Monday, July 20, 2009

Winners on parade

I am writing a letter to Van Cliburn so I can talk with him for my book. And coincidentally, on the heels of my invite from the French piano competition, I got my Special Issue of the Cliburn News. They have pictures of all the winners of the 2009 competition.

All the gold medalists, Asian. I know I am not the first to point this out but you gotta wonder, you know?

There is an awful lot of money flying around this competition. That is for sure. Eduard Kunz, my so-called cousin, he got $5,000 for being a semifinalist, plus he got $4,000 because he won the Jury Discretionary Award. That is a cool $9,000! Not bad.

There was no Crystal Medal awarded. I wonder why. Was there no pianist who had that elusive crystal personality?

Or maybe they did not award the Crystal Medal because the gold medal was split.

The John Giordano Jury Chairman Discretionary Award is $4,000 too. Every medal has a nice purse attached to it. Conductor and longtime jury member John Giordano is from the Buffalo area and his father painted the murals at the Buffalo Zoo. He told me that! That is John Giordano pictured at left. He grew up in Dunkirk, N.Y. but nobody knows that but me.

How small the world is.

I got the picture of Van Cliburn up at the top from Life magazine, via Google Images. It shows Van Cliburn riding in his ticker tape parade! Check out the guy in the front seat of the car. I love the blissful look on his face.

Life magazine has 98 pictures of Van Cliburn!

Guess how many pictures of Leonard Pennario they have? 0. Oh, well, I like a little bit of mystery in a man.

Now the Cliburn Competition enters its deep sleep until four years from now, when we get another competition.

I wonder if it will be all Asians again?

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