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Cliburn Competition finalists in home stretch; live Webcasts of their rehearsals and concerts this week

The 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition -- still one of the leading keyboard contests in the world -- heads into the home stretch this week, with each of the finalists playing a solo recital and two concertos. The winners will be announced on June 7.

For the first time, the concerto rehearsals and performances by the six finalists will be streamed live on the Web, allowing piano fans from around the globe to experience the musical action in Fort Worth. (You have to download Microsoft Silverlight first.) Earlier rounds were streamed, too, and are now archived on the site. I've checked out some of these archives and ...

I've been impressed with the video and audio quality. Getting a chance to watch the rehearsals ought to be quite informative. There are also various interactive elements to "Cliburn TV," including voting by viewers. The first rehearsal of finals week begins at 11 a.m. EST Monday.

The finalists are neatly divided gender-wise. Three women: Yeol Eum Son, 23 (South Korea); Mariangela Vacatello, 27 (Italy); Di Wu, 24 (China). Three men: Evgeni Bozhanov, 25 (Bulgaria); Nobuyuki Tsujii, 20 (Japan); Haochen Zhang, 19 (China).

LOGO OF 13TH VAN CLIBURN INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION COURTESY OF VAN CLIBURN FOUNDATION

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