4 Frogs among Van Cliburn contenders

Students of piano faculty Tamás Ungár and John Owings enjoy home field advantage as Ed Landreth Auditorium hosts auditions for the world-famous piano competition.


by Kathryn Hopper
Updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2013

TCU students (from left) Marcin Koziak, You You Zhang, Mikhail Berestnev and Anna Bulkina are auditioning this week to make the finals of the 14th Van Cliburn International Competition. (Photo by Carolyn Cruz)

Fort Worth will again host the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition this May 24-June 9, but the chance to see some of the world’s best pianists on campus is happening this week.

Leading up the competition, the 14th Van Cliburn holds a series of screening auditions in major musical capitals all over the world, including Moscow, Hong Kong, Milan and New York. Fort Worth is the final stop and spectators can take a seat in Ed Landreth Auditorium each afternoon from 2 to 5:20 p.m. and evening from 7:30 to 10 p.m. for the chance to hear some of the best pianists in the world playing for one of the 30 spots in the official competition.

Each artist performs a 40-minute recital, and there’s always the chance that you might happen to catch one given by the next Van Cliburn gold medalist.

Pianists will be notified in March if they have made the cut to compete for the coveted $175,000 in prizes and awards, and three years of career management valued at over $1.3 million.

Four TCU students are auditioning this week to make the final field. Here is their audition information:

  • Mikhail Berestnev, an artist diploma student from Russia, on Wednesday, February 20 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Anna Bulkina ’11, currently a graduate student majoring in piano performance from Russia, on Wednesday, February 20 at 2:50 p.m.
  • Marcin Koziak, an artist diploma student from Poland, on Thursday, February 21 at 2:50 p.m.
  • You You Zhang, a graduate student in piano performance who hails form China and the United States, on Friday, February 22 at 8:20 p.m.

Berestnev, Bulkina and Koziak are students of Tamás Ungár, professor of piano, and Zhang is a student of John Owings, professor of piano.

Held every four years and named after native Texan Van Cliburn, the competition is was organized by a group of music teachers and citizens from Fort Worth in 1962 to commemorate his historic achievement and is dedicated to the discovery of the world's finest pianists.

"We are looking for a true artist who can connect with audiences and touch their hearts,” says Cliburn Interim Executive Director Jacques Marquis. “We give the competitors multiple platforms to present us with their artistic personality and communicative power. The winners will be offered an unparalleled opportunity to build a meaningful concert career, and we are honored to be a part of launching them onto the world stage and celebrating classical music."

All performances in the competition will be streamed live in their entirety and available on-demand at Cliburn.org.




2/21/2013 10:04:43 PM Dora Vattay said:

Péter Tóth - ex horned frog - is competing on Friday. He just finished his Artist Diploma at TCU with Dr. Tamás Ungár last year, doing his Doctorate at UT Austin currently. Let us support him as well.

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