Twelve young pianists have advanced to the semi-final round in the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth. The musicians are playing for a top $50,000 prize and three years of worldwide concerts.
Just a week ago, 30 young musicians began playing recitals in front of a piano-loving audience and twelve judges. With more than half the hopefuls now eliminated, the remaining semi-finalists range in age from 19 to 30, and come from Russia, the U.S., Italy, China, Australia, Japan, and Ukraine.
Tomoki Sakata, from Japan, is the youngest semi-finalist, but says in front of an audience, age doesn’t matter, just the music does.
“I’m the performer, I’m the interpreter. That’s not the main thing. We have to try and tell about the composer's thought. I think that’s the point,” said Sakata.
At 20, Beatrice Rana, of Italy isn’t much older. She’s just happy to be among the pianists still in this competition.
“I just want to show that I deserve what they thought about me.”
Rana played some music of Bartok in the first Cliburn round, impressing even seasoned classical music professionals. The semi-final round begins Saturday. Pianists will interpret an original composition, and also collaborate with a string quartet.
Here are the twelve Cliburn semi-finalists who advanced to the next round, in alphabetical order.
Nikita Abrosimov, 24, Russia
Sean Chen, 24, United States
Alexey Chernov, 30, Russia
Alessandro Deljavan, 26, Italy
Fei-Fei Dong, 22, China
Jayson Gillham, 26, Australia/United Kingdom
Claire Huangci, 23, United States
Vadym Kholodenko, 26, Ukraine
Nikolay Khozyainov, 20, Russia
Nikita Mndoyants, 24, Russia
Beatrice Rana, 20, Italy
Tomoki Sakata, 19, Japan