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12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
S. Korea's Joyce Yang Wins Siver in Van Cliburn
Gold Medal Goes to Russia's Alexander Kobrin
Joyce Yang (right), a native of South Korea, laughs as she is congratulated by James Conlon, conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, after her performance at Bass Hall in Fort Worth, Texas on June 5, 2005. Photo Courtesy AP

FORT WORTH, Texas — Joyce Yang, a 19-year-old South Korean, won the silver medal of the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition on June 5, 2005, one of the world's most prestigious classical music contests known for launching classical music careers.

Russia's Alexander Kobrin, 25, won the gold medal. Sa Chen, 25, of China took third place. Each medalist wins $20,000 in cash, three years of concert tours and career management and the opportunity to record an album. Kobrin also will perform internationally.

Three other finalists Davide Cabassi, 28, and Roberto Plano, 26, both of Italy, and China's Chu-Fang Huang, 22 each won $10,000 as well as three years of tours and management.

The Cliburn contest, held every four years, is considered the premier competition for classical pianists worldwide.

S. Korean pianist Joyce Yang bows to the audience after her performance in the 12th Van Cliburn Piano Competition held at Fort Worth, Tex. May 20-June 5.

The competition is named for the acclaimed pianist who gained prominence after winning the first Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow in 1958. A few years later, some music teachers in Cliburn's hometown of Fort Worth created a contest in his honor. Cliburn, 70, is not a judge but attends many performances and presents the awards.

Kobrin, who played Mozart and Rachmaninoff at the Cliburn, received numerous curtain calls and even had roses thrown onstage after several performances.

Kobrin, who has performed throughout Europe, toured Italy and Japan this spring while a graduate student at Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. He won first prize in the 1999 Busoni Competition and second prize at the 2003 Hamamatsu Competition; no first prize was awarded.

Yang, who moved to the United States when she was 10, became an audience favorite as the youngest of this year's 35 competitors. Yang has studied at The Juilliard School in New York for the past eight years. She has won several national piano competitions in her native South Korea and performed with orchestras across America.

Chen, who frequently performs in China and Japan, played Beethoven, Schubert and Rachmaninoff at the Cliburn. As a child, she took a 12-hour train ride with her mother for a two-hour piano lesson every weekend for two years.

Van Cliburn Foundation President Richard Rodzinsky (right) and Jury Chairman John Giordano in discussion at the end of semifinalist deliberations of the 12th Van Cliburn Piano Competition held at Fort Worth, Tex. May 20-June 5, 2005

Result of the 12th Val Cliburn Piano Competition

1st Prize (Gold Medal):Alexander Kobrin, 25( Russia)

2nd Prize(Silver Medal):Ms. Joyce Yang,19(S. Korea)

3rd Prize (Crystal Medal):Ms. Sa Chen, 25, (China)

Other Finalist: (alphabetical order)

1. Mr. Davide Cabassi, 28 (Italy)
2. Ms. Chu-Fang Huang, 22( China)
3. Mr. Roberto Plano, 26 (Italy)

Award details:

First Prize:

Russia's Alexander Kobrin won the first prize in the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition held at Fort Worth, Tex., May 2-June 5, 2005.
Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Gold Medal. Cash award of $20,000. Performance attire provided by Neiman Marcus. International concert tours and career management for the three concert seasons following the Competition. Compact disc recording on the harmonia mundi label. Contribution towards domestic and international air travel on American Airlines during the three-year concert tours.

Second Prize:
Silver Medal: Cash award of $20,000.
U.S. concert tours and career management for the three concert seasons following the Competition. Compact disc recording on the harmonia mundi label. Third Prize

Third Pirze:
Crystal Award. Cash award of $20,000.
U.S. concert tours and career management for the three concert seasons following the Competition. Compact disc recording on the harmonia mundi label.

Finalists (Non-medalists):
Cash award of $10,000 each
U.S. concert engagements and career management for the three seasons following the Competition

Cash award of $5,000 each

Beverley Taylor Smith Award for the Best Performance of a New Work:
Cash Award of $5,000

Steven De Groote Memorial Award for the Best Performance(s) of Chamber Music:
Total cash awards of $6,000

Jury Discretionary Award(s):
Up to four cash awards of $4,000 each

Van Cliburn
Born in 1934 the American classical musician Van Cliburn became world famous musician when he won the First International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958 at the height of the Cold War. In 2001, Cliburn was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.

Winners' Engagements

The Van Cliburn Foundation offers orchestras, festivals, and recital presenters throughout the world an opportunity to engage pianists who are recognized as leaders of the next generation.

More than two hundred engagements, pre-arranged by the Foundation for the three-year period following the Competition, are among the prizes shared by the six finalists.

The Foundation manages engagements in the United States for all finalists of the Competition on a commission-free basis and coordinates international concert tours for the gold medalist.

Joyce Yang: Winner of Van Cliburn's 2nd Prize

Joyce Yang performs in the 12th Van Cliburn Piano Competition.

19-year-old Joyce Yang, who has won the second prize of the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2005, received her first piano lessons at age four from her aunt. She quickly took the instrument, which she received as a birthday present, and within the next few years, she had won several national competitions in South Korea.

Miss Yang came to the United States at age 10 and began studies with Yoheved Kaplinsky at the Juilliard School. During her seven years at the Juilliard Pre-College, she won its concerto competitions, resulting in performances of the Haydn Piano Concerto in D and the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2, and she was invited to perform at a benefit concert with the Juilliard Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

In 1998 Miss Yang won the Philadelphia Orchestra's Albert M. Greenfield Student Competition, playing the Saint-Saën Piano Concerto No. 2. Her victory led to the performance of the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Philadelphia Orchestra at her age 13.

S. Korean pianist Joyce Yang
Highlights of Miss Yang's previous seasons include concerto performances with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, the Long Island Philharmonic Orchestra, the
California Symphony, the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, the Missouri Chamber Orchestra, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Korea Symphony Orchestra in South Korea.

In 2003-2004 season, she gave a pair of recitals in the Rising Star Series in the Ravinia Festival, Chicago and the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Kalamazoo. She also has appeared at the Bridgehampton Chamber Music
Festival regularly as an avid chamber musician.

Miss Yang received a Sony/USA Fellowship Grant from Salon De Virtuosi and a Joseph Fidelman Scholarship from the Juilliard School.


"Promising Prelude" ... a brilliant tone, effortless technique and interpretive sensitivity... — the Washington Post

"Vitality and elegance ... a pianist who can put the spirit across" — Orlando Sentinel

"An expressivity and sense of wide-eyed wonder to the music" — Newsday

"Superior professional pianist for the years ahead" — Kalamazoo Gazette

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