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By Culturekiosque Staff

NEW YORK, 18 JUNE 2009 - Nobuyuki Tsujii, 20, of Japan and Hochen Zhang, 19, of China tied for the Gold Medal in the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas earlier this month. The First Prize includes the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Gold Medal; a cash award of $20,000; international and national concert tours for the three seasons following the competition, coordinated by the Van Cliburn Foundation in conjunction with IMG Artists Europe; a CD recording on the harmonia mundi usa label.

The Winners of the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (from left to right): Yeol Eum Son, 23 (Korea) - Silver Medal; Nobuyuki Tsujii, 20 (Japan) - Gold Medal (tie); Haochen Zhang, 19 (China) - Gold Medal (tie)
Photo: Altre Media

Mr. Tsujii, who was born blind, and Mr. Zhang were the two youngest pianists in the 2009 contest.

The last time that the Cliburn Competition awarded a tie for the gold medal was in 2001, to Stanislav Ioudenitch and Olga Kern.

This year's silver medal was awarded to Ms. Yeol Eum Son, 23 of South Korea. The Second Prize includes a silver medal; a cash award of $20,000; U.S. concert tours and career management for the three concert seasons following the competition; and a CD recording on the harmonia mundi usa label.

Among the finalists in the 2009 competition (in alphabetical order): Evgeni Bozhanov, 25 (Bulgaria); Mariangela Vacatello, 27 (Italy) and Di Wu, 24 (China). All finalists receive a cash award of $10,000 and U.S. concert tours and career management for the three concert seasons following the competition.

The entire Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition was streamed in real time over the Internet. According to the Cliburn Foundation, as of 6 June, the webcast player received 231,265 visits from people in 132 countries. The most viewed performance was Evgeni Bozhanov's Final Round recital

The Cliburn 2009 posted blogs in English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Contributing writers included Ken Iisaka and Mari Yoshihara, Patricia Tsai, Yanxinjia Chen, Hyo-won Lee, Mike Winter, and Michael Hawley. Mr. Iisaka and Mr. Hawley, former competitors in the Cliburn's International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, and Mr. Winter, a music journalist and former orchestra manager, blogged in English; Ms. Yoshihara, a professor of American Studies at the University of Hawaii and Ms. Tsai, who reports for the Dallas Chinese Daily, blogged in Chinese; Ms. Chen, a music student at the New England Conservatory, blogged in Japanese; Ms. Lee, a reporter for the Korea Times, blogged in Korean. The blogs will remain archived on the Foundation's website at www.cliburn.org

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