Van Cliburn 2009

The Winners of the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (May 22 to June 7)
The 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition ended on Sunday with a two-way tie:
Gold medals were given to blind Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii, and Haochen Zhang, 19, from China, the youngest of the competitors.

Gold: Haochen Zhang, Nobuyuki Tsujii
Silver: Yeol Eum Son
Crystal: not awarded

Nobuyuki Tsujii’s performance credits include the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, and Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. At the age of twelve, he made noted recital debuts at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. An acclaimed debut album released by Avex classics in 2007 led to a fifteen-city tour of Japan and a second CD featuring Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, released in 2008. Blind since birth, Mr. Tsujii states his firm belief that “there are no barriers in the field of music.” He participates in the performer’s program at the Ueno Gakuen College of Music in Tokyo.

Haochen Zhang
The youngest participant in the 2009 Cliburn Competition, Haochen Zhang gave his debut recital at the Shanghai Music Hall at the age of five, performing all of Bach’s two-part inventions, as well as sonatas by Haydn and Mozart. He performed with orchestra at age six, and moved to the United States at fifteen to attend the Curtis Institute of Music. First-prize winner of the 2007 China International Piano Competition, Mr. Zhang has performed with the China National Symphony Orchestra, Krakow State Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and has concertized throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States. He also excels at ping pong and enjoys writing poetry.

Yeol Eum Son has performed with the Israel, New York, Seoul, and Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestras, among other noted orchestras. Third-prize winner of the 2005 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition, Ms. Son has made debuts at several international music festivals, including the Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw, the Rheingau Festival in Germany, and the Bowdoin Festival in the United States. She currently studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, Germany, and has recorded a CD of Chopin etudes for Universal Music in Korea.