This year, the awards ceremony for the Van Cliburn is being broadcast live in Sundance Square, and I’ve decided to watch it from there. Adonis Rose and the Fort Worth Jazz Orchestra are making very relaxing sounds. They vacate the stage for the awards ceremony, but they leave their instruments and music stands, which partially blocks the view of the screen. I guess that makes sense, since the band will have to go back on, but it’s a little bit annoying. Well, the reasonable-sized crowd gathered doesn’t seem to mind. I’ve been inside the hall for these ceremonies, and unless there’s a screw-up of La La Land-at-the-Oscars proportions, it won’t be appreciably more dramatic in there. Fred Child takes over the hosting duties from Christina Allen and steals my joke by claiming that Steve Harvey, Warren Beatty, and Faye Dunaway will crown the champion.
After some dull but necessary speeches, jury chairman Leonard Slatkin tells a funny story about Van Cliburn working with him decades ago and going with him to the hospital when Slatkin embedded the baton in his own finger. Then he announces the winners:
Jury Discretionary Awards: Kim Da-sol, Leonardo Pierdomenico, Tony Yike Yang
Best Performance of a New Work: Daniel Hsu
Best Performance of Chamber Music: Daniel Hsu
Audience Award: Rachel Cheung
Bronze Medal: Daniel Hsu
Silver Medal: Kenneth Broberg
Gold Medal: Sunwoo Ye-kwon
Just as I suspected, I would have been wrong if I’d picked the winners. South Korea now has its first gold medalist in this competition, and from the quality of musicians that has been coming out of that country, you’d have to say this was coming. I’m glad at least that the two Americans got on the podium, and I’ll going to look forward to hearing more from Hsu and Broberg. I’ll also look for other competitors to come back to us in 2021.
In previous years, the after-party was at the Renaissance Worthington Hotel, but this year it’s going to be in Sundance Square, which strikes me as much more democratic (though not entirely; the VIP section will be inside Bird Cafe). Before I go off to join the party, I’d like to say thanks to all of you who took time out to read my blog posts about our city’s piano competition. I hope you all had an even better time reading them than I had writing them, and hope to meet up with you at the next Van Cliburn Competition.