Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is an American piano competition, first held in 1962 in Fort Worth, Texas and hosted by the Van Cliburn Foundation. Initially held at Texas Christian University, the competition has been held at the Bass Performance Hall since 2001. The competition is named in honour of Van Cliburn, who won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition, in 1958.

The Van Cliburn Competition is held once every four years, in the year following the United States presidential elections. The winners and runners-up receive substantial cash prizes, plus concert tours at world-famous venues where they are able to perform pieces of their choice. While Cliburn was alive, he did not serve as a judge in the competition, provide financial support, or work in its operations. However, he attended performances by competitors regularly and greeted them afterwards on occasion.

Contestants draw lots for their performing place in the competition. The competition began on-line audio streaming of the performances in 1997. In 2009, the competition webcast all of the performances live for the first time in its history.

Top prize winners

The competition consists up to three full recital programs, new work performance, chamber music, and two concertos for each competitor.

Winners of the top prize awarded in the given year (linking to the article about the given competition):

Amateur and Junior competitions

In 1999, the competition added an amateur edition, which allows high-performing pianists aged 35 or above to participate, provided that they do not earn their main source of income through piano pedagogy or performance. Amateur competitions have been held in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2011, and 2016. Originally, the 2016 Amateur Competition was to be held in 2015, but was canceled, due to the inauguration of a junior version of the Cliburn Competition, which attracts top-performing teenage piano students from around the globe. Like the regular Cliburn Competition, the amateur and junior competitions consist of solo rounds, followed by concerto performances with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in the finals.