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Laura Bush to be honorary chair of the 2019 Cliburn Junior Competition

The Cliburn announced June 12 former First Lady Laura Bush will serve as honorary chairman of the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival, for 13- to 17-year old pianists, taking place May 31–June 8, 2019, in Dallas.

“Laura Bush’s lifetime commitment to education on the highest level continues in this association with the Cliburn Junior Competition, which is designed to encourage the artistic development of the greatest pianistic talent of tomorrow from around the globe,” Cliburn President and CEO Jacques Marquis said in a news release.

“As the Cliburn hosts a major program in Dallas for the first time ever – the majority of which will be held on the campus of SMU – we are thrilled to have Mrs. Bush, a resident of the city and proud alumna of the university, lend her name. She also held a longtime friendship with our inspiration and namesake, Van Cliburn, making this connection particularly special.”

Members of the international jury, chaired by pianist Alessio Bax (Italy), are: Philippe Bianconni (France), Sa Chen (China), Angela Cheng (Canada), Valery Kuleshov (Russia), Lowell Liebermann (United States), and Aviram Reichert (Israel).

The preliminary through semifinal rounds and festival events for the Junior Competition will take place on the campus of SMU, where participants will also reside, The Cliburn said in the announcement. 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 under the baton of Ruth Reinhardt, currently DSO assistant conductor.

Applications are open now and are due Jan. 10, 2019. Competitors and participants will be announced on March 13, 2019. Applicants must have been born between June 8, 2002, and May 31, 2006.

The Cliburn will invite 24 pianists from around the world to compete, and, new for this second edition, up to 14 additional pianists will be accepted as non-competing festival participants and will have the opportunity to take part in master classes, private lessons, workshops and other elective activities, the news release said.

All competition performances will be webcast live at Cliburn.org.

The first-prize winner will receive a cash award of $15,000; second prize is $10,000; and third prize is $5,000. All three top prizes will also include scholarships, and community residency and mentorship opportunities with the Cliburn. Other special prizes will be announced in early 2019.

The Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival was established in 2015 and drew 160 applications from 26 countries. Live and on demand webcast views have topped 250,000 for over 1.7 million minutes watched by viewers in 170 countries.

– FWBP Staff

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