Surprise in Texas

The 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, 2009

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Takács Quartet

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

James Conlon

Nobuyuki Tsujii (Nobu) — Pianist

Haochen Zhang — Pianist

Yeol Eum Son — Pianist

Program notes

Pianists in the state of Dallas

In May 2009, twenty-nine of the world's best young pianists converged in Fort Worth, Texas for a once in a lifetime chance at gold in the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Emmy-winning director Peter Rosen follows these distinctive personalities during a rigorous three-week competition – through intense rehearsals, introspective moments, pre-concert rituals, and endearing celebrations.

Hailing from 14 countries, competitors were welcomed with Texas-sized hospitality by their host families and immersed in a city best characterized by the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau's advertising slogan, "Cowboys and Culture."

The 13th edition of the competition was full of surprises and emotions. The jury (composed of internationally renowned artists such as Menahem Pressler) notably rewarded the Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii, blind from birth.

With the performances of Chopin, Liszt, Beethoven, and Rachmaninov and other piano masterpieces setting the impassioned tone, the result is an intricate inside view into the inner workings of the world's most prestigious piano competition and a heart warming story that proves to be a momentous surprise in Texas.

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