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Has anyone done the Van Cliburn JUNIOR Competition?
#3047362 11/18/20 11:40 PM
Joined: Nov 2019
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Hi,

I have been looking at good junior competitions (I'm almost 16) recently, and found the Van Cliburn Junior competition interesting. I'm aware that this is a very serious competition, so I was wondering if it's worth it to invest time into this? Have any of you entered (ages 13-17) before, and how long did it take to prepare your repertoire? Also, do you think this competition is primarily for those interested in becoming professional pianists/musicians?

Here is a list of my current repertoire for context: Chopin Ballade No. 1, Liszt "Un Sospiro," Liszt Transcendental Etude No. 11, Debussy Estampes, Beethoven Sonata No. 17, Grieg Piano Concerto, a few Bach prelude+fugues, and Rochburg Short Sonatas. I plan to add Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 4 and perhaps something by Ravel. My weakness is that I haven't played much classical other than Beethoven, like Mozart or Haydn. I'm a bit uncertain whether the Grieg is too "easy" and perhaps I should aim for one of the Rach concertos instead? I don't intend to brag by listing my repertoire (I've gotten comments in the past accusing me of such, which upsets me), I simply would like to show context.

My thought is that there's nothing to lose if I practice hard for 2023 Cliburn Junior; in fact, I would gain a lot just by practicing that much. I should add that I'm not doing competitions to put down for college applications, I truly love the piano and would love to win a competition. Any constructive comments/thoughts on the competition would be appreciated!

(Sorry if I'm posting in the wrong place, I'm still rather new. Apologies for the length blush)


Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art. --Fryderyk Chopin
Re: Has anyone done the Van Cliburn JUNIOR Competition?
chopinliszt27 #3047377 11/19/20 02:02 AM
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There are mixed opinions about the value of competitions and their worth is a personal decision that each of us makes. While the experience of playing against other highly competent, experienced and dedicated performers in a professional setting can be significant, the idea that it is a "competition" and hence that there are winners (and by extension, in the minds of some, also losers) sometimes overshadows the value one can get by just participating. The focus should not be upon winning but upon preparing to be - and being - the best you can be when the moment arrives. Is your focus on being a prize winner or on learning what musical growth you can achieve out of preparing and participating?

What is your long-term goal with respect to piano studies? How would participating in this competition enhance those goals. What about the pressure of on-going school work during the next couple of years?

Other questions: How much performance experience do you have? What is your experience with festivals and competitions? And the follow-up to that is: How much performance experience do you plan to get under your belt before the competition, if you enter, and what will that experience entail? Keep in mind that some of the competitors, by the age of 17, already have a remarkable amount of performance experience, so the competition will be tough.

Competitions usually have repertoire requirements so I would check those out to see which of your current repertoire might be at an appropriate level for competition. One of the big disadvantages in preparing for competitions is the "wear" factor. One has to spend so much time bringing the repertoire up to professional standards that there is the possibility of burn-out on some of the repertoire. No amount of practicing ever seems to be enough, one feels that there is always more to do, so one spends an inordinate amount of time on specific repertoire. You have to consider whether such intense focus outweighs the experience you would get from broader, less intense continued musical studies.

But hold on a moment: you say that you are "almost 16." By 2023, you'll be "almost" 19. Will that not exclude you from the competition if it is for performers age 13 to 17? Why, then, would you be considering the Van Cliburn Junior? There may be other competitions for which you will be age-appropriate when you are ready.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Has anyone done the Van Cliburn JUNIOR Competition?
BruceD #3047380 11/19/20 02:25 AM
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Hi BruceD,

I believe the applications are technically due the year before the competition takes place, so I will still be 17 then because of my birthday (if the general time period for registration is similar to 2018-2019). Hopefully! Thank you for your thoughts on piano competitions in general. I don’t have very much performance experience, but I have been doing livestreams during quarantine and participating in recitals at my music school in person (live-streamed, no physical audience). I have won several competitions this year, but I haven’t performed in a festival yet.

I’m homeschooled, which should help. Hopefully this is my last year getting rid of requirements, so I can focus on music (and math, which I also love deeply) next year. Thanks again for commenting, I really appreciate it. smile

-chopinliszt27


Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art. --Fryderyk Chopin
Re: Has anyone done the Van Cliburn JUNIOR Competition?
chopinliszt27 #3047481 11/19/20 10:45 AM
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Are you planning a career in music?

Re: Has anyone done the Van Cliburn JUNIOR Competition?
chopinliszt27 #3047506 11/19/20 11:48 AM
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I do think you need to be within the required age range at the time of the event, not just when you apply.

Re: Has anyone done the Van Cliburn JUNIOR Competition?
Mark_C #3047537 11/19/20 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
I do think you need to be within the required age range at the time of the event, not just when you apply.

I agree with Mark_C. I haven't been able to find the application form on line for 2023, but all references to the 2019 competition indicate that it was for pianists 13 to 17 years of age. Surely that means competitors were within that age group at the time of the competition.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Has anyone done the Van Cliburn JUNIOR Competition?
chopinliszt27 #3047744 11/20/20 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by chopinliszt27
Hi,

I have been looking at good junior competitions (I'm almost 16) recently, and found the Van Cliburn Junior competition interesting. I'm aware that this is a very serious competition, so I was wondering if it's worth it to invest time into this? Have any of you entered (ages 13-17) before, and how long did it take to prepare your repertoire? Also, do you think this competition is primarily for those interested in becoming professional pianists/musicians?

Here is a list of my current repertoire for context: Chopin Ballade No. 1, Liszt "Un Sospiro," Liszt Transcendental Etude No. 11, Debussy Estampes, Beethoven Sonata No. 17, Grieg Piano Concerto, a few Bach prelude+fugues, and Rochburg Short Sonatas. I plan to add Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 4 and perhaps something by Ravel. My weakness is that I haven't played much classical other than Beethoven, like Mozart or Haydn. I'm a bit uncertain whether the Grieg is too "easy" and perhaps I should aim for one of the Rach concertos instead? I don't intend to brag by listing my repertoire (I've gotten comments in the past accusing me of such, which upsets me), I simply would like to show context.

My thought is that there's nothing to lose if I practice hard for 2023 Cliburn Junior; in fact, I would gain a lot just by practicing that much. I should add that I'm not doing competitions to put down for college applications, I truly love the piano and would love to win a competition. Any constructive comments/thoughts on the competition would be appreciated!

(Sorry if I'm posting in the wrong place, I'm still rather new. Apologies for the length blush)
You'll never know unless you try. My advice. Go for it! You already list an impressive repertoire. I wish I had that repertoire at your age. Great job and good luck moving forward!


Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
Chopin: G Minor Ballade


Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1

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