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  1. #81
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    Finalists will be announced tonight after the end of today's performances.

    Barring any spectacular screwups from Alessandro Deljavan, Sean Chen, and Fei-Fei Dong later today, I'd have them in the finals, along with Nikolay Khozyainov and Claire Huangci. I have no clear candidate for winner, although at this point either Alessandro or Nikolay could sleepily squeak through by default, with steady, solid performances. Of the two, Alessandro is far more eclectic and entertaining, while Nikolay would probably be preferred by music "purists." We'll see if Fei-Fei or Sean can rise up to the occasion, stir up more excitement than Alessandro or Nikolay, and grab a medal or even challenge for the win.

    Personally, it's tough making a choice for that final 6th spot. I'd say Jayson Gillham, Tomoki Sakata, and especially Nikita Abrosimov don't have what it takes to be in the finals, even if they've had some nice moments here and there.

    Of the remaining players, Alexey Chernov and Vadym Kholodenko kinda blew it in their chamber performances. They didn't get the memo that chamber music is all about nuance and playing as part of an ensemble, rather than one player (in this case, the pianist) bulldozing his way through everyone else.

    That leaves Beatrice Rana and Nikita Mndoyants, and it's a close call between the two, although I don't particularly care for either. I'd say Beatrice Rana has slightly more to offer, but I could see it going either way.

    All performances are archived at www.cliburn.org; and some clips are making it onto YouTube as well.

  2. #82
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    Well, what do I know, after I last posted, Jayson Gillham did one heck of a job with his chamber music performance, while Fei-Fei Dong had clear problems with accuracy and fluidity throughout her recital. I'm standing by my picks, although I wouldn't be surprised to see Mndoyants or Gillham squeak in there.

    We'll know in 10 minutes at www.cliburn.org.

    Sean Chen, IMHO, had the best chamber music performance of the entire field, pretty much knocking the Brahms out of the ballpark. He knew where to shine, and where to blend in. Very mature pianist. And, he insists, he has "better hair than Bieber."

    http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/06...an-bieber.html

    Honorable mentions for best chamber music performance go to Deljavan (Dvorak) and Gillham (Schumann).

  3. #83
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    The finalists:

    Sean Chen
    Fei-Fei Dong
    Vadym Kholodenko
    Nikita Mndoyants
    Beatrice Rana
    Tomoki Sakata

    Wow, surprised Claire Huangci isn't in there. Also surprised about Nikolai Khozyainov and Alessandro Deljavan, both of whom I'd rated highest alongside Sean Chen, although Nikolai didn't really light a spark, while Deljavan's mannerisms must be grating to many.

    Don't mind Vadym Kholodenko advancing; he's clearly a very smart guy who approaches the music with tremendous thought and insight, although I didn't think the playing measured up.

    Definitely don't understand Tomoki Sakata being in there - can't stand him at all.

  4. #84
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    Sean Chen's stunning Scriabin from the first round:

    http://youtu.be/9Y4S1x3Canw?t=36m45s

  5. #85

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    Our local PBS station had a special last week about the 1st 50 years of the Cliburn. There were lots of clips of Van himself & they featured a lot of then & now with some of the winners. They also did features on the host families. (All 30 of the contestants as well as their entourage stay with local families.) It was fun to see how these families get behind "their" contestants. Of course all the hosts are very wealthy & have either baby grands or grands in their house. Imagine drinking your coffee in the morning while listening to that glorious music! One very attractive winner from Russia - I think in 1991 - was taken to Neiman Marcus when she made the finals, & her host family bought her several dresses there. During that time there was a lot of privation in Russia & she was so amazed & appreciative of being spoiled & pampered. One young man from China was thrown a birthday party & he received a cowboy hat & boots, which was a lot of fun to watch. All of them said that all the contestants were treated like stars from the moment they arrived & many of them made life-long friends. One of them talked about how knowledgeable the Fort Worth community is about classical music. He said his host took him to the Stockyards area & a rough-looking cowboy came up to him & started talking to him about one of his performances & he was shocked that the guy knew the composer & the title. It was a great 90 mins & a nice tribute to Van Cliburn.

  6. #86
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    More articles about the competition.

    The Cliburn's "backstage mom" - in the best meaning of the phrase
    http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/06...r-cliburn.html

    Article on the finalists
    http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/06...finalists.html

    Article on Nikita Mndoyants
    http://frontrow.dmagazine.com/2013/0...o-competition/

  7. #87

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    When are you going to Ft, Worth, UMBS Go Blue?

    A fascinating article about the pianist who lost to Van Cliburn in Moscow, 1958:

    http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/06...onnection.html
    Last edited by skatesindreams; 06-05-2013 at 07:14 PM. Reason: to add information

  8. #88

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    The final round begins today.

    About the contestants:
    http://www.dallasnews.com/entertainm...ons-so-far.ece

  9. #89
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    The final round begins now!

    Live webcast:
    http://www.cliburn.org/landing.html

    Order of play (all times local, CDT)

    Thursday, June 6

    Final Round Concert 1

    Concerto #1 7:30p.m.
    Beatrice Rana
    BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, op. 37

    Concerto #2 8:20 p.m.
    Nikita Mndoyants
    PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, op. 16

    15-minute intermission

    Concerto #3
    Fei-Fei Dong 9:13 p.m.
    RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, op. 30

  10. #90

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    I'm impressed that this was Fei-Fei Dong's first performance of Rach 3 with an orchestral accompaniment. That said--and based on no musical expertise (well, knowledge) whatsoever--I'd also say that Mndoyants' performance was the pick of the night.
    I can call the moon a pear, but it doesn't make it so. -- kwanfan1818

  11. #91
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    Thanks kwanfan1818 for the Grace recommendation! Dining here right now.

    There appears to be a Cliburn reception off to the side. Steve Lin and Yuri Favorin, among others, are here.

    Edited: Eric Zuber is right nearby too. It's like lobby chicking, Cliburn style.
    Last edited by UMBS Go Blue; 06-08-2013 at 01:14 AM.

  12. #92
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    Sean Chen's Beethoven concerto.

  13. #93
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    Sean Chen FTW!

    I'm in the 5th row, just to the right of the aisle (from the stage's perspective) in my now-massively oversized blazer.

  14. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by UMBS Go Blue View Post
    Sean Chen FTW!

    I'm in the 5th row, just to the right of the aisle (from the stage's perspective) in my now-massively oversized blazer.
    Would love to hear what you thought of Kholodenko live. He was pretty impressive over the stream.

  15. #95
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    Wow. Just wow. Still catching my breath after Kholodenko.

    He is such a smart and insightful guy in all the interviews, but I didn't really "feel" it on the webcast. He really rose to the occasion with the Prokofiev and knocked it out of the ballpark.

    And the Flying Saucer across the street is an awesome place to grab beer afterwards. Gazillions of foreign beers on tap. Live music on a massive outdoor square.

  16. #96
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    Just a note: Saturday's and Sunday's performances will be webcast live, but will NOT be archived due to union restrictions.

    The Thursday and Friday performances will be archived.

  17. #97

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    The Competition's Facebook states that Friday's and Saturday's performances will be archived, while Thursday's and Sunday's will not. Did they announce something different at the concert? Folks are pissed that this wasn't announced until after the fact and many people didn't watch last night's performances live, assuming they'd be archived.

  18. #98
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    ah, ok, thanks for clarifying. am going off the FB post as well; didn't read it clearly as to which days are being archived.

  19. #99
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    Hmmm... tough choices now. Mndoyants has done fairly well, while I don't think Fei-Fei Dong or Beatrice Rana quite have the chops to medal. Fei-Fei had some beautiful phrases mixed with harshly overplayed passages. Rana was technically proficient, but very ladiezzzz in style, and often got overwhelmed by the orchestra.

    Keep in mind that final placements are based on the semis and finals only (apparently prelims don't count, if my half-awake reading of the rules is correct). If tomorrow's final 3 perform as well as they did last night, then my picks would be:

    Gold - Kholodenko
    Silver - Chen
    Bronze - Mndoyants

    Best Chamber Music Performance - Chen and Deljavan

  20. #100
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    Wow. Sean Chen was quite something. Nothing like Rachmaninov PC3 to close out the competition, except perhaps with Michelle Kwan doing a live accompaniment with footwork leading into a triple flip.

    Tough call for medalists. Was chatting with random folks and we think Sakata blew it in the Tchai PC1.

    My medalists as of now:

    Gold (tie) - Chen, Kholodenko
    Bronze (tie) - Mndoyants, Rana

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