Kenneth Broberg says he’s under no pressure to win the Cliburn competition, even though his piano teacher won in 2001.
The American pianist, who will perform his preliminary recital at 3:20 p.m. Saturday, studies with gold medalist Stanislav Ioudenitch.
“He told me to just have confidence in myself and forget it’s a competition and make music,” Broberg said. He can’t recall whether it was his idea or Ioudenitch’s for him to enter the competition this year.
Ioudentich, who founded the International Center for Music at Park University and will be joining the faculty of Oberlin Conservatory of Music in the fall, worked with Broberg to develop the pianist’s competition programs and worked with him on how to play a solo recital in a large performance space such as Bass Hall.
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“He said playing solo in a big hall is very different,” Broberg said. “Your ideas have to be very clear. You need to stand out and really be an individual.”
More importantly, Ioudentich said he wanted to prepare his student for what happens after the competition.
“Let’s say you win ... I wanted to make sure that he knows this is not the highest point of his life,” Ioudentich said. “It is an important point in his life, but it’s just a door opener, and the real life starts after you win the competition.”
Vadym Kholodenko, the 2013 gold medalist, told competitors at the opening dinner and draw party this week that he wished all of them would have a life-changing experience.
“The name of Van Cliburn makes the competition more of a music festival and everyone brings their best in striving for that medal,” Kholodenko advised the 30 competitors.
Although Italian pianist Luigi Carroccia hasn’t directly studied under a past Cliburn winner, he has received advice from his friend, 2005 finalist Davide Cabassi.
“He told me that I’m going to have one of the greatest experiences of my life because the Cliburn people, and the people of Fort Worth are amazing,” Carroccia said.
Carroccia played at Cabassi’s piano festival in Milan in April and the two are messaging each other throughout the Fort Worth competition.
“He told me that the program I’m going to play for the Cliburn is absolutely perfect for me as I can show my personality,” said Carroccia, who will play his preliminary recital at 10 a.m. Saturday.
While Ioudentich came to Fort Worth for the Cliburn’s opening dinner, he will not see his student perform. Instead, he will be in Vienna, serving on the jury for the 15th International Beethoven Piano Competition.
Broberg doesn’t mind.
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“It’s better for me,” Broberg said. “I’ll be less nervous if he’s not in audience.”
FIFTEENTH VAN CLIBURN INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION
May 25-June 10
Bass Hall, Fort Worth
Complete competition subscriptions: $600-$3,000.
Preliminary round: May 25-28. All 30 competitors play a 45-minute solo recital, including a commissioned work written by Marc-André Hamelin. $80-$200 round subscription; $10-$35 per concert.
Quarterfinal round: May 29-30. Twenty competitors play a 45-minute solo recital. $80-$150 round subscription; $15-$40 per concert.
Semifinal round: June 1-5. Twelve competitors will play a 60-minute solo recital and a Mozart piano concerto with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. $280-$450 round subscription; $30-$120 per concert.
Final round: June 7-10. Six competitors will play a piano quintet with the Brentano String Quartet and a concerto with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. $150-$260 round subscription; $45-$180 per concert.
Awards presentation: 7 p.m. June 10. $30-$40.
The entire competition will be webcast live, hosted by pianists Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe, at Clburn2017.medici.tv. Content also will be available on demand. The final round will be broadcast in movie theaters around the country. For information and tickets, visit www.FathomEvents.com.