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Among Van Cliburn competitors are two pianists with L.A. ties

March 05, 2013|By Deborah Vankin
  • Pianist Sean Chen, 24, left, and 24-year-old Steven Lin were elected to participate in the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
Pianist Sean Chen, 24, left, and 24-year-old Steven Lin were elected to… (Arthur Moeller / Van Cliburn…)

The Texas-based Van Cliburn Foundation -- which promotes classical music through concerts, educational programs and competitions -- on Tuesday announced the 30 musicians, ages 19-30, selected to participate in the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Collectively, they represent 12 countries, including eight from the United States, six from Italy, four from Russia, three from China and two from the Ukraine, as well as Australia, Chile, France, Japan, South Korea, Poland and Taiwan.  

Among the American competitors are two with ties to the Los Angeles area.

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Sean Chen, 24, was born in Margate, Fla., but studied piano with Edward Francis in Thousand Oaks from 1996 to 2006. He had a debut recital in 2004 at Marian Hall for the Performing Arts in Thousand Oaks and has performed multiple times with Thousand Oaks’ New West Symphony. He currently attends Yale University, but keeps a permanent address in Oak Park, Calif.

Steven Lin, also 24, was born in Arcadia, but has lived in New York since he was eight years old.  

The prestigious competition, which happens every four years, is this year dedicated to its namesake, American pianist Van Cliburn, who died last week of bone cancer.

"The competition … captures the essence of Van's passion for spreading the love of classical music,” Carla Thompson, chairman of Cliburn’s board, said in a statement. “During this time of mourning and reflection, it is with a renewed commitment to Van's ideals that we prepare for the upcoming competition and will welcome these 30 immensely talented competitors to Fort Worth."

The first Van Cliburn competition was held in 1962. American Maestro John Giordano has served as chair of the international jury since 1973; this will be his 11thcompetition.  

Composer Christopher Theofanidis will write a commissioned work to be performed by all competitors during the semifinal round. The competition will take place May 24-June 9 at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth.

Here are the selected participants and the age they will be during the competition:

Luca Buratto, Italy (20)

Sean Chen, United States (24)

Alexey Chernov, Russia (30)

Sara Daneshpour, United States (26)

Alessandro Deljavan, Italy (26)

Fei-Fei Dong, China (22)

François Dumont, France (27)

Yury Favorin, Russia (26)

Lindsay Garritson, United States (25)

Jayson Gillham, Australia (26)

Giuseppe Greco, Italy (23)

Ruoyu Huang, China (24)

Claire Huangci, United States (23)

Vadym Kholodenko, Ukraine (26)

Nikolay Khozyainov, Russia (20)

Marcin Koziak, Poland (24)

Kuan-Ting Lin, Taiwan (21)

Steven Lin, United States (24)

Alex McDonald, United States (30)

Gustavo Miranda-Bernales, Chile (22)

Nikita Mndoyants, Russia (24)

Oleksandr Poliykov, Ukraine (25)

Beatrice Rana, Italy (20)

Tomoki Sakata, Japan (19)

Scipione Sangiovanni, Italy (25)

Hyung-Min Suh, South Korea (23)

Alessandro Taverna, Italy (29)

Jie Yuan, China (27)

YouYou Zhang, United States (29)

Eric Zuber, United States (28)

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