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Van Cliburn
Ellicott City doctor finds keys to success as Van Cliburn amateur piano champ
Ellicott City doctor finds keys to success as Van Cliburn amateur piano champ

In the living room of his Ellicott City home, Christopher Shih sits with his legs curled beneath him on a beige leather love seat. Relaxed in a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, he speaks humbly of his accomplishments as an amateur pianist. In the kitchen Shih’s two eldest daughters, Nina and Elena, sing and play, and upstairs his youngest daughter, Sonia, sleeps. “During the six months prior to the competition, I essentially have no time,” Shih says, and then stops mid-thought after hearing a roar of laughter from one of his daughters. “Girls, what does the clock say?” he asks. “It’s 8:18,” 9-year-old Nina reports eagerly, wanting to delay...

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