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Washington International Piano Festival features Van Cliburn gold medalists

With all the talk of gold medals these days, it seems like a doubly appropriate time to point out that two winners will be at Catholic University in Washington this week. OK, so they're not Olympic athletes, but they did have to display exceptional skills during a high-pressure, competitive event to win the gold.

The Washington International Piano Festival, which provides master classes and private lessons to participants from around the world, also offers several public concerts. Two of those concerts will feature gold medalists of the high-profile Van Cliburn Competition.

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On Wednesday evening, the ...

Brazilian-born Jose Feghali, the top prize-winner at the 1985 Cliburn Competition, will play Schumann's "Kinderszenen," Debussy's "Suite Bergamasque," a Chopin Scherzo, pieces by Ernesto Nazareth (including "Odeon" -- I've included a video of Feghali performing it below; although you'll hear Cliburn announce that Feghali will play two works, only "Odeon" is on the clip).

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Alexander Kobrin, the Moscow-born pianist who took the gold at the 2005 Cliburn Competition, will give a recital on Saturday afternoon. His program includes a Mozart sonata, Schumann's "Waldszenen," and the complete Etudes, Op. 25, of Chopin (I've included an Etude from Op. 10 to give you a taste of Kobrin's talent).

Check out the festival schedule for more concerts at CU, as well as the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage.

And now for a few notes from the gold medal guys:

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