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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Six pianists qualify for Cliburn International Amateur final

Six pianists have qualified to play in the final round of the Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition, the organization announced Thursday.

The finalists are Xavier Aymonod, 40, a strategy consultant from France; Matthias Fischer, 42, a physician from Germany; Ken Iisaka, 47, a software engineer from Japan and Canada; Gregory Knight, 53, a software engineer from the U.S.; Michael Slavin, 65, a retired ophthalmologist from the U.S.; and Thomas Yu, 38, a periodontist from Canada.

Performances will begin Saturday at 3 p.m. in Bass Performance Hall at Fourth and Calhoun Streets. The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will join each pianist as he plays a movement from a concerto. The winner will be decided after the performances.

The Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition showcases performers from around the world who are above age 35 and do not play piano professionally. The competition began Sunday and concludes Saturday.

The competition began with a field of 68 competitors; 12 made it to the semifinal round on Thursday before the final six were named.

Here is the order of performance for the final round:

Gregory Knight, 53, software engineer (United States). BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, op. 37: I. Allegro con brio.

Ken Iisaka, 47, software engineer (Japan/Canada). MOZART Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat Major, K. 271 (“Jeunehomme”): III. Rondo (presto).

Xavier Aymonod, 40, strategy consultant (France). BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, op. 37: I. Allegro con brio.

– Intermission (20 minutes) –

Matthias Fischer, 42, physician (Germany). BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, op. 15: I. Allegro con brio.

Michael Slavin, 65, retired ophthalmologist (United States). BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, op. 37: I. Allegro con brio.

Thomas Yu, 38, periodontist (Canada). SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No. 5 in F Major, op. 103 (“Egyptian”): III. Molto allegro.

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