Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cliburn Amateur Competition Concludes

The Van Cliburn Foundation’s sixth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs concluded Sunday, after six days of competition involving 70 participants. The six finalists performed a 30-minute program of their choice before two juries – one of “distinguished scholars” and one of press. All but two of the 16 jurors were men. All three of the top winners were men.

They are Christopher Shih, a gastroenterologist from Maryland, who 14 years ago was a competitor in the professional competition. He receives $2,000. Clark Griffith, a retired database programmer from Fort Worth, came in second, for $1,500, and Barry Coutinho, also a physician, came in third, for $1,000. He hails from Pittsburgh.

The competition is open to pianists whose primary income is not from performing or teaching the instrument. Participants ranged in age from 35 to 79 and represented 17 nationalities from ten countries. In addition to physicians and programmers, they included lawyers, a jeweler, a kindergarten teacher and a Formula One race car designer.   Read More