|Chinese third at Van Cliburn|
|http://www.sina.com.cn 2005/06/07 18:54 Shanghai Daily|
Russia's Alexander Kobrin, 25, won the gold medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, a prestigious 17-day contest in Fort Worth, Texas, known for launching classical music careers.
The silver medal on Sunday went to Joyce Yang, 19, a native of South Korea. Chen Sa, 25, of China took third place. Each medalist wins US$20,000 in cash, three years of concert tours and career management and the opportunity to record an album. Kobrin also will perform internationally.
Three other finalists - Davide Cabassi, 28, and Roberto Plano, 26, both of Italy, and China's Huang Chufang, 22, - each won US$10,000 as well as three years of tours and management.
The Cliburn contest, held every four years, is considered the premier competition for classical pianists worldwide.
The competition is named for the acclaimed pianist who gained prominence after winning the first Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow in 1958.
A few years later, some music teachers in Cliburn's hometown of Fort Worth created a contest in his honor.
Cliburn, 70, is not a judge but attends many performances and presents the awards.
Kobrin, who played Mozart and Rachmaninoff at the Cliburn, received numerous curtain calls and even had roses thrown onstage after several performances.
Kobrin, who has performed throughout Europe, toured Italy and Japan this spring while a graduate student at Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. He won first prize in the 1999 Busoni Competition and second prize at the 2003 Hamamatsu Competition; no first prize was awarded.
Yang, who moved to the United States when she was 10, became an audience favorite as the youngest of this year's 35 competitors.
She has studied at The Juilliard School in New York for the past eight years.
She has won several national piano competitions in her native South Korea and performed with orchestras across America.
Chen, who frequently performs in China and Japan, played Beethoven, Schubert and Rachmaninoff at the Cliburn.
As a child, she took a 12-hour train ride with her mother for a two-hour piano lesson every weekend for two years.
For this year's competition, 147 pianists among 270 applicants worldwide were chosen to audition in various cities across the globe.
Only 35 were selected to compete in Fort Worth.
(The Associated Press)
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