Cliburn schedules junior piano competition in Dallas

June 3, 2017. Daniel Hsu of the United States performs with conductor Nicholas McGegan and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Saturday during his concerto in the Semifinal round at The Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition held at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Ralph Lauer)

The Cliburn announced Jan. 10 that the second edition of the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival, for pianists age 13 to 17, will take place May 31–June 8, 2019, in Dallas.

The Junior Competition and Festival was established in 2015 as another means for the Cliburn to use its standing and expertise to encourage tomorrow’s great artists, to provide a valuable forum for them to express themselves, and to give them an entrance to the next step of their journeys.

The preliminary through semifinal rounds and festival events will take place on the campus of SMU, where participants will also reside. The final round will be held at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, where the three finalists will perform full concertos with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

All competition performances will be webcast live at

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The Cliburn also announced that the Sixteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition will be held May 28–June 12, 2021, at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth. More information will be released later this year.

The First Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival in June 2015 drew 160 applications from 26 countries. Live and on demand webcast views have topped 100,000 for over 1 million minutes watched by viewers in 170 countries.

“The last four years have been a time of growth for the Cliburn,” Jacques Marquis, Cliburn president and CEO, said in the news release. “We have fine-tuned or expanded many of our programs and added some as well — the Junior Competition being the most impactful of our new initiatives.”

A key continuing the Cliburn’s strategic advancement is to reach a broader community, both around the world and in our own backyard, Marquis said.

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“We are pleased to be presenting the second edition of this still-new program in Dallas in 2019, and believe it will expose the Cliburn to a greater audience base in the region, as well as bring fantastic new partnerships with SMU, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and more to come,” he said.

Marquis said the Dallas venue is no threat to the status of The Cliburn in Fort Worth.

“Fort Worth was Van Cliburn’s home and is the Cliburn’s permanent home,” he said. “It will, in perpetuity, play host to the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. We have no intention of lessening our presence in Fort Worth; in fact, we have been increasing our programs in our hometown.”

Tickets to attend the competition will go on sale in early 2019. The Cliburn will also have travel arrangement options for Fort Worth patrons planning to attend.

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“It’s a great privilege for the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU to host this world-class event,” Samuel Holland, dean of Meadows, said in the news release. “Music performance at the highest level has been part of SMU since its earliest days and the new partnership with the Cliburn will extend that legacy.”

–FWBP Staff