In 1958, at the height of the Cold War, Van Cliburn surprised the world with his historic victory at the first International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition. He quickly became one of the most persuasive ambassadors of American culture (as well as one of the greatest pianists in the history of music), helping tear down cultural barriers years ahead of glasnost and perestroika, and transcending politics by demonstrating the universality of classical music. A group of music teachers and citizens from Fort Worth, Texas, organized the first Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1962 in commemoration of his historic achievement. This competition, which is dedicated to the discovery of the world’s finest pianists, continues to be held every four years. In a process that begins with visits to five audition sites around the world to hear 133 pianists, the jury invites only thirty to compete in the preliminary round. Twelve compete in the semifinal round, and then six vie for top honors in the final round. The Lane Series is pleased to be able to present the gold, silver, and crystal medalists from the 14th Van Cliburn Competition!
Second-prize winner at the 2011 Seoul International Music Competition and Christel DeHaan Classical Fellow of the American Pianists Association, Sean Chen has performed with several orchestras, including the Indianapolis Chamber, Juilliard, New West Symphony, and Suwon Philharmonic. He has presented solo recitals in Albuquerque, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Taipei, among other cities. Additional awards include top prize at the 2010 Gina Bachauer Piano Competition at Julliard, the 2010 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, Los Angeles Music Center’s Spotlight Award, and an NFAA ARTSweek award. Mr. Chen resides in New Haven, Connecticut, where he is pursuing his artist diploma at the Yale School of Music.