2017 Cliburn Thread

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2017 Cliburn Thread

Postby pianoman » Mon May 29, 2017 9:55 pm

Another year, another piano competition. The 2017 Cliburn is upon us, with an expanded media presence. All performances can now be viewed online. The final round is to be broadcast live to some 300 movie theaters in the US on June 10th.

Cliburn Website

There were 14 East Asian contestants this year from around the world. Five from South Korea alone. Some have already been eliminated. The Asian contestants who have made it out of the preliminary round are:

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HAN CHEN
Taiwan, Age 25

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RACHEL CHEUNG
Hong Kong, Age 25

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DANIEL HSU
United States, Age 19

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DASOL KIM
South Korea, Age 28

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HONGGI KIM
South Korea, Age 25

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SU YEON KIM
South Korea, Age 23

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RACHEL KUDO
United States, Age 30

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YUTONG SUN
China, Age 21

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YEKWON SUNWOO
South Korea, Age 28

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TONY YIKE YANG
Canada, Age 18
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Re: 2017 Van Cliburn Thread

Postby pianoman » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:04 pm

The ladies aren't faring well this competition :D Su Yeon Kim and Rachel Kudo have been eliminated. Too bad for Rachel (Naomi) Kudo--at 30 this is her second go round at the Cliburn and will be her last. In case anyone is following, Kudo is one of the first pianists I posted about on this forum: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11
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Re: 2017 Cliburn Thread

Postby pianoman » Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:44 pm

So the six finalists of the 2017 Van Cliburn are:

Kenneth Broberg, United States, 23
Rachel Cheung, Hong Kong, 25
Yury Favorin, Russia, 30
Daniel Hsu, United States, 19
Yekwon Sunwoo, South Korea, 28

Georgy Tchaidze, Russia, 29

The Taiwanese and Chinese contestants have been eliminated, as well as Tony Yike Yang from Canada. South Korea is down to a single representative. Russia has two standing.

Watched some of Yutong Sun and Yekwon Sunwoo. Sun has some strong fingers, really plowed through the third movement of Les Adieux. Musically he was very good but not special. Listened to Sunwoo play his Mozart concerto, which was solid. Going to try to view the others' performances.
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Re: 2017 Cliburn Thread

Postby pianoman » Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:43 pm

And the winners are:

Gold Medal
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Yekwon Sunwoo, 28, South Korea

Silver Medal
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Kenneth Broberg, 23, United States

Bronze Medal
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Daniel Hsu, 19, United States

There were a number of secondary prizes awarded as well, which can be found here. Russians were shut out. I guess that will teach them to interfere in US elections..
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Re: 2017 Cliburn Thread

Postby pianoman » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:25 pm

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Yekwon Sunwoo was actually a contestant at the 2013 Cliburn as well, when he was 24, but did not become a finalist. He possesses an interesting quality that I feel Rubinstein also possessed: that of freshness in his performances. His playing never becomes stiff or overworked. It is almost as if he is hearing every piece of music he plays for the first time as he is playing it--there is a kind of 1-to-1 relationship between the music in his mind and the sound that he is producing at any given time. Of the performances available on Youtube, I've found the following to be the most interesting, although often a competition winner's best performances are omitted from Youtube in order to promote the CD release:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp9T5MYiWNQ
Dvorak Piano Quintet. I'm going to do something almost nobody ever does and recommend Sunwoo's chamber piece first. I think this performance is brilliant and really shows off Sunwoo's musicality best. Many pianists can blow you away in solo repertoire but struggle when they have to share the stage because they cannot dictate the character of the performance and are forced to listen to what the other musicians are doing. This ensemble performance flows naturally and seamlessly out of Sunwoo. The string players deserve some credit here too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Spm9IlC4d7c
Beethoven Sonata No. 30 Op. 109. Ultimately not a groundbreaking interpretation of this frequently performed and recorded sonata, but you can hear that quality of freshness here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1rCdLGRb08&t=574s
Rach 3rd. There are more than a few slips in this performance, but also an undeniable verve and energy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSr-qltYIS0&t=2384s
This is Sunwoo's first round recital from 2013. Interesting to see how he has developed. In 2013 he was both literally and figuratively more buttoned down, but also less free. Any Gould fan will recognize Beethoven Sonata No. 13 from the movement that was featured in the culty but not entirely accurate film "32 Short Films about Glenn Gould."
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