatly complicating the job this time is the American Composers Invitational, a contest among composers who were invited to submit original pieces for play during this Cliburn.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 24, 2002
The great "Emperor" will be gracing Annapolis with a visit this weekend. But before you begin reviewing the proper etiquette for bowing to royalty, or sprucing up the State House dome with a fresh coat of paint, be advised that this "visiting monarch" is, in fact, the grand, dashing 5th Piano Concerto of Ludwig van Beethoven that history has dubbed the "Emperor." That great concerto will be performed by the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra this weekend under the baton of its music director, Leslie B. Dunner.
NEWS
August 4, 1994
* Rildia Bee O'Bryan Cliburn, the mother of Van Cliburn and his only piano teacher until he was 17, died Wednesday in Fort Worth, Texas, after suffering a stroke. She was 97 and lived in Fort Worth.* Artie Glenn, 79, whose song "Crying in the Chapel" became a hit for Elvis Presley in 1965, died of a heart attack July 25 in a Dallas hospital.
SPORTS
By Andy Knobel and By Andy Knobel,SUN STAFF | April 22, 2001
The Minnesota Twins won the World Series in 1987 and 1991 but never had any real twins. They came close. Twin brothers John and Jim Sevcik were in the team's minor-league system in the 1960s, but only John got called up. And former Twins owner Calvin Griffith had twin brothers (Jimmy and Billy) working in the organization. Now, identical twins Stan and Stew Cliburn are manager and pitching coach of the Twins' Double-A Eastern League affiliate in New Britain, Conn. The 44-year-old Cliburns have already caused some confusion in the Rock Cats' locker room.
FEATURES
By M. Dion Thompson | June 17, 1999
Linda Gilbert is back from piano heaven, the glow of that experience still in her voice.She played a fantastic Steinway piano, competed against other pianists chosen for the Van Cliburn Foundation's competition of outstanding amateurs, and sat in on a talk given by Cliburn, one of her heroes of the keyboard. His words brought her to tears."It was great," she says. "He quoted from Rachmaninoff, and what he said is that music is enough for a lifetime. Music, all by itself, is enough for a lifetime.
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