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Cliburn Amateur Competition Announces Competitors 13

The 2020 Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition has announced its selection of 48 competitors from a record 205 applicants for its competition in May. 

Maggie Estes, director of communications at the Cliburn, said musical artistry and skill were the top criteria during the selection process. 

“The artistic quality is our number one for everything,” she said. “Our festival participants, we want them playing at a very high level.” 

Henri Robert-Delbeau, a physician in New York, was selected to be one of the 2020 amateur competitors.

The four dozen competitors come from across the world representing 18 countries including: Argentina, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Their ages range from 35 to 69. 

“We’re really excited with the international representation,” Estes said. 

This will also be the first year to include non-competing festival participants — there will be 24 which will bring the total number of attending pianists to 72.  

The amateur competition is known to attract a variety of pianists with diverse backgrounds. This year the competitors chosen will represent diverse professions from neuroscience researcher to playwright and attorney. 

Felicia Cheng, a neuroscience researcher from Germany, was selected as a 2020 competitor.

The Cliburn competition mentioned they are monitoring COVID-19, but have plans to move forward with the competition. 

“We don’t have a set timeline,” Estes said. “We’re watching obviously with our international competitors, we’re just watching out and we’ll be in constant contact with competitors and the public.” 

The competition will take place from May 24-30, 2020 in Fort Worth, Texas at Bass Performance Hall and Van Cliburn Recital Hall.