A classical music website by Tim Mangan
Van Cliburn gold medalist brings Rachmaninoff for his debut with Pacific Symphony. Pacific Symphony Blog, Sept. 2, 2017.
Pacific Symphony, piano, Van Cliburn, Yekwon Sunwoo
September 5, 2017
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When you read a list of past Van Cliburn winners, it’s not exactly a Who’s Who of great classical pianists. Radu Lupu and Cristina Ortiz are in there (both early winners), two favorites of mine but not really first-rank superstars.
Kholodenko is a very good pianist, but it’s hard for anyone in classical music to catch on these days.
We may argue about the definition of “superstar”, but for me Radu Lupu is a superb musician who was always worth hearing when he used to visit Southern California more or less regularly. Also, 1973 Silver medalist Christian Zacharias is a very fine musician as well. The only three piano competitions that may have equally or arguably more impressive lists of winners after 1962 (when the very first “Van Cliburn” was held) are Russia’s “Tchaikovsky”, Poland’s “Chopin” and Israel’s “Rubinstein”. Even such prestigious contest as Belgium’s “Queen Elizabeth” has not produced winners of that quality during these last five decades. So, to be no lower than the world’s number four is probably not that bad for the Texas-based event.
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