2009 Seminars & Symposia for

Young Artists, Teachers & Amateurs


The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition attracts international and national artist managers, concert presenters, media representatives, and professional artists and composers who come together every four years to experience one of the classical music industry's most galvanizing events. PianoTexas is delighted to collaborate with the Van Cliburn Foundation to offer a series of lectures and symposia that will provide a rare opportunity to gain practical knowledge while being introduced to current trends and issues from many of the field's most experienced practitioners and theorists. Workshops and panel sessions are designed to encourage interaction between experts and all participants.


All seminars and Symposia are Free and Open to the public

Date: Thursday, May 21

Time: 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Place: PepsiCo Recital Hall

Title: “ Understanding What It Takes to Connect Artist to Audience”

Faculty: Maria Guralnik, General Manager, Van Cliburn Foundation

This presentation will broaden your awareness of numerous factors that impact the arts in the U.S. and the world, while building skills in producing, promoting, and managing arts-based initiatives. Whether you are interested in exploring a career behind the spotlights or want to improve your chances of a performance career by better understanding the needs and interests of concert presenters, promoters and audiences, you are sure to gain from the experiences of Ms. Guralnik.






Date: Sunday, May 24

Time: 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Place: Choir Room, Walsh Center for Performing Arts, TCU

Title: “Hands-on Advice on Audio & Video Recording"

Faculty: José Feghali

Gold Medalist of the Seventh Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, José Feghali has also earned an enviable reputation for his skills as an audio and video engineer. This hands-on session introduces basic recording and editing skills as well as the components of a successful electronic press kit. Essential for any young artist planning to enter competitions, auditioning to study in prestigious institutions, or wanting to compete with other artists appealing to the Youtube generation!







Date: Wednesday, May 27

Time: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Place: Choir Room, Walsh Center for Performing Arts, TCU

Title: “French Piano Music"

Faculty: Michel Beroff

An informal discussion of french Piano Music with one of the most important exponent of this repertoire. Michel Beroff will speak about the background and understanding of the french language as well as poetry, painting that brings together this unique style. Bring your questions and perhaps even scores.






Date: Wednesday, May 27

Time: 3:45 - 4:45 p.m.

Place: Choir Room, Walsh Center for Performing Arts, TCU

Title: “Communicating with your Piano Tuner"

Faculty: James Williams


Common problems solved with simple language. The piano is the most important asset in our profession. All of us needs to know how to communicate our concerns to the piano tuner. In this presentation Mr. Williams will give us the tools that is so vital to our teaching and performance






Date: Thursday, May 28

Time: 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Place: PepsiCo Recital Hall, TCU

Title: Music of Our Time

Faculty: Shields-Collins Bray, Coordinator;
Select participants of the American Composers Invitational


Shields-Collins Bray, Artistic Director of Special Programs for the Van Cliburn Foundation, moderates an engaging discussion between select participants of the third American Composers Invitational, the composition competition held in conjunction with the Cliburn Competition to generate new scores for solo pianists. Among issues to be explored will be current trends in composing for the keyboard in our time, as well as ways performers can help nurture a larger, more devoted audience for contemporary music.





Date: Saturday, May 30

Time: 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Place: PepsiCo Recital Hall, TCU

Title: “New Media and Music: Promoting the Arts?"



Continued rapid advances in communication technologies along with shifts in social/cultural values have significantly impacted distribution as well as audience access and relationship to classical music. Representatives from the newspaper, radio, film, and internet industries will discuss the current evolution in performing arts programming and coverage including the challenges and opportunities for artists, administrators, and journalists promoting and presenting the arts via “multi-platforms”.





Date: Sunday, May 31

Time: 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Place: PepsiCo Recital Hall, TCU

Title: “Breaking Boundaries – Innovative Programming"



The questions of format and repertoire relevant to today's arts “consumers” are being considered by concert presenters and artists throughout the international music community. While it is clear that traditional solo, chamber music, and orchestral programs may soon become obsolete at many venues, there is much debate about the best way to ensure awareness and appreciation of the classical canon by the next generation of listeners. This distinguished panel will discuss current field solutions including innovative programming, non-traditional venues, and engaging audiences in the experience of attending live performance.





Four Symposia presented by the Van Cliburn Foundation

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 ~ Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 10:00 am

Bass PerformanceHall


  “A Senegalese poet said, ‘In the end we will conserve only what we love. We love only what we understand. And we will understand only what we are taught.' We must learn about other cultures in order to understand, in order to love and in order to conserve our common world heritage.”               Yo-Yo Ma, cellist


Van Cliburn 's historic win at the First Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958 heralded a new era of improved relations between the Soviet Union and the United States , proving that music can be one of the most powerful instruments we have to foster mutual understanding and respect.  Fifty years later we share a world where technology and economics have bridged most physical barriers worldwide and yet there is greater need for finding ways to build common ground. The Cliburn will present a four-part series examining in depth the importance of learning to understand other cultures as they relate to one's own, as well as to be able to best interact within a diversity of cultures. One will examine how multicultural awareness is reflected both in performance on stage and in human relations off stage. The symposia will attempt to define the meaning of “cultural diplomacy” and examine the ramifications of practicing cultural diplomacy when fostered for positive impact. In order to understand the extent of the power of the positive applications of cultural efforts, the symposia will also shed a historical perspective on the sometimes nefarious misuse of cultural warfare practiced ever since ancient Greece through the present day.

Symposium: "Music Diplomacy - Ideals for a New Generation"
Featured speakers: J. Thomas Schieffer, U.S. Ambassador to Japan (2005-2009) and Lyndon Olson, U.S. Ambassador to Sweden (1998-2001).
Wednesday, June 3

The Ambassadors, from their many years of experience, will shed light on how culture serves the diplomatic purpose of the United States, and how important culture is to its diplomatic mission. Discussion will revolve around the importance of developing “cultural ambassadors” both to export some of America's highest cultural achievements and, thereby, to enhance the image of American cultural contributions throughout history. One will focus on how can the Cliburn feed into this perspective by preparing the Cliburn winners and laureates to support this mission.

Symposium: "Critics Roundtable" - Critics Institute
Host: Scott Cantrell, classical music critic for the Dallas Morning News
Thursday, June 4

Noted journalists will examine the role of culture in our society and multiculturalism as it is reflected in the performing arts with emphasis on musical performance. What effect has cultural cross fertilization had on performance practice in America? What prestige is accorded to performers from other traditions as societies—e.g. Russian performers in America during the Cold War? How will the severe, financial hardships print media is facing today be reflected in a general marginalization of culture and the performing arts? Will culture be displaced by the ever increasing consumption of entertainment delivered through the electronic media and geared towards the lowest common denominator? What impact may this have on the ability of America to continue developing its erstwhile cultural heritage to be shared globally?


Symposia: Symposium: “Meet the Jury"
Participants: Competition Jurors
Friday, June 5

Members of the Thirteenth International Piano Competition jury will shed light on cultural diplomacy through discussing their own personal experiences as they related to their bringing to America the cultural heritage of several foreign countries. They will also discuss the relevance of “schools” of pianism as developed in Russia, France, and other countries as it was reflected in prestige accorded to musicians performing in the “authentic” style of other cultural traditions. They will examine the training, or lack of training, which needs to be given to young musicians in order to develop cultural awareness as they embark on concert careers.

Symposia: Symposium: “A Talk with James Conlon”
Saturday, June 6:

James Conlon, who will have participated in the other three symposia, will deliver a distillation of the material covered in the preceding three symposia and speak of the implications of the cultural scarring of musicians during the Third Reich in Germany. He will further address the importance of counteracting through the attendance at live musical performance the growing lack of human contact and depersonalization in our technological society.