Monday, June 01, 2009

Cliburn Chatter: Final Stretch

If you've been following this year's Cliburn Competition you already know who the finalists are:

Evgeni Bozhanov (*)
Yeol Eum Son
Nobuyuki Tsujii
Mariangela Vacatello (*)
Di Wu
Haochen Zhan (*)

(*indicates a WTB pick)

Of the 5 pianists that I liked going into the competition, three have made it to the final stretch. Not bad. I'm still bullish on them, particularly Bozhanov. I am very surprised Kunz did not advance. Both Son and Tsuji surprise me in having advanced this far.

By and large, this seems to me the most unexciting crop of Cliburn competitors that I can recall. Most of the playing strikes me as fairly uninteresting and uninspired. I've not heard many sparks of originality and imagination. Upper-tier conservatory-grade recital playing (with the usual slips here and there) seems the norm. I'm hoping things get turbo charged in the final stretch.

On the upside, just 1 Rach 3 to hear.

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