The eighth edition of the Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition, for non-professional pianists age 35 and older, will take place May 24–30, 2020, in Fort Worth, Texas, at Bass Performance Hall and Van Cliburn Recital Hall. Applicants must be at least 35 years of age as of May 24, 2020, and may not perform, teach, or compose piano music for their primary professional pursuit or financial benefit. Applications are now open, and are due January 16, 2020. 48 pianists will be selected as competitors. The competitors and festival participants will be announced March 12, 2020.
New this year, an additional 24 pianists will be selected as non-competing festival participants, for a total of 72 pianists. Festival participants will play up to 15 minutes for comments from jurors and participate in other activities and festival events.
Ralph Votapek, gold medalist of the First Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1962, will serve as jury chairman, and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will perform with each of six finalists under the baton of acclaimed conductor Damon Gupton. Select competition performances will be webcast live at Cliburn.org.
The Amateur Competition Festival will include a variety of public performances; a practical seminar on repertoire, practice, and performance techniques; four-hand and chamber readings with professional musicians; and a host of social events where they can form lasting relationships with people from around the world who share their same passion.
Inaugurated in 1999, the Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition was the first event of its kind in the United States. Hailed by the Boston Globe as “a celebration of music, and the people who have to make music no matter what;” the contest highlights the importance of music-making in everyday life and provides a forum for musicians age 35 and older who do not perform, teach, or compose piano music for their primary professional pursuit or financial benefit. The quadrennial competition brings together the best amateur pianists from around the world for seven days of performances, symposia, and social events.