Van Cliburn International Piano Competition names six finalists
The finalists of the Texas-based competition's 16th edition hail from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, South Korea and the United States
The 16th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, taking place from 2-18 June in Fort Worth, Texas, has named the six finalists who will compete for its $100,000 top prize.
Hailing from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, South Korea and the United States, the six competitors, were whittled down from 30 pianists chosen to compete in the competition's live rounds via a Semi-Final which included a 60-minute recital and a Mozart piano concerto.
The six finalists are:
Dmytro Choni, Ukraine, 28
Anna Geniushene, Russia, 31
Uladzislau Khandohi, Belarus, 20
Yunchan Lim, South Korea, 18
Ilya Shmukler, Russia, 27
Clayton Stephenson, United States, 23
In the Final Round, each pianist will perform two piano concertos with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop, who is also serving as Jury Chair this year. The winners will be announced in an awards ceremony on Saturday 18 June.
Earlier this year the quadrennial competition announced that it would welcome participants from Russia, despite the country's military action in Ukraine.
In a statement, Jacques Marquis, president and CEO of the competition said: 'The Cliburn must and will remain true to its mission as an artist-supporting cultural institution, and we are dedicated to the power of this artform to transcend boundaries. We make no distinction between non-political artists based on their nationality, gender, or ethnicity. We stand firmly with the music community around the globe in its commitment to these ideals. The hearts of the people of the Cliburn are with the valiant Ukrainians as they courageously defend their homeland from the Russian regime. What is happening goes against everything that humankind should stand for.'
In recent months two major piano competitions – the Honens International Piano Competition in Canada and the Dublin International Piano Competition – have announced that they will not be open to Russian pianists this year. The Honens, however, subsequently reinstated its Russian competitors following protests from the global music community and a petition from leading musicians against the 'blanket boycott' of Russian artists.
For the 2022 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the total cash prize pot has been increased to $265,000, with $100,000 for the gold medal, $50,000 for silver, and $25,000 for bronze (2017 prizes were $50,000; $25,000; and $15,000, respectively.)
Sitting on the jury are conductor Marin Alsop, pianists Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Alessio Bax, Rico Gulda, Andreas Haefliger, Wu Han, Stephen Hough, Anne-Marie McDermott, Orli Shaham and Lilya Zilberstein.
Photo: Ukrainian pianist Dmytro Choni performing in the 2022 Van Cliburn Semi-Final © Ralph Lauer